Homemade Carrot Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting

filed under: Cakes · Rose + Rosette Cakes on December 14, 2017

The best Carrot Cake Recipe you will ever try. This homemade carrot cake is bursting with flavor and moisture! But one of my favorite things about this cake is (in my opinion) the best cream cheese frosting on the planet.

Homemade Carrot Cake

Trying to find a real carrot cake recipe is not as easy as you would think.  My Mother-in-Law was having a big birthday party last Sunday and her only request was a carrot cake from scratch.

Real carrot cake.  With real ingredients. (No box mixes allowed!) After testing out several recipes, I finally found one that everyone loves and that is now a tradition in our home.

Carrot Cake

For the exterior, I did a version of my original Rosette Cake.

My beautiful mother-in-law was turning 67 (she really doesn’t look a day over 45!) and so piped out 67 flowers.  Some are with the 1M tip (remember you can always use a 2D tip in place of the 1M) and the rest are with #27 tip from Wilton. (It brought her to tears… if you ever have the opportunity to replicate this for a loved one I highly recommend it!)

Easy Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Rosettes!

How to Make the Best Carrot Cake

Once you have added the flour to the wet ingredients you want to be very gentle with the batter. I recommend removing the bowl from the stand mixer and mix all dry ingredients in by hand.

If you do not want to add pineapple, you can add 1/4 more oil and omit the pineapple. You can also make other substitutions or changes like adding sweetened coconut (1/4 cup should do!) or using a little brown sugar.

Chunky Carrot Cake From Scratch with Cream Cheese Rosettes!


Allow the cakes to cool completely before assembling the cake. I like to use a chilled cake for assembly and a room-temperature frosting. You may need to level your cake prior to assembly. (Get detailed instructions on that here.)

BONUS: One way to make this cake AMAZING (and for the 21+ crowd) is to plump up your raisins in rum or brandy.


Easy Homemade Carrot Cake Recipe {Best Frosting}

Cream Cheese Frosting

This cream cheese frosting is amazing for a few reasons. First, it’s amazingly sweet AND you can pipe with it. If you do not want to pipe out 67 rosettes, you can simply spread it over the cake in glorious swoops. This recipe and a “rustic” design are a match made in heaven!

The BEST Cream Cheese frosting!

Tips for the Perfect Cream Cheese Frosting:

So the ingredients for this frosting are pretty basic. Butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and confectioners sugar. But it’s how you put them together that makes the difference! And it is important that your cream cheese and butter are room temperature. If your cream cheese is chilled it will be lumpy and those lumps are impossible to get out!

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING FOR PIPING: You will want to get all the wet ingredients combined before adding the sugar. The trick is to NOT overbeat the cream cheese. The more you mix the creamier it gets and the harder it is to pipe. I add my sugar 1 cup at a time so that I can gauge the consistency as I go.

CREAM CHEESE FOR FROSTING CAKES: When covering a cake with this cream cheese frosting you can beat for 3-5 minutes additional minutes in your stand mixer. This results in the creamiest cream cheese frosting you will ever have.

Everything about these recipes is perfection.  The flavor of this homemade carrot cake recipe is delightful.  The texture was exquisite. It’s the world’s best!

I think I just talked myself into making another one. Hope you enjoy this Homemade Carrot Cake recipe!

4.95 from 70 votes
Carrot Cake
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 20 mins

This amazing carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is going to be your new family favorite!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Carrot Cake, cream cheese frosting
Servings: 12
Calories: 464 kcal
Author: Amanda Rettke
Carrot Cake
  • 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
  • cups (250g) vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • cups (352g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
  • cups finely grated carrots
  • ½ cup pineapple, drained from a can or freshly diced
Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup (1 stick or 113g) salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups (512g) confectioners' sugar
Carrot Cake
  1. Heat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Prepare two 8-inch round baking pans. (Can also do three 7-inch round cake pans) Butter pans generously or spray with baking spray.
  3. Beat the sugar, oil, vanilla, and eggs in mixer until it is a light yellow, about 3 minutes.
  4. In a separate bowl sift together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. (Double sifting is recommended)
  5. With the mixer on low speed, slowly and gently add in the dry ingredients. Mix until JUST combined. (Can also mix by hand!)
  6. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in the raisins, nuts, carrots, and pineapple.

  7. Divide the batter equally between the pans. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. A few crumbs are what you want for a MOIST cake!
  8. Allow the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack.
Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. Place room temperature butter, cream cheese, and vanilla into mixer and blend for 1-2 minutes on medium until fully incorporated. 
  2. Add powder sugar, one cup at a time, until frosting is light and creamy. Whip cream cheese frosting for 3-5 minutes or until light and fluffy. 

  3. Cover cake in frosting.

Recipe Video

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  • Marilyn says:

    This cake is great, I am thinking it will be dessert for Easter.

  • Asha says:

    I love your recipes and grateful for all the hard work you go to, to get them. I’m going to try the homemade carrot cake.

  • Vera escamilla says:

    I’m not a baker but only because I’m impatient. I do love to cook. This is a carrot cake recipe I must try. So wish me luck because I love carrot cake.

  • Sharon says:

    The picture of this cake looked so good I had to make it. I just took it out of the oven. I seldom make carrot cake, so I am excited to try it.

  • Adrianne says:

    My family found this overly sweet – if we made it again, I would cut the sugar in half. We also used pineapple tidbits – on hindsight I should have used crushed pineapple. Finally, the baking time was way too long. After 50 minutes mine was almost burnt and definitely dry. I was busy doing other things and didn’t even think about it. A better baker (than me) would check this at 40 min.

  • Foodiewife says:

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! I’ve never made Carrot Cake, until I saw your recipe. I made only minor tweaks (like adding ginger and using golden raisins). The cake was ultra moist, and my family devoured it. This is truly THE BEST CARROT CAKE! You’re awesome!

  • Laurie Hickman says:

    The cake was delicious but the baking time was way off. I made the cake a second time and only baked it for 35 minutes. Turned out great.

  • Heidi says:

    I made this for our Easter this year….it was really, really good…loved it ! I do believe it is the best carrot cake i have ever had 🙂

  • Kay says:

    I think you are wonderful, amazing, just plain FANTASTIC and your recipes are OUT OF THIS WORLD!!!

    Comment just for you, Amanda.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Thank you, Kay! <3

  • Tony Wise says:

    Please keep the recipies coming

  • Regina Hart says:

    I am going to make your carrot cake this weekend…it looks delicious!! Actually, I plan on trying many of your recipes! I’m new to your website, but I love it. I also enjoying the comments and your responses! Thanks!!

  • Jennifer says:

    How much carrot in grams? First time I made it I had a hard time figuring out best way to measure them, packed or not packed etc.

  • Suzie Lee says:

    I wish I had a piece right now, delish! Thanks!

  • Iman says:

    Hi! could this recipe make cupcakes? If so how many do you think it would make 🙂

    Thank you!

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Iman! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. Here is a carrot cake cupcake recipe you may want to try. Have a great day!

  • Patricia Trejo says:

    Best carro cake recipe ever! I love it. Thank you so much for sharing<3 you are the best!

  • Bill Briggs says:

    Thanks for sharing this recipe and instruction, Amanda. Your suggestions/comments are greatly appreciated too.

  • Stella ali says:

    You are a good woman..Godbless you

  • Jan says:

    I made this using a Bundt pan baking 40-45 minutes!

  • David Cowlishaw says:

    Is it Keto friendly?

    • Amanda Rettke says:


  • Barb Milburn says:

    Five stars for what I know will be an amazing carrot cake. I will be making this for Father’s Day in honor of my DADDY, whose favorite was carrot cake.
    Love your site, Amanda.

  • Emily Lanham says:

    Can I cupcake these?

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Emily! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. Here is a carrot cake cupcake recipe you might want to try. Have a wonderful day!

  • Laura meure says:

    Hi Amanda 🙋🏻‍♀️ I use your recipes all the time 👍🏻 My Daughter is a red head too 😂❤️🙋🏻‍♀️

  • Suzie M says:

    I don’t normally leave comments but this cake!! Omg!! You are absolutely right it being the best carrot cake I’ve ever eaten. I even accidentally put the sugar into the dry ingredients and only had olive oil, and two 9inch pans and yet still absolutely delicious!!

    My adjustments..I finely chopped the walnuts as I don’t like them too chunky in carrot cake. I crushed the pineapple and I soaked the raisins in a little brandy also.

    Because my pans are slightly larger I only baked them for about 35min.

    I did have a slight panic as I thought the batter was too thick and that I had done something monumentally wrong but once the brandy soaked raisins and carrot were mixed it was perfect.

    My first recipe of yours I’ve made and most definitely not my last!

    Ps. My partner doesn’t like cake and he had seconds!

  • Suzie M says:

    Posted a comment and yet forgot to post stars! Five stars.

  • Tiffani L Moore says:

    The cake itself was moist and luscious, but I would just add about 2x the spices next time.