Homemade Carrot Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting

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

    Carrot Cake

    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.

    Easy Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Rosettes!

    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!)

    Chunky Carrot Cake From Scratch 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.

    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!

    5 from 18 votes
    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
    • 1 1/4 cup (250g) vegetable oil
    • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
    • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
    • 2 3/4 cup (352g) all-purpose flour
    • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
    • 2 tsp. baking soda
    • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1 cup raisins
    • 1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
    • 2 1/4 cups finely grated carrots
    • 1/2 cup pineapple, can be from a can or freshly diced
    Cream Cheese Frosting
    • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 113g) salted butter
    • 1 tsp. 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 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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  • Yessnia says:

    What about the receipt for the cream?

  • Rebecca escorcia says:

    my name is Becky. I’ve been known most of my life for my carrot cake. even people that don’t like carrot cake for some reason like mine. I’m looking forward to making a new carrot cake. I’ve always added a can of pineapple with the juice. it seems to make it more moist. Thank you for your recipes I’m brand new at this and I appreciate your time that you put into this and helping people learn how to cook and decorate

  • Vivian Tay says:

    What does the pineapple in this recipe do for the cake?

  • Ashley says:

    Amanda, did I do something wrong? I baked as directed and it cooked in half the time. smelled like it was burning. Going to ice it and try it later for my Hubbys bday. It looks dry. I live in Chicago so altitude could not be an issue. Any suggestions?

  • Robin Fremer says:

    I made this carrot cake. I substituted homemade applesauce for the oil and used monkfruit sweetener for the cake instead of sugar. The cream cheese frosting was your recipe as written. It was a big hit for my friend’s birthday-everyone loved it.

  • Malini De Almeida says:

    Hi, I want to make your carrot cake. Can you mention the cup quantities for carrots/ nuts ect in grams or in ounzes please. is it possible to sub oil with butter? If so how much? Thanks in advance

  • Rikki Sandford says:

    All I can say is “Wow!”
    I’ve made Carrot Cakes in the past but this recipe is the “best” one I have “ever” used!
    My Cake came out “PERFECT” & so did my Icing. Moist & delicious! Thank you so very much for sharing your recipe🤗

  • Claudine T. says:

    This is the best receipe, the cake is so moist.

  • Wanda Guzman says:

    I am from Puerto Rico. My husband and my daugther love carrot cakes but he is diabetic and we dont use regular sugar. My question is if I can use substitute of sugar as splenda to make the recipe.

  • Heather says:

    I just made this. The cake was done at 40 minutes. I would have burnt it, had I gone the full 55. Glad I learned to “smell” when something is done. Waiting for the cake to cool now.

    • Cindy says:

      This is an amazing carrot cake! The baking time is definitely not 55 minutes. I use 2- 8” dark nonstick pans. I’m wondering if that makes the difference in baking time? My suggestion, check your cakes at 30 minutes. If you bake it right, this cake is very moist.

      • New Girl in the Kitchen says:

        I agree with these comments. The baking time is almost half of what is mentioned. My cake dried out a bit, which is a pity because it tastes amazing! The cream cheese frosting was too sweet for me but I would love to make the cake again and bake it for less time so that it stays moist.

  • Linda Simpson says:

    thank you Amanda for all the recipes you have published. I’m still searching for the raspberry/lemon cake recipe. It was shown on video. can you help. linda simpson FB

  • Ann says:

    Love your recipes requesting more for the slow cooker.Thank you.

  • Jennifer says:

    I am a late planner…I’m awful. I want to make this for my fiancé for his bday on Saturday (Aug 25), carrot cake is his ultimate weakness.
    I am at high altitude. Do you have the flour conversion for this so that I don’t end up with carrot pancakes? Thanks in advance!

  • Marilyn McMinn says:

    can carrot bake be baked in a 9 x 13 ?

  • Faith king says:

    Lovely cake very nice work. I like the carrot cake lovely keep up the good work.

  • Ambika says:

    [email protected]
    Thank you.

  • Betty says:

    Where is recipe for frosting ?)

  • Cathy James says:

    I am going to make carrot cake tomorrow for my husband’s Birthday .I hope he likes it. Sounds delicious!

  • Olga Allen says:

    Can the sugar be replaced with Splendid?

  • April M says:

    Hi! I tried to make your recipe and the batter ended dry… Does the batter crumby? What is the consistency of your batter. Thank u!

  • Travis says:

    This is by far one of my favorite cake recipes. Rich and moist. Just a delight to the senses. I gasped with pleasure during the first bite. Thank you so much!

  • Kathy Privett says:

    Can I leave out the raisins? If so what should I substitute ?

    • Amanda says:

      You can simply omit.

  • Betty eyster says:

    The best carrot cake ever I’ve made it before sooooooo good thank you

  • Joanne says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your carrot cake recipe. My son and I had baked it and the cake was so so delicious. And I received very good comments from my family member s and friends.

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