Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

Say hello to the best ever recipe for carrot cake topped with cream cheese frosting.  Carrot cake is one of those desserts that people will order when eating out but they will never get around to making it at home themselves.  That’s a shame because carrot cake is quite easy to make and the moist, sweet results are work the effort.

The history of carrot cake dates back at least 400 years.  Early baking recipes showed carrots baked into a pudding.  As the cake evolved other ingredients were added to make it more cake-like.  Today most carrot cakes include walnuts (or pecans) as well as the carrots.  Some bakers add raisins although this can raise the hackles of carrot cake purists.  Whatever you like in your carrot cake is your choice, just make sure that you have a moist cake that has an explosion of flavors.

Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese recipe

You can make both parts of this recipe with a hand mixer but I really like to use my stand mixer.  Also, if you have a food processor, you should use it to shred your carrots.


Carrot Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons avocado oil (or vegetable oil, or any mild-flavored oil)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 6 eggs, brought to room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour. I always sift my flour.
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 pound finely-grated fresh carrots

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:

  • 3 (8-ounce) bricks cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 6 cups powdered sugar (or more, if needed to thicken).

cream cheese frosting recipe


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans.  (Or to save a step, you can coat them with baking spray, which already contains flour.)
  2. In a large mixing bowl of your stand mixer, whisk together oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until combined and smooth. Add in the eggs and vanilla, and whisk until smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder, nutmeg and cloves) until combined. Gradually add the dry ingredient mixture into the egg mixture, and stir until smooth. Fold in the grated carrots and stir until combined. If you would like to add nuts and/or raisins, stir them in at this time as well.
  4. Portion the batter evenly into the prepared baking pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cupcakes comes out clean.  Transfer the baking pans to a wire cooling rack and let the cakes cool until they reach room temperature.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Meanwhile, to make the cream cheese frosting, combine the cream cheese, butter and vanilla in the mixing bowl of your stand mixer and stir until combined and smooth.  (You can either do this with a spatula, or with a hand or stand mixer.)  Gradually stir in the powdered sugar and mix until it is completely combined.  Feel free to add more/less powdered sugar to achieve your desired consistency.
  2. Once the cakes reach room temperature, use a cake leveler or a bread knife to slice off the rounded tops of the cakes so that they are completely flat on top.  Place the first cake on your serving platter, add a large scoop of frosting on top of it, and spread the frosting so that it covers the cake evenly and extends a bit over the edges.  Repeat with the second and third layers of the cake.  Then use the remainder of the frosting to frost all around the side edges of the cake.

Let the cake cool well before frosting it.  You can also use both of these recipes for carrot cake cupcakes.  Some optional additions to your batter can be raisins, coconut or chopped nuts.  All three add moisture to your cake and have distinct flavor.