Incredibly Moist and Easy Carrot Cake Recipe

An incredibly moist carrot cake recipe with an ultra-creamy cream cheese frosting. This is a must make! Jump to the full Carrot Cake Recipe now or read on to see how we make it.

It wasn’t until recently that we actually realized just how much we love carrot cake. It wasn’t really something either of us grew up with. Working on a hunch, we started trying a bunch of recipes and cakes at local shops. We fell in love. We especially have fallen in love with this incredibly moist carrot cake recipe.

Banana Bread RecipeYOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Our Easy Banana Bread Recipe with a quick how-to video showing you how we make it.

How To Make the Cake Extra Moist

What we love is that you can make this cake quickly and easily without lots of fancy equipment.

How To Make Incredibly Moist Carrot Cake

Just bowls, a whisk and spatula are all that’s needed for the cake itself. It comes together really quickly. Simply whisk the dry ingredients together, whisk the wet ingredients together then combine. Add carrots and nuts and you’re done.

Three whole cups of carrots are added to this cake.

Add Lots of Carrots

Three whole cups of carrots are added to this cake. When we first tested it, we scaled that back to two cups since three cups just sounded a bit extreme. After baking and letting it cool, we were a little disappointed.

So if you’re making the cake and start to second guess the amount of carrots called for in our recipe below, don’t. All three cups are welcomed here, they make the cake.

divide the batter between two buttered and floured cake pans.

To bake, we divide the batter between two buttered and floured cake pans. The cake layers will bake in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes (they smell amazing). Once baked, we let the layers cool completely then add our extra creamy cream cheese frosting. 

Ultra-Creamy Frosting

The frosting is actually the same one we used to top our Guinness Chocolate Cake. It’s made with cream cheese, powdered sugar and heavy cream and is absolutely delicious.

Incredibly Moist Carrot Cake Recipe - So Easy!

If you’re not into frostings or if you don’t have the ingredients on hand, try the cake as-is without any frosting at all. Or, sift a little powdered sugar on top. When Adam and I were testing this recipe, we skipped the frosting the first couple of times and actually fell in love with the cake completely plain.

Recipe updated, originally posted April 2014. Since posting this in 2014, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear and added a quick recipe video. – Adam and Joanne

Incredibly Moist and Easy Carrot Cake Recipe

  • PREP
  • COOK
  • TOTAL

This cake is incredibly moist and light. It’s up to you when it comes to the grated carrots. You can hand grate for the finest carrot pieces that sort of melt into the cake batter. A food processor makes quick work of grating carrots, but the pieces will be slightly larger. This is what we do and find it works really well in the cake. A third option is to use pre-grated carrots from the store. They work very well and help with prep time.

This cake is very forgiving. You can make this with or without nuts and raisins. We like using both granulated and brown sugar in this — you could just use granulated sugar, though.

Makes 1 double layer cake or 24 cupcakes

You Will Need

2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 1/4 cups (295 ml) canola or other vegetable oil

1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar

1 cup (200 grams) lightly packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 large eggs

3 cups (300 grams) grated peeled carrots (5 to 6 medium carrots)

1 cup (100 grams) coarsely chopped pecans

1/2 cup (65 grams) raisins

Frosting

8 ounces (225 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature

1 1/4 cups (140 grams) powdered sugar

1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup (50 grams) coarsely chopped pecans, for topping cake

Directions

  • Make Batter
  • Heat the oven to 350º F. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottom with parchment paper then grease the top of the paper. Or, grease and flour the bottom and sides of both pans.

    In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, and the cinnamon until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk the oil, sugars and vanilla. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, until blended.

    Switch to a large rubber spatula. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, stirring gently until they disappear and the batter is smooth. Stir in the carrots, nuts and raisins.

    • Bake Cake
    • Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans. Bake until the tops of the cake layers are springy when touched and when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean; 35 to 45 minutes.

      Cool cakes in pans for 15 minutes then turn out onto cooling racks, peel off parchment paper and cool completely.

      • To Finish
      • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with a handheld mixer on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Beat in the powdered sugar, a 1/4 cup at a time until fluffy. Pour in cream and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Chill covered until ready to frost cake.

        When the cake layers are completely cool, frost the top of one cake layer, place the other cake layer on top. Decoratively swirl the top of the cake with remaining frosting, leaving the sides unfrosted. Scatter nuts on top.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Preparing the Cake Pans: Even though it is a bit time consuming, don’t skimp on prepping the pans. It’s never fun to find your cake layer is stuck to the bottom of your pan. (If this does happen to you, leave the cake pan upside down and allow gravity to do its thing).
  • How to Make Carrot Cake Cupcakes: For cupcakes, we’d recommend baking for 14 to 18 minutes (or until a tester inserted into the center of one comes out clean). Then let them cool for a few minutes in the cupcake pan before transferring them to a cooling rack.
  • We use kosher salt. If you don’t have it on hand, keep this in mind: 1 teaspoon fine sea or table salt = about 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt.
  • Recipe inspired and adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s Recipe for Carrot Cake

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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315 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Sankar Asha May 28, 2017, 11:55 pm

    I made carrot cake cake. It’s really super…very moist and soft also. I added dates instead of pecans and raisins.I reduced little bit of sugar also… I just dust sugar powder on cake…..superb… Thank u so much.

    Reply
  • Mara May 24, 2017, 4:29 pm

    Made this cake 3 times and it’s perfect every time! Thank you for this delicious recipe! 😄

    Reply
  • anne May 21, 2017, 6:00 am

    Thanks for the recipe! Best cake I’ve made. I wonder if I can use the same recipe but interchanging the carrot to other ingredients like banana so it will be banana cake, do you think it will turn out good too? I like that this cake turns out moist soft and yummy!

    Reply
  • R Berg May 20, 2017, 11:59 am

    I have made this about a half dozen times, made cakes and cupcakes. It is so amazing! I do substitute some of the vegetable oil with a stick of butter and I double the recipe, the batter freezes well so you can freeze some for cupcakes later. So good!

    Reply
  • Hana May 18, 2017, 11:06 am

    I made this cake and it was the best ever. With previous recipes my carrot cakes would come out heavy and dense. This recipe came out perfectly, light and moist. Took it to work and my coworkers loved it. This is a keeper recipe. I just hate the shredding carrots part 🙂 Regards basi

    Reply
  • DessertForTwo May 18, 2017, 10:28 am

    My favorite cake!

    Reply
  • Jarka May 18, 2017, 7:05 am

    Amazing!! I made it few times and everybody loved it. I saw posts complaining about the frosting, well I think the frosting is just perfect. I used philadelphia and mascarpone 2:1 and added a little bit of lemon juice and lemon zest. Can´t get any better and what I love the most you can eat it “from the fridge”, frostings I used before were too hard and needed some time to “defrost”… 5 stars recipe x

    Reply
  • Jo-Ann May 13, 2017, 2:26 pm

    I had an amazing recipe for carrot cake and lost it in a move. I have been searching for one that is as close to the one I had and I think I may have found it. The only difference is I added 4 cups carrots. I am trusting that this will be as moist and delicious as the one I had just by reading the comments. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with all. I will write after I make it and it is tested by dinner guest for Mother’s Day. My daughter has peanut allergy and cannot eat a store purchased one as they all have nuts in them.Thank you Again,Jo-Ann

    Reply
  • Trisha May 13, 2017, 2:53 am

    Delicious! Followed the recipe, added some allspice & ground ginger. Also doubled the frosting to cover the sides of the cake. Made it for my boyfriends birthday on Easter, everyone loved it. Have another one in the oven now for his sister’s birthday tomorrow!

    Reply
  • Robin May 12, 2017, 2:33 pm

    5 Stars! I made muffins for my toddlers. My 3 year polished his off and asked for another. I added crushed pineapple.

    Reply
  • ELLIS E AMBEDKAR May 6, 2017, 4:40 am

    This was amazing. I have been baking a long time and this is hands down the best carrot cake recipe. Thank you so much. This review is for the cake only as I did not frost it.

    Reply
  • Linda May 5, 2017, 11:07 pm

    I made this recipe as cupcakes for Easter Sunday, they were absolutely delicious and even a few weeks later (after I froze one), my granddaughter tried it and loved it -I will make them again.

    Reply
  • Reshma May 3, 2017, 6:20 am

    A must try recipe. Quick and easy to try out . It came out Delicious.

    Reply
  • Sev Bay May 1, 2017, 6:59 am

    I made it yesterday. My husband brought out my beloved recipe book and said this one is going in it. He loved it. I loved it. I unfortunately didnt have that big pan. The layers ended up being very large. Next time i will try cupcakes. Might have to half the recipe though but i am sure it’ll be allright.

    Reply
  • Will May 1, 2017, 3:37 am

    The cake turned out great at the lower end of the cooking time. However, the frosting is just not right. The whipping cream seems too much, making the icing too thin and too sweet. Even after an hour in the refrigerator didn’t help to thicken it.

    My recommendation would be to either leave of the whipping cream all together or start with a tablespoon and add to taste. Better yet, find a different frosting recipe.

    Reply
  • maryy April 28, 2017, 2:07 am

    So I had a competition with my bf I made his favourite (carrot cake) he made mine. We got friends to test which was better and I won!! really good recipie. my only wish is that my icing was firmer. What did I do wrong? Overall amazing!

    Reply
    • Joanne April 28, 2017, 4:59 pm

      Since we use cream instead of butter in the frosting, it will be a softer frosting that what you may be used to.

      Reply
  • Maryam April 26, 2017, 6:29 pm

    I just made this cake for my partner and I, just without the nuts due to allergy, and this has to be the best recipe for carrot cake. The cake is incredible! So insanely moist and just tasted perfect. I did add some mixed spice to it also but the recipe for the sponge is perfect, best carrot cake I’ve ever had if I say so myself haha. Thanks!

    Reply
  • Frances April 26, 2017, 3:12 pm

    I had carrot cake for the first time weeks ago,and fell in love.I found this recipe and all I can say is wow, it makes an amazing cake,my whole family loves it,as a matter of fact I’m making it right now.thanks for this recipe.

    Reply
  • Claire April 24, 2017, 10:22 pm

    This looks amazing! Just a quick question – could I do this in a bigger pan and do just one layer? Thanks

    Reply
    • Joanne April 28, 2017, 5:00 pm

      Hi Claire, Yes — add all the batter to a 9×13-inch baking pan. The cook time might be a little different, but the cake should work out just fine.

      Reply
  • Liz Grasty April 22, 2017, 3:40 pm

    This is the MOST delicious and moist cake. I doubled the frosting because of our family sweet tooth. Thank you so much. I am going to make another this afternoon to take to a celebration tomorrow.

    Reply
  • Cherie conway April 21, 2017, 7:15 pm

    Is it baking powder that is used or bicarbonate of soda?
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Joanne April 28, 2017, 5:01 pm

      Hi Cherie, we use baking soda which is bicarbonate of soda.

      Reply
  • Michelle April 20, 2017, 2:44 am

    This is the second time that i made the cake and it is the best carrot cake ever. OMG!! It is my absolute favorite cake! And my family and friends love it too and allready requesting for it.Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

    Reply
  • Prasa April 18, 2017, 10:10 am

    moist and soft.I added few dates to it and it enhanced the taste.try it x

    Reply
    • Melissa Hunziker April 20, 2017, 11:11 pm

      I am a not so good baker, and just made cupcakes from this recipe. I used dates instead of raisins. Absolutely perfect! Moist but not oily, tender texture, and just right sweetness. I plan to make again for my wedding in June. Thanks!

      Reply
  • Sabine April 18, 2017, 8:11 am

    I made the cake for the first time yesterday, il was a huge success! The instructions are extremely clear and easy to follow. And the tips very useful…I wondered about the 3 cups of carrots before reading the little note on it😃😃 well done!! This carrot cake is in my top 5 favorite cakes already!

    Reply
  • JJ April 17, 2017, 12:38 pm

    Yummy! Made cupcakes for Easter, delicious and moist! The only changes I made was I used olive oil, added a small can crushed pineapple and used walnut. The frosting was perfect too! I did use less powdered sugar only because that’s all I had in my cupboard. This recipe is definitely a keeper 🙂 Thank you

    Reply
  • CakenGifts.in April 17, 2017, 7:25 am

    I can’t wait to try this recipe! I love this recipe, this is awesome!

    Reply
  • K Dembek April 17, 2017, 5:31 am

    5 STARS cake was so moist and didn’t ever dry out after being “displayed ” for hours. The icing was so flavorful and not too sweet.

    Reply
  • Polly April 16, 2017, 9:20 pm

    My first attempt at this cake was the best carrot cake I’ve ever had. It was awesome! I followed the recipe exactly, no substitutions, and it turned out perfectly. Several of my friends have since made it and also loved it. It’s definitely one of my go-to recipes now!

    Reply
  • Catalina April 16, 2017, 8:09 am

    Absolutely amazing!! super moist. I made a change, I used dark brown sugar instead lightly packed brown sugar. To balance the sweetness I didn’t add raisins. I totally recommend this recipe.

    Reply

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