Incredibly Moist and Easy Carrot Cake Recipe

You will love this incredibly moist carrot cake with its ultra-creamy cream cheese frosting. This is a must make! Jump to the Easy Carrot Cake Recipe or watch our quick recipe video below 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.

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.

Incredibly Moist and Easy Carrot Cake Recipe

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.

Easy, Homemade Banana Bread RecipeYOU MAY ALSO LIKE: This easy banana bread recipe with ripe bananas, flour, butter, eggs and spices. This one is so good, you’ll want to make 2 loaves. Jump to the full Banana Bread Recipe.

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.

How To Make Incredibly Moist Carrot Cake

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.

Incredibly Moist and Easy Carrot Cake Recipe

Fresh Pineapple Upside Down Cake RecipeYOU MAY ALSO LIKE: A lovely pineapple upside-down cake recipe that’s extremely simple to make. Jump to the Fresh Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe.

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. The 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.

**The creamy frosting recipe shared below is a soft frosting and is not ideal for frosting the entire cake. It is more of a stabilized whipped cream consistency than traditional cream cheese frosting.

Makes 1 (9-inch) double layer cake (16 to 22 slices) or 22 to 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. The recipe should make about 24 cupcakes.
  • Using a bundt pan: We have never done this in our kitchen, but a 10-cup or 12-cup Bundt pan should be fine for this recipe. You will likely need to increase the baking time by about 30% in the 10-cup pan, somewhat less in the 12-cup.
  • Using a 9-inch by 13-inch pan rectangular pan: Simple add all the batter to the rectangular pan and bake. The bake time should be similar.
  • 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.
  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values. We assumed 22 slices of 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

Nutrition Per Serving: Calories 384 / Protein 4 g / Carbohydrate 40 g / Dietary Fiber 2 g / Total Sugars 29 g / Total Fat 24 g / Saturated Fat 5 g / Cholesterol 53 mg
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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653 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Kelly C March 15, 2017, 11:07 am

    Can this recipe be made into a 13×9 pan? And with the same amount of ingredients? If so, what would be your estimated cooking time?

    Reply
    • Joanne June 29, 2017, 4:49 pm

      This should work, but you might find that the baking time changes slightly.

      Reply
  • Alicia H Miguel March 12, 2017, 11:39 pm

    I used sour cream instead of cream.

    Reply
  • Victoria March 12, 2017, 9:34 pm

    What a fantastic recipe! I made this for folks at work to show appreciation for team spirit and it was an instant hit! I was asked to bake another which I just made. Only after taking the cakes out of the oven realized oh darn I forgot to add the salt!! Will it still be fantastic?

    Reply
    • Joanne April 28, 2017, 5:10 pm

      Hi Victoria, You should be fine if you left out the salt.

      Reply
  • Anne March 12, 2017, 9:02 pm

    This recipe was a hit for my husband’s birthday! I switched up the cream cheese with Neufchâtel and it was still delicious. The only thing I would change would be less baking time.

    Reply
  • Rebeca Canova March 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

    Made this for a birthday party. Everyone loved it! Even people who didn’t want cake tried it and had seconds. I removed rasins and it turned out the right level of sweet.

    Reply
  • colleen stenholt March 12, 2017, 2:10 pm

    Love this cake and so did everyone at the party!!! Followed the recipe and added pineapple — it was a big hit. I would give this a 5 star plus!

    Reply
    • Sara April 11, 2017, 11:59 am

      How much pineapple did you add and what kind (crushed, diced)and did you drain it? Did you cut back on any other ingredients. It sounds like it would be yummy.

      Reply
    • Linda nagri April 12, 2017, 1:08 pm

      How much pineapple did you use

      Reply
  • Mary March 12, 2017, 1:49 pm

    Yummers. Yes I made it over and over

    Reply
  • Sharifah March 10, 2017, 7:38 am

    Is it okay if I only use 200grams of brown sugar without 200grams of granules sugar? I quite worry if it is going to be very sweet.

    Reply
    • Joanne June 29, 2017, 4:49 pm

      This would be cutting the sugar by 50% — this may be a bit much. I recommend reducing by 25% to 30% at first.

      Reply
  • Lisa March 8, 2017, 1:31 pm

    Can’t wait to make this for my Dad who is visiting me in California from Montana next week.
    I have a question about the frosting though… Is it a sweeter frosting or does the cream cheese have a more prominent flavor? Thanks!

    Lisa

    Reply
    • Joanne June 29, 2017, 4:46 pm

      Hi Lisa, the frosting tastes more creamy than anything else. It is not overly sweet.

      Reply
  • Harini March 6, 2017, 3:44 am

    With this one recipe, I have achieved an instant promotion in the family from someone who has never baked and is a clumsy cook- to star baker. Thank God I found this!

    Reply

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