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.

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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

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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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605 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Catherine October 1, 2017, 10:26 am

    Love this carrot cake recipe, it’s very moist & yummylicious. I substitute the pecan with almonds. With the frosting the whole cake taste superb & fabulouscious. Thanks for sharing this easy to make recipe.

    Reply
  • Zhwan October 1, 2017, 8:34 am

    This is truely the most delicious carrt cake! However I haven’t made the frosting yet but will definitely try it.

    Reply
    • Nicholas Georges October 22, 2017, 5:43 pm

      Never baked a cake before, but loved the Walnut Carrot cake served at Costa Coffee for nearly £3.00 a sluce, so decided to try it. Absolutely out of this World delicious!!! I hand delivered it to my Daughter, and she, and her Husband RAVED about how moist and light it was. I admit I used a capful of Amaretto to the Icing, which was beautiful by the way, and made this cake STELLAR! Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe!

      Reply
  • Val Castro September 29, 2017, 6:18 pm

    I made this cake today and followed recipe to the t. My cake suck in the middle. What did I do wrong?? It’s a birthday cake for my sister tomorrow and I am almost embarrassed to take it.

    Reply
    • Joanne November 22, 2017, 5:11 pm

      Whenever we have a cake that’s not baking as expected (especially in the middle), we will cover it loosely with aluminum foil and let it continue to bake until done. If the outside of the cake seems to be over-baking while this happens, you can reduce the oven temperature by about 25 degrees F, cover then bake.

      Reply
  • Buffy September 29, 2017, 4:14 pm

    Used this recipe for a “Bunny Butt Carrot Cake” came out perfect!!

    Reply
  • Mrs. Baker September 28, 2017, 1:31 am

    Cake is delicious, frosting it way too loose. Even after doubling the powdered sugar and allowing the frosting to set up in the fridge for over an hour before frosting the cake, the 2 layers of cake slide apart and the frosting dripped off the side. Use the cake recipe, but find a stiffer cream cheese frosting recipe to use.

    Reply
    • Peggy October 5, 2017, 11:09 am

      I found that increasing the heavy cream to 1/2 cup & set in the fridge 1/2 hr. makes a much stiffer frosting but still very light or make frosting as written, then beat 1/3 heavy cream till stiff & fold in to frosting also works, but the easiest is the 1st tip. DELICIOUS!!!

      Reply
    • Veronica October 17, 2017, 4:19 pm

      Too true Mrs. Baker! The frosting is still flooding (for lack of better word!) the base of my delicious carrot cake! Having to think fast here!! Wish l had seen your comment first!

      Reply
  • Christine September 26, 2017, 5:58 pm

    This carrot cake is super easy to make and always turns out great. I have made it a few times and it always goes down a treat and the house smells amazing as it bakes! I replaced the nuts with choc chips due to nut allergies and still works out well albeit a little bit naughty.

    Reply
  • Renita September 25, 2017, 6:45 pm

    Just made and recipe just like it says!!! Moist and delicious!!!

    Reply
  • Mary September 25, 2017, 5:39 pm

    Just made it tonight. What a lush cake!! Followed the recipe to a dot, except replaced pecans for hazelnuts and almonds and baked as a one big lump and then slice thru. Beautiful and moist and totally scrumptious! ❤️

    Reply
  • Anya Heini September 25, 2017, 3:52 pm

    This was a fabulous carrot cake. I used it for my sons birthday cake. Happy to send a picture if you need one. Thank you so much! Anya from Lucerne

    Reply
  • Linda Leone September 25, 2017, 7:33 am

    After reading all the great reviews, I can’t wait to make this!!!!

    Reply

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