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
  • Silvia December 8, 2017, 9:40 am

    Simply the best carrot cake ever. Quick and easy recipe. Moist and fluffy sponge . I only change the the sugar to 1 cup to make it less sweet and I added walnuts too so it was more nutty . Your recipe is the number 1. Thank you for sharing

    Reply
  • Mei December 7, 2017, 1:28 pm

    Can I use 1 to 1 flour and make this gluten free? Thank you so much.

    Reply
    • Joanne February 8, 2018, 4:01 pm

      Hi Mei, We have never tried this in our own kitchen, but I believe other commenters have done this with no issues. Gluten-free flour mixes usually work wonders with muffins and quick breads. This cake is more similar to that than a airy cake so I’m pretty confident you can use the substitute.

      Reply
  • Yasmin December 4, 2017, 3:06 pm

    The best carrot cake recipe. The sponge has the perfect texture and is incredibly moist. I added some cardamom to the cream cheese frosting and it was simply divine!!!!

    Reply
  • Susan December 3, 2017, 4:41 pm

    This is the best carrot cake I have ever had! And without a doubt the best cream cheese frosting. This was my first time making either, and it was surprisingly simple. We tend to like things less sweet, so I used half of the sugar in the cake (1/2 c each of white and brown sugar), and 1c powdered sugar for the icing. Instead of 1 1/4 c oil, I used 1 c unsweetened apple sauce and 1/4 c canola oil. The cake was super moist. I did add the raisins, but not the nuts. If you do not have an electric mixer, do not despair! For the icing, a simple wooden spoon works to cream the room-temperature cream cheese, and a fork helps to fluff it, especially when the powdered sugar is introduced. I also used a little food processor/chopper (that we use for making hummus) to chop the carrots. Worked great. I made this cake yesterday, and my husband already wants me to make another one. Thank you! Great recipe!

    Reply
  • Michelle December 3, 2017, 1:33 am

    You guys saved me! I’d been keeping a carrot cake recipe from a friend for years. When I was assigned dessert duty for Thanksgiving, I couldn’t wait to take out that old recipe and proudly present a perfect and delicious carrot cake on Thanksgiving Day! When the time came, I pulled out my old recipe and got to work. I followed the directions carefully and checked everything multiple times. When I finished the batter and was preparing to put it into the cake pan, it looked a little weird. I put it in the oven and hoped for the best. 45 minutes later, it came out an oily, mushy, yet burned MESS. I was so sad (as were my fingers from all of the grating) all of that work for this? I had no idea what had happened. I even had all new ingredients! I only had enough ingredients for one more attempt and there was no time to battle the crowds at the grocery store if it turned out weird again. Rather than chance it on what might just be a bad recipe, I searched for a new one. I came across this recipe and got to work. This was a huge risk, however, and I wasn’t going to be able to taste it until dessert time. When dessert was served on Thanksgiving Day, I took a bite of this cake and was amazed! This was THE BEST CARROT CAKE I’VE EVER HAD! Moist, velvety, sweet but not too sweet, and delicious! The room was quiet as people licked every last crumb off their forks and plates, then went back for more. I have another one in the oven now for the church potluck tomorrow that I managed to whip up easily at midnight after a very long day. This is the best carrot cake I’ve ever had (and I’ve had a lot) and it was SO EASY. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Reply
  • Leisa Epps December 2, 2017, 5:48 pm

    I made the cake but my frosting came out runny. I followed directions should they be more than 1 1/4 cups of powder sugar or how long did you beat the frosting after you added the whip cream

    Reply
    • Joanne February 8, 2018, 4:06 pm

      Hi Leisa, Sorry you had trouble with the recipe. It helps to have the cream quite cold. You can try adding more powdered sugar or use a little less cream.

      Reply
  • Rhian November 30, 2017, 6:20 pm

    Simply the best carrot cake ever – moist, not too sweet, delicious frosting, and so quick and easy to make

    Reply
  • V.Williams November 30, 2017, 10:41 am

    I’ve been searching for the perfect texture for carrot cake, finally did!!..My adjustments were 2 flax eggs plus 2 eggs, 1/2 the oli, 3-4 cups carrot. Just awesome, thank you!!!

    Reply
  • Dee Dee November 27, 2017, 2:43 pm

    I am a baker, and this is the best carrot cake ever. Out Back steak house u have desert competition. Thanks for the recipe!!

    Reply
  • Mkgal November 27, 2017, 9:04 am

    I made this cake for Thanksgiving and all I can say is OMG; it was delicious and moist. My family loved it. What I liked the most is that I already had the ingredients and just needed to put it together. The recipe was very easy to follow. I will definitely be making this again and again.

    Reply

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