The Best Carrot Cake Ever with Cream Cheese Frosting! Moist, delicious and full of carrots and walnuts, the cinnamon gives the cake a warm spicy flavor. The cream cheese frosting makes it decadent!
Here’s a secret…this is actually easy to make!
This recipe is pretty simple. You want a carrot cake, you’re getting carrot cake. Bonus: you’re getting carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. The recipe has 4 cups of grated carrots in it. In my pre-food processor days, I would grate them by hand because I loved this cake so much. I had a lot of scuffed up knuckles back then! But you don’t have to do that now, it’s a piece of cake with a food processor. We’re going to make this delicious carrot cake with cream cheese together so let’s gather the ingredients.
We start this delicious homemade carrot cake by placing the sugar, vegetable oil and eggs in a large bowl. Beat the ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer for 3 – 5 minutes until the batter is very creamy.
Sift the flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon together in a large bowl. Add the sifted ingredients to the batter and beat at low speed for about 1 minute.
Stir in the grated carrots and crushed walnuts or pecans. Spread the batter into a greased and floured 13×9 inch baking pan. Bake the cake at 300 degrees for one hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack. It’s time to make the cream cheese frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
- 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
We start the frosting by letting the cream cheese and butter come to room temperature. That’s important ok, not just for this cream cheese frosting recipe but for all cream cheese frosting recipes. The two ingredients won’t come together properly unless they are room temperature. Place the room temperature cream cheese and butter into a large bowl. Beat the two together until they are well combined. Add the vanilla extract to the bowl and beat until all the ingredients are well combined.
Gradually beat in the 1 cup of confectioners sugar until the frosting is creamy. Frost the top of your homemade carrot cake. Try to keep your fingers out of the frosting bowl when you do it!
This cake bakes up nice and tall and is loaded with carrots and walnuts or pecans if you prefer. The cinnamon gives it a warm spicy flavor that we love. When you’re thinking about what’s going to go on your dessert table for special occasions or holiday celebrations, think…The Best Carrot Cake Ever with Cream Cheese Frosting! Enjoy!
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The Best Carrot Cake Ever with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 21/4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 Teaspoons salt
- 2 Teaspoons baking soda
- 2 Teaspoons cinnamon
- 4 cups grated carrots (not shredded carrots, grated carrots)
- 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts, walnuts or pecans are very good
Cream Cheese Frosting
- I always double the frosting ingredients, the recipe below is a single batch
- one 8 ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 Teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- Combine sugar, oil and eggs in a large bowl, beat at medium speed for 3 -5 minutes until the batter is very creamy . Sift dry ingredients ( flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon) together. Add to oil mixture and beat at low speed for 1 minute. Stir in grated carrots and nuts. Spread batter in a greased and floured 9×13 baking pan. Bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour or until it tests done with a toothpick. When cool, frost with cream cheese frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting Directions:Let cream cheese and butter warm to room temperature. Beat them together and add vanilla. Gradually beat in confectioners sugar.
Looking for more carrot dessert recipes, try one of these from other bloggers.
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A sister in law had a recipe similar (was best I ever had!!) Only difference she had added crushed pineapple. Absolutley the bomb!!!
facebook friend, I’ve never added pineapple to the recipe but I bet if you only made the recipe with 3 cups of carrots and made the difference up with a cup of crushed pineapple well drained it work well. We love it the way it is,bu the addition of pineapple sounds good too!! Thank you so much for stopping by!
Thank You for a recipe WITHOUT pineapple!! I am highly allergic to it and this is the first recipe I have seen that doesn’t have it as an ingredient.
Wondering if I could make this cake into cupcakes?
My first introduction to carrot cake was as a newlywed in 1970 – bride from TX. On honeymoon, we stopped at Peaks of Otter Lodge on the Blue Ridge Parkway. They had a fantastic restaurant and buffet that people came many miles for.
I loved the carrot cake, and the chef, Hill Pref, gave me his recipe which I still use. Same as yours, except he only used 3 cups of carrots.
Joan Fisher Demshock
Also have a recipe from Riverwatch Cafe in Baltimore which does theirs with rum soaked raisins and crushed pineapple. A very good cake, but I think I still prefer a plain carrot cake – maybe just because of the sentimental factor.
Anonymous your welcome! I’ve never had a carrot cake with pineapple in it, I imagine it’s very good…but not for you! Glad you can make this recipe!
Jennifer Drscoll, yes you can make it into cupcakes, that would be great. You could freeze some of them for later use!
Joan I’m with you, I prefer plain carrot cake too. Well it’s nice to know that the recipe I’ve been making all these yrs is close to a chef’s recipe and loved!
Can I replace the vegetable oil with applesauce?
Mary, this looks fantastic! I love carrot cake, and I love that you made this one simple as a sheet cake. Off to pin right now. ~ [email protected]
Juliet, I’ve never used applesauce in place of a fat in a cake before. The only suggestion I have is to cut the cake recipe in half and use the applesauce. If it works well then you know it can be done. Also come back and let me know so other people can make it that way as well!
So ddelicious, the cream cheese icing makes it the bomb!😋
Melissa, thank you so much for visiting and pinning the recipe! Your blog is fantastic!
The cake mix for carrot cake mentioned adding pineapple several years back. I added that and nuts and my ladies in my group raved about how good it was. I know this would be better since it is made from scratch.
Thank you Saundra, I’m so glad the ladies loved it!
Sometimes I add chopped dried apricots to this. They don’t overwhelm the cake but add so much bite and moistness.
Well isn’t that nice Laurel, I never would have thought of adding dried apricots! I bet that adds alot to the cake, thank you for letting me know!
I have never made a cake before that didn’t have vanilla in it. Is this right of is this a misprint omitting the vanilla. Until I hear from you I’m going to add 1 tsp. just to be sure.
This is the way I’ve always made it, it can’t hurt to add vanilla though Janice.
Is this for High altitude on the flour?
No Linda, you would have to adjust for high altitude.
I love Carrot Cake but so many people put canned pineapple in it! OOF! This looks great! I’m going to try this but with 1/2 & 1/2 carrots & coconut! Yum!
Thank you Karen.
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Hey I only have an 8 inch round pan and I think it would be good to use a round pan considering I’m planning on making this a birthday cake. But my question is if I should still bake it at 300deg for an hour?
Your using two 8 inch pans to make the recipe? I don’t know if the batter will fit in two 8 inch pans Alicia. Maybe 9 inch but I’m not sure about 8 inch.