Are you looking for the best carrot cake recipe? Try this moist, homemade spice carrot cake with 3 cups of shredded carrots. Top with cream cheese frosting and a sprinkling of nuts. Serve in a 9×13 pan or make a layered cake.
Best Carrot Cake Recipe
Vegetables and dessert do not usually go together. But when you are talking carrot cake, the combination totally works. Carrot cake is an easy way to slip in a few veggies in an unexpected way.
Moist Carrot Cake
What makes this carrot cake moist? Oil and eggs obviously work together to make this cake moist. But any time you add vegetables or fruit to cake, you get an extra boost of moisture from the water that is in the vegetables. There are three cups of shredded carrots packed into this cake. We like to keep our shredded carrots small (you know…so the kids don’t notice them as much). Feel free to actually shred them with a shredded, or use a food processor to chop them into fine pieces. Either will work.
How to Make Carrot Cake
We show this carrot cake made in a 9×13″ cake pan. You can also bake this in two 8″ round pans and make a pretty layer cake. If you choose to make a layer cake, be sure to both grease the pans with shortening and then dust them with flour so the cakes come out cleanly. If you bake the cake in a 9×13″ pan, simply greasing the pan is just fine.
This easy carrot cake recipe is one of those 1-bowl cakes. Mix it all up in one bowl. It’s really difficult to mess this cake up!
Carrot Cake Frosting
We use our favorite cream cheese frosting for this cake. You can keep things simple and use store-bought frosting if you’d like, but this cream cheese frosting? It’s the best. No kidding. Creamy and melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
TOOLS NEEDED TO MAKE THIS CAKE
- 9”x13” Baking Pan: One of my most used kitchen pans.
- Stand Mixer: A hand mixer will work, but I always find it easier to make cake batter & frostings with a stand mixer.
- Beater Blade with Scraper: The best invention ever!
- Ninja Express Chop: Mini food processor…this is one of my most-used kitchen tools and perfect for chopping the carrots and walnuts for this cake.
For the cake:
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups canola oil
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 3 cups raw shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
For the frosting:
- 8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
- 3/4 cup butter (softened)
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray a 13x9" baking pan with cooking spray.
- Mix together the sugar and oil.
- Add the eggs and beat until well mixed.
- Add the flour, baking soda and powder, salt, and cinnamon. Mix well.
- Fold in the carrots and nuts.
- Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 55 minutes, or until the center of the cake springs back when you touch it.
- Allow the cake to cool completely.
- Make the frosting. Using an electric mixer, mix the butter and cream cheese, scraping down the sides as needed, until the mixture is light and fluffy. This will take about 3 minutes.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar, 1/2 a cup at a time, until it is thoroughly mixed.
- Add the vanilla and beat the frosting on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
- Spread the frosting on the cooled cake.
- Sprinkle the top of the cake with additional nuts if desired.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 24 hours and in the refrigerator for longer than 24 hours.