Ginger Carrot Cake

Indulge in a moist and flavorful ginger carrot cake with the perfect balance of sweetness and spice. Impress your guests or treat yourself to something special.

Spring is carrot cake season, and this year we’re sharing a 3 layer carrot cake with a special ingredient: freshly grated ginger.

Ginger Carrot Cake is the perfect combination of sweet cake and crunchy pecans, topped with an almond spiced buttercream frosting. It’s elegant, but so easy that even the most beginner baker can perfect it.

a ginger carrot cake on a cake plate with a large slice out

About this Ginger Carrot Cake

  • Flavor: This cake is sweet, but has a spicy kick to it as well thanks to the ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. It pairs well with the creamy almond flavored buttercream.
  • Texture: The cake is full of texture from the grated carrots and nuts. The smooth frosting is just what this cake needs.
  • Method: You’ll bake this cake in 3 8-inch round cake pans. It stands very tall!

Does carrot cake have ginger?

Not every carrot cake has ginger. Our most popular recipe does not. But carrot cake adds such a fresh zing to carrot cake, I highly recommend it if you love ginger flavor. Ginger pairs well with sugar and cinnamon which are found in this cake.

a piece of carrot cake on a plate with one bite on a fork

Baking with Fresh Ginger

I don’t bake with fresh ginger often, but it makes such a fabulous flavored cake. Here’s what to do if you’ve never worked with fresh ginger.

  1. Choose fresh and firm ginger with smooth skin.
  2. Use a sharp peeler or spoon to remove the skin.
  3. Grate the ginger using a fine grater.
  4. Use the grated ginger immediately in this cake recipe or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.

Don’t want to use fresh ginger? Add about 1 teaspoon ground ginger to the dry ingredients of the cake.


The ingredients you’ll need for the cake:

ingredients for fresh ginger carrot cake on a table

Most are pantry staples. You may not have fresh ginger, but you can pick that up in the produce section of most grocery stores.

Also, this recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract. I like to use our homemade pure vanilla extract.

Tips for Making Carrot Ginger Cake

  • Mix the wet ingredients and dry ingredients separately, then put them together. Mix until they are just combined and smooth.
  • For this recipe, I like to use an electric mixer. Set to medium-high speed to mix the ingredients quickly.
  • Use a food processor or grater to grate the ginger and carrots. I usually use a food processor for the carrots and a hand grater for the fresh ginger.
  • Use our famous cake release to grease the pans. The cakes will come out of the pans cleanly, every time.
  • Test the cakes with a toothpick in the center of the cake. It’s ok if a few moist crumbs come out on it, but it should have no batter on it.
  • Allow the cakes to cool completely before you start frosting them.
  • Use any remaining frosting to make dollops or swirls on top of the cake. Here’s an example of how you can decorate the cake:
top view of a carrot cake with pecans on top

Recipe Variations

Storage Instructions

  • Room temperature: Because of the cream cheese, I do not recommend storing this cake at room temperature.
  • Refrigerator: Store this cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Bring to room temperature before eating.
  • Freezer: Freeze the cake whole or sliced in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Thaw at room temperature before eating.
a ginger carrot cake on a plate with one piece missing
a ginger carrot cake on a plate with one piece missing

Ginger Carrot Cake

4.75 from 12 votes
Indulge in a moist and flavorful ginger carrot cake with the perfect balance of sweetness and spice. Impress your guests or treat yourself to something special.
Servings 15
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Assembly Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes


For the cake:

For the frosting:


Make the cakes:

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease three 8-inch round cake pans with shortening, then dust with flour. (See notes at the bottom)
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, mix together the sugar, oil and vanilla extract. Add in the eggs and mix until smooth.
  • In a separate medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Whisk the flour mixture until fully combined. Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the wet egg mixture. Mix until smooth.
  • Using a rubber spatula, fold in the grated ginger, carrots and chopped pecans.
  • Pour the cake batter equally into the prepared cake pans. Place them in the preheated oven and bake for 40 minutes or until the centers come out clean with a toothpick (or it can have a few moist crumbs).
  • Let the cake cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pans. Allow to cool completely on wire racks before assembling and decorating.

Make the frosting:

  • Place the room temperature cream cheese, butter, almond extract and cinnamon in a large bowl or stand mixer. Blend until smooth.
  • Slowly add in the powdered sugar in batches and blend until smooth.

Assemble the cake:

  • With a serrated knife, cut and even out the rounded tops of each cake layer. Place a small dollop of frosting in the middle of the cake plate. Then place one cake layer on the cake plate.
  • Then add ¼ of your frosting on top of that layer and evenly spread out. Add a second layer, cut side down on the top. Add ¼ of your frosting and even spread once more. Add the final cake layer, cut side down, and use the remaining ½ of your frosting to evenly frost the top and sides of the cake.
  • Decorate if you wish with more frosting dollops (I would suggest doubling the frosting recipe if you want to do this), garnish with more chopped and whole pecans.
  • Store in the fridge until you are ready to serve.


  • To prevent sticking, a tip is to trace and cut parchment paper to line the bottom of each cake pan. This allows for easy removal of the cake layers from the pans.
  • Store leftover cake cover or in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Because of the cream cheese frosting, do not store at room temperature. Cake can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • For easier assembly and decorating; I suggest after the cake layers have completely cooled, wrap loosely with plastic wrap and freeze for 1 hour before assembling to prevent crumbling.
  • I would suggest doubling the frosting recipe if you want to pipe or decorate the cake with additional embellishments.
Refer to the article above for more tips and tricks.
The calories shown are based on the cake being cut into 15 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 slice of cake. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**


Calories: 617kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 271mg | Potassium: 222mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 54g | Vitamin A: 4033IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 1mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 617
Keyword 3 layer cake recipe, carrot cake recipe, easter cake

Other Carrot Cake Recipes

About Julie Clark

We are Julie, Maddie, and Kinslee – a mother and daughter team sharing with you the best cakes to satisfy any need or sweet craving that you may have. Welcome to our family’s kitchen!

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