Cakes/ Fruit Desserts

Carrot Cake

May 17, 2014

Easy recipe for a moist carrot cake loaf, topped with a sweet and tangy classic cream cheese frosting.

The Best Carrot Cake

I remember the first time my mom handed me a piece of carrot cake. She had her way of making us, her children, taste something without telling us what it was made of. She knew we wouldnโ€™t eat it if she did ๐Ÿ˜‰ Although I was skeptical about the orange color the cake had, I went for it anyway because Iโ€™m always hungry. One bite is all it took for me to fall in love with carrot cakes. The cake was melt-in-your-mouth-moist and so flavorful that I couldnโ€™t even tell there were carrots in it.

Although carrot cakes are usually made as round cakes with multiple layers, I like mine simple, baked in a loaf and eaten alongside coffee or tea. Itโ€™s my morning energy snack. Because of the carrots, I like to believe itโ€™s healthy.

The Best Carrot Cake

This cake is super moist – even when eaten straight from the fridge. If you havenโ€™t tried a carrot cake before (I mean, really?) then you should know that this cake doesnโ€™t really taste like carrots. As with any traditional carrot cake, you can definitely taste the spices in there, yet itโ€™s not overly spiced.

In this recipe, I used oil rather than butter. The cake is so flavorful that we donโ€™t need to add butter for flavor. Oil makes this cake fluffy and oh-so-moist. I used an equal amount of brown sugar and white (granulated) sugar because thatโ€™s how I like it. You can use either just white sugar or brown sugar or a combination of the two. Brown sugar has a molasses taste and it makes the baked good moister than white sugar does. Yet if you just stick to the recipe, you wonโ€™t regret anything ๐Ÿ™‚ I love my carrot cake with walnuts, but you can replace it with raisins or use both raisins and nuts (about 1 – 1 1/4 cups in total), or even shredded coconut.

This carrot cake is very easy to make! Start by whisking the eggs and sugar until fluffy and thoroughly combined for about a minute or two, then add the oil slowly in a steady stream, and then fold in the grated carrots. You can grate the carrots either by hand on a box graterย or in a food processor fitted with a large or fine shredding disk. Next, fold in the dry ingredients and nuts and youโ€™re done!
Grating the carrots is easier than you think! It really didnโ€™t take me that long, and I used a box grater.

The Best Carrot Cake

The cream cheese frosting is a classic, but sometimes I omit it because the cake is still delicious on its own! What makes the frosting stiff is the powdered sugar. Add as much powdered sugar as you like. I donโ€™t like a frosting that is overly sweet so I donโ€™t add a lot of sugar. If your frosting is still quite runny yet you donโ€™t want to add more sugar, just pour the frosting over the cake in the pan and refrigerate it. It will firm up once chilled.

4.9 from 11 reviews
Carrot Cake
Yields: one standard loaf pan (9ร—5-inch)
 
Easy recipe for a moist carrot cake loaf, topped with a sweet and tangy classic cream cheese frosting.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (140 grams or 5 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, optional
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves, optional
  • ½ cup (100 grams or 3.5 ounces) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (100 grams or 3.5 ounces) light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 large egg
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon (135 ml) canola oil (or vegetable, safflower)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 180 grams (about 2 large or 3 medium carrots or 1 and ½ cups) grated carrots
  • ½ cup (50 grams) pecans or walnuts, roughly chopped
Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 4 ounces (115 grams) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • ¼ cup (55 grams or ½ stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • ½ cup (60 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Butter a 9ร—5-inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.
  3. In a mixer bowl fitted with paddle attachment, beat together eggs, granulated sugar and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. On low speed and with the mixer running, add the oil slowly and beat until combined. Beat in vanilla extract until combined, then turn off mixer. Fold in (by hand) carrots until combined. Fold in dry ingredients just until combined. Donโ€™t overmix. Fold in nuts.
  4. Pour the batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow cake to cool completely.
  5. To make the frosting: In a mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract on medium speed for 1 minute until creamy and combined thoroughly. Add powdered sugar and beat until the mixture is fluffy and smooth. If the frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached. You can add pinch of salt or lemon juice to cut the sweetness. Spread frosting over the top of the cooled cake. Decorate with walnuts or pecans if desired.
Notes
*Store cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
*Cake is best served at room temperature.


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75 Comments

  • Reply
    Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice
    May 18, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is the ultimate dessert, and this one looks amazing! Beautiful pictures, too!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      May 18, 2014 at 5:19 pm

      Thanks Gayle! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Lilli @ Sugar and Cinnamon
    May 19, 2014 at 3:10 am

    I love carrot cake! How does yours look so perfect! It looks so pretty with the walnuts scattered on top ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      Shiran
      May 19, 2014 at 8:02 am

      Thanks Lilli! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Kristine @ Kristine's Kitchen
    May 19, 2014 at 3:33 am

    Oh, wow, does this ever look delicious! I haven’t had carrot cake in a while, and wish I had a slice of this right now. Love the cream cheese frosting! Pinned. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      Shiran
      May 19, 2014 at 8:05 am

      Thanks Kristine ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Tanisha
    September 9, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Hi….this looks sooooo yum!!! Could you help me if I want to make carrot muffins instead of the whole cake?? How to go abt it?? Thanks in advance!!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      September 9, 2014 at 1:38 pm

      Hi Tanisha! You can definitely make muffins with this recipe. It should yield about 12 standard-sized muffins. Preheat oven to 375F/190C, fill the muffins cups 2/3 to 3/4 full with batter, and bake the muffins for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean.

      • Reply
        Tanisha
        September 11, 2014 at 6:45 am

        Thank you so much!! Really appreciate!! :))

  • Reply
    Tanisha
    September 11, 2014 at 11:55 pm

    I tried your lemon muffins and they were simply yummilicious!! Thanks for amazing recipe. For this carrot recipe…is it possible to replace eggs?? Thanks

    • Reply
      Shiran
      September 12, 2014 at 12:58 pm

      Thanks Tanisha, I’m glad you like them! In some cases, you can substitute 1 egg with 1/4 cup yogurt or with 1 tablespoon ground Flax seeds plus 3 tablespoons water. But, it doesn’t always bring the best results and since I haven’t tried it myself with this specific recipe, I’m not sure what will be the the outcome. If you want to make muffins instead of a cake, they might turn out too soft without eggs.

      • Reply
        Tanisha
        October 26, 2014 at 1:15 pm

        Thank you so much! I shall try these with eggs ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Reply
          Tanisha
          October 30, 2014 at 6:46 am

          I tried this cake recipe. Made cupcakes instead of single cake and wow….what yummmmmm!!! Thanks for this excellent recipe. Cream cheese frosting goes perfectly!! ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Shiran
            October 30, 2014 at 6:14 pm

            Thank you Tanisha! I’m so glad you like it ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Nancy
    January 1, 2015 at 10:27 am

    The carrot cake recipe in a loaf is the recipe I’ve been looking for! Looks delicious!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      January 3, 2015 at 8:21 am

      Thank you Nancy! I’m sure you’ll love it!

  • Reply
    Naomi
    January 20, 2015 at 9:22 am

    Hi Shiran
    I made your carrot cake yesterday. My mother-in-law popped round today and spotted it, in its naked state without frosting. We both had slice with a cup of tea and even without the frosting it was so delicious and moist.

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. It is fantastic. I will off course frost my cake to enable my husband to enjoy this cake at its best. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Thanks again Naomi

    • Reply
      Shiran
      January 22, 2015 at 4:20 pm

      Hi Naomi! Thank you so much for the sweet comment ๐Ÿ™‚ I actually don’t always frost this cake myself, and enjoy it without the frosting next to my coffee or tea. It is super moist, isn’t it?! I’m glad you and your mom enjoyed it and hope that your husband will, too! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    sweett
    February 1, 2015 at 6:01 am

    came out really well ..i had added some pineapples too..tanx a lot!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      February 1, 2015 at 7:41 am

      Pineapple is the perfect addition to carrot cakes! I’m glad you like it and thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Sheena
    February 4, 2015 at 11:00 am

    Look so good!! I find that carrot cake always has a cream cheese icing. I really don’t like cream cheese ( I know I know , I’m crazy) ๐Ÿ˜‰ what would you suggest for another icing? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      Shiran
      February 4, 2015 at 11:30 am

      Hi Sheena! The cake itself is so good, that sometimes I leave out the frosting. Still, sweetened whipped cream/mascarpone or white chocolate buttercream are a perfect combination to this cake. Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Reply
        Sheena
        February 4, 2015 at 3:03 pm

        Thanks so much!!

  • Reply
    ba
    February 8, 2015 at 6:11 am

    first time ever i baked a carrot cake and based on your recipe cant believe yet i made it the cake was yummy, thanks so much

    • Reply
      Shiran
      February 8, 2015 at 11:21 am

      I’m so glad you like it! Thank you so much ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Reply
        ba
        February 9, 2015 at 10:57 pm

        Hi Shiran can carrot be replaced with pineapple i have a desire to make pineapple cake now:)

        • Reply
          Shiran
          February 10, 2015 at 6:44 am

          Since carrot cakes rely on a large amount of carrots for structure, texture and taste, this specific cake will only work with carrots. You’ve just reminded me of my pineapple upside-down cake though, that I really have to post sometime!

  • Reply
    Icy Dice
    August 19, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    This looks really good and mines is in the oven right now. I noticed that while making the recipe in the ingredients say to put vilnilla extract in the cake but when I read the instructions it never mentions when to put the vilnilla in the cake. I’m not sure if this is a mistake or I’m just not finding it.

    • Reply
      Shiran
      August 20, 2015 at 5:35 pm

      You’re right, it’s not mentioned in the instructions, sorry about that! I added it now, but even if you didn’t use it, the cake should still taste amazing! I hope you liked it!

  • Reply
    Dee
    November 1, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    I tried this recipe with coconut oil today and it was absolutely amazing! My fiance said he couldn’t help himself and ended up having three servings for desert! LOVE LOVE LOVE it!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      November 2, 2015 at 8:44 am

      I’m so glad! Thank you so much for your comment ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    shiva
    November 7, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    Hi!
    I baked this but mines didnt rise! why? :'(

    • Reply
      Shiran
      November 8, 2015 at 7:39 am

      Hi Shiva! Sorry to hear your cake didn’t rise, I know how frustrating it can be! It could be a number of things; either that your baking powder/soda is expired, or that the oven temperature isn’t accurate and therefore the cake isn’t baked properly or long enough.

  • Reply
    Jaymie
    November 14, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    Hi there! ^-^
    This recipe looks absolutely delicious and I can’t wait to try it out~!
    However I do have two questions before I can try it.
    How does this recipe need to be modified to work for two 8×4″ pans?
    Also, how well does this recipe hold up to freezing?
    I like to make multiple loaves at once so I can enjoy one, take one to work and freeze a couple for later enjoyment!
    Looking forward to more delicious recipes~!
    Jaymie.

    • Reply
      Shiran
      November 16, 2015 at 2:51 am

      Hi Jaymie ๐Ÿ™‚ Are you trying to make an 8″ layer cake? If so, check out the instructions here. This cake freezes well! The cake or cake layers (without the frosting) can be wrapped tight with plastic wrap and frozen for up to 2 months. Defrost it overnight in the fridge before using, or if you don’t want to wait for that long, let it thaw in room temperature.

      • Reply
        Jaymie
        November 19, 2015 at 10:19 pm

        Not cake, the bread but in two 8 by 4″ pans as opposed to one 9 by 5″ pan.
        Thank you for the information on freezing!

        • Reply
          Shiran
          November 22, 2015 at 2:14 pm

          Ok, I understand now ๐Ÿ™‚ I haven’t tried it so I’m not sure. I think the best option would be to multiply the recipe by 1.5 to ensure that the cakes would be tall enough. If you end up with too much batter, you can use the leftover to make muffins. Also, you’ll need to reduce the baking time for the cakes.

  • Reply
    Antonio
    November 18, 2015 at 2:03 am

    Great, I was really afraid to try a posted recipe. convertions to metrical units is unique and really works.
    thanks

    • Reply
      Shiran
      November 18, 2015 at 7:23 am

      You’re welcome, Antonio ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for your comment!

  • Reply
    cara
    December 13, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    So maybe a dumb question but does it have to be refrigerated? Is it Because of the cream cheese in the frosting?

    • Reply
      Shiran
      December 14, 2015 at 10:41 am

      It’s definitely not a dumb question! And yes, it’s because of the cream cheese in the frosting. If you only make the cake without the frosting, you don’t have to refrigerate it.

      • Reply
        Cara
        December 14, 2015 at 10:45 am

        Thank you! Made it last night and its delicious. Gunna add some pineapple next time for some tanginess ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Reply
          Shiran
          December 14, 2015 at 5:55 pm

          Great! Thank you for your comment ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Maschell
    December 28, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    Hi! I made this and it was delicious! But just wondering why mine looks like it didn’t bake as high as in your picture? I also used a 9×5 loaf pan as you listed in the recipe. Does your photographed cake use a different size pan? Thank you!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      December 29, 2015 at 9:42 am

      Hi Maschell ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t remember exactly, but I usually use my 9*5 pan. However, if you want a taller cake, you can use an 8ยฝ*4ยผ-inch loaf pan instead, just make sure not to overload it with batter.

  • Reply
    Tapu
    January 31, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    Great recipe! I made it just per your instructions, but just didn’t have nutmeg on hand… It came out moist, soft and yummy even without it, so I can imagine next time it would be even better with the nutmeg powder. Definitely a keeper! Thanks!!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      February 3, 2016 at 12:10 pm

      That’s ok, it’s delicious even without the nutmeg! I’m glad you like it! Thank you so much ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Fatemeh
    March 2, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    Followed the recipe exactly, and the carrot loaf turned out to be great! thanks Shiran!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      March 3, 2016 at 2:52 am

      So happy to hear that! Thank you, Fatemeh ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Taylor
    April 23, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    I can’t wait to make this! Since I moved to the UK it’s been hard to find recipes on Pinterest that also have Grams! thank you so much for sharing this!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      April 24, 2016 at 6:54 am

      Thank YOU Taylor ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Alyssa
    July 3, 2016 at 3:23 am

    Just tried this today and even though I’m new to your blog, I just had to comment….DELICIOUS! It was really nice and moist and it was so good even without the frosting. Will be looking at more of your recipes:)
    Thanks for the amazing recipe!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      July 5, 2016 at 9:54 am

      I’m so glad, Alyssa! Thank you so much for your sweet comment ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Sherry
    August 27, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    This recipe came out perfect for my husband’s birthday.

    • Reply
      Shiran
      August 28, 2016 at 4:25 am

      Happy birthday and thank you so much for your comment ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Ruthie
    October 1, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    I made this and it looks delicious but it did not rise very high.

    • Reply
      Shiran
      October 5, 2016 at 5:52 am

      Hi Ruthie, this cake doesn’t rise a lot, so as long as it tastes goos, it’s ok.

  • Reply
    Rita
    November 7, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    Can I add crushed pineapple to this if so how much?

    • Reply
      Shiran
      November 9, 2016 at 7:39 am

      Hi Rita, if you’re using an 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, use about 1/2 to 3/4 of it. Either drain the juices or add some of it to the batter as well. The batter might be too thin, so if that’s the case, add some more flour, 1-2 tablespoons.

  • Reply
    Luz
    November 13, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    Delicious and moist.. cut the sugars in half and was enjoyed by family…

  • Reply
    Sandra Dee
    January 18, 2017 at 1:58 am

    This is delicious!! Seems much easier than making a whole cake. Will be my new carrot cake recipe. Thank you so much for the recipe! (I, too, had first slice without frosting and with cup of tea–yummy! Will frost tomorrow.)

    • Reply
      Shiran
      January 18, 2017 at 4:31 am

      Thank you so much Sandra!

  • Reply
    poo
    March 19, 2017 at 1:52 am

    i made this carrot cake as per recipe but without the cream cheese frostings its yummy i keep craving for it, do you have a similar easy to make chocolate cake loaf? thanks so much

    • Reply
      Shiran
      March 20, 2017 at 5:39 am

      I like to use this recipe (only the chocolate cake batter) to make a great, simple loaf.

  • Reply
    Halima Frost
    April 7, 2017 at 8:01 am

    Hi there

    Hubby does not do nuts, can I just leave them out or should I substitute something with them to make up the volume??
    Thank you for an awesome recipe BTW Looks soooo good

    • Reply
      Shiran
      April 7, 2017 at 1:54 pm

      Sure, you can leave them out, you can add raisins or shredded coconut if you want but it’s only optional.

  • Reply
    Halima Frost
    April 10, 2017 at 2:35 am

    I made it on the weekend and OMGgggeeeee was it awesome. DH and I finished the whole cake already. SMH I’m so embarrassed LOL…
    I left out the nuts as mentioned and saw the inclusion of Pineapples in the comments above, added 2/3 of an 8oz can crushed pineapple with a little of the juices… NOM NOM NOM,, My Icing was an epic fail but still tasted awesome thanks
    Thank you so much…..

    • Reply
      Shiran
      April 14, 2017 at 6:47 am

      Thank you so much Halima! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Lea
    April 14, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    First of all: I never try recipes from “random websites”, I usually stick with anything on allrecipes.com. BUT because of the good reviews I thought I might give this a try for Easter Sunday this week. I made a loaf (without frosting) tonight following this recipe, just to make sure it was good. AND…MY OH MY, this is SO GOOD! Fluffy “moist” (sorry if you hate this word) with a good tang of cinnamon (but not too much). I will totally make this again, thank you so much for this simple and mega delicious recipe!โ™ฅ

    • Reply
      Shiran
      April 16, 2017 at 6:57 am

      Thank you so much Lea!

  • Reply
    Miranda
    April 30, 2017 at 10:25 am

    I made this yesterday, but replaced the 1/2 cup of oil with applesauce. Still super moist and delicious!

  • Reply
    Stella
    May 23, 2017 at 11:59 pm

    Just made this and it was exceptional. So much flavor! Mine only cooked for 35 minutes and is perfectly moist. I also put in about 1/4 cup less of overall sugar and it’s still perfect sweet. My new go-to recipe!

  • Reply
    monica
    June 8, 2017 at 3:14 am

    Hi Shiran, I made this cake in a loaf pan, turned out perfect and I am tempted to try this in a square or round pan (8 or 9 inch). is it possible to do this without having to alter the quantities?
    thanks in advance ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    rachel
    August 30, 2017 at 8:11 am

    I had tried making this recipe and it’s moist and tasty tnx u ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Nicole
    September 21, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    Hi!

    Great carrot cake loaf! I made some modifications ( used all brown sugar and put buttercream frosting on while still hot to create a light glaze) and it’s perfection! Thanks

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