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layered carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

Best Carrot Cake Recipe

  • Author: Melissa
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: American


This moist, flavorful carrot cake is made from scratch and frosted with delectable cream cheese icing! The very best carrot cake recipe I've ever tried!


Units Scale

For the Carrot Cake:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 16 ounces carrots peeled and grated
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 24 ounces of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups powdered sugar


Carrot Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Set cream cheese and butter out to soften.
  3. Spray three 8-inch baking pans generously with nonstick spray.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer (affiliate link) or a large bowl with a hand mixer, combine sugar, brown sugar, and vegetable oil and mix until smooth.
  5. Add eggs to sugar mixture one at a time, mixing until uniform.
  6. Add vanilla and mix until smooth.
  7. In a separate large bowl combine flour, clove, nutmeg, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Stir to mix.
  8. Add dry mixture to wet mixture a little at a time while beating at medium speed until combined. Scrape sides of the mixing bowl as needed.
  9. Remove bowl from stand mixer (affiliate link) and fold carrots in by hand. Add nuts if preferred.
  10. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  11. Allow cakes to cool completely on wire rack before using a large knife to level tops and frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  1. In a stand mixer (affiliate link), cream together cream cheese and Unsalted Plugrá Butter on medium speed until smooth and without lumps.
  2. Add vanilla and salt and beat on medium speed until combined.
  3. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time until incorporated.
  4. Increase speed to high for one minute.
  5. Adjust the thickness of the frosting as needed. If it is too thin, add powdered sugar one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. If it is too thick, do the same with water one teaspoon at a time.


  • I shred my carrots in a food processor but you can also grate by hand. Do not use store-bought grated carrots, carrots must be freshly grated to preserve their moisture.
  • to use two 9 inch pans or a 9 by 13" pan, extend baking time until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean
  • Trace the bottom of the cake pan onto parchment paper and cut out, use the parchment paper round to line the bottom of the pan to ensure the cake doesn't stick!

Keywords: carrot cake

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