Carrot Cake Recipe from Scratch - Easy and SO good!
Desserts, Food + Drink

Easy Carrot Cake Recipe

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Easy Carrot Cake Recipe: A simple and moist recipe from scratch with a cream cheese frosting that can be made as is, or even as a carrot cake cupcakes recipe. 

No matter what time of year it is, carrot cake can be the perfect spring cake, or even a comforting rich cake to make during the holiday season.

Carrot Cake Recipe from Scratch - Easy and SO good!

Easy Carrot Cake Recipe

As a fan of chocolate, it’s rare for me to like a dessert or a cake that doesn’t include chocolate in the ingredients list.

But when you put a plate of carrot cake in front of me, you better believe I’ll be grabbing a fork before someone can take it away.

Carrot Cake from Scratch

Now I love a boxed cake mix as much as the next gal, but when it comes to carrot cake, there’s something beyond amazing about it being made from scratch.

If you have the time, (which may not be as much as you think you need) don’t give this recipe a second thought.

Easy Carrot Cake

Worried if you can make this without being a professional baker? Don’t be. It’s easy, totally doable and the recipe (and photos) will walk you through exactly how to make it.

How to Make Carrot Cake

You can find the full recipe card with ingredients and instructions at the bottom of this post. But like the other recipes here on the blog, I love to provide instructions with photos as well in case you’re a visual person like myself! 

Preheat + Prep

First, preheat your oven to 350º degrees and prepare 3 – 6” cake pans with nonstick spray and parchment paper.

Mix + Pour

Combine all dry ingredients (sugar, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt) into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.

Run through the ingredients with a whisk breaking up any large clumps.

Add in all of the wet ingredients (eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla extract) and mix until combined.

Then, add in the carrots and mix until combined.

Carrot Cake Recipe

Bake + Cool

Evenly distribute the batter between the three baking pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Allow the cakes to cool for about 10 minutes in the pan. Then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Carrot Cake Icing

While the cakes are cooling, prepare your cream cheese buttercream by creaming together the cream cheese and butter until nice and smooth.

Slowly add in confectioners sugar until combined.

Add in vanilla and cream and mix on high for 3-4 minutes until the frosting is nice and fluffy.

Carrot Cake Recipe

Assemble + Ice

Assemble the cake by placing one layer on a cake stand or plate and topping with about ½ cup of the frosting and leveling with a spatula.

Carrot Cake Recipe - from scratch

Continue with all layers. Cover the entire cake with the frosting…

Carrot Cake from Scratch

and top with chopped pecans if desired. (Isn’t this little row along the bottom of the cake, adorable?)

Carrot Cake from scratch with pecans and cream cheese frosting

TIP: Place pecans in the cup of your hand and gently place the inside of your hand against the bottom of the cake, slowly turning the cake and carefully placing the nuts along the bottom!

Feel free to use something other than pecans, to decorate your carrot cake. (Mini chocolate chips, toffee, etc.)

Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting - from scratch

Moist Carrot Cake

I know, I know… I can’t stand the word “moist” but there really isn’t another word that I can think of at the moment to describe the inside of this beautiful cake.

Carrot Cake from Scratch - Easy

Best Carrot Cake Recipe

Grab a cup of coffee and a slice of your carrot cake and pat yourself on the back for what is now what you may consider the BEST Carrot Cake Recipe.

Let us know in the comments below if you love carrot cake, and how yours turned out!

Carrot Cake Recipe from Scratch with cream cheese frosting

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Are carrot cake cupcakes more your style? No problem! Mix your batter and follow the directions the same way, removing the pan prep and cake baking steps.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes: Spray muffin cups (or use cupcake liners) and fill with batter until each is 3/4 full.

Bake for 15 minutes at 350° F, and check with a toothpick to see if insides come out clean. (Ovens vary so checking a minute or two earlier than 15 minutes may be best, and baking until around 20 minutes may even be necessary for your oven.) Keeping an eye on the first batch will help you nail down how long to bake the rest!

Cool for 5 minutes before taking the cupcakes out of the cupcake tin and allow them to cool on a wire rack before frosting or the frosting will melt!

Carrot Cake Recipe from Scratch - Easy and SO good!
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3.5 from 4 votes

Easy Carrot Cake

Easy Carrot Cake Recipe: A simple and moist recipe from scratch with a cream cheese frosting that can be made as is, or even as a carrot cake cupcakes recipe. 
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword carrot cake, carrot cake from scratch, carrot cake recipe, easy carrot cake
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 slices
Calories 758kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated carrots

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz. cream cheese room temperature
  • 1 stick butter softened
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp heavy whipping cream

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Prepare 3 6” cake pans with nonstick spray and parchment paper if desired.
  • Combine all dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.
  • Run through the ingredients with a whisk breaking up any large clumps.
  • Add in all of the wet ingredients and mix until combined.
  • Add in the carrots and mix until just combined.
  • Evenly distribute the batter between the three baking pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Allow the cakes to cool for about 10 minutes in the pan. Then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • While the cakes are cooling, prepare your cream cheese buttercream by creaming together the cream cheese and butter until nice and smooth.
  • Slowly add in one cup of confectioners sugar at a time until combined.
  • Add in vanilla and cream and mix on high for 3-4 minutes until the frosting is nice and fluffy.
  • Assemble the cake by placing one layer on a cake stand or plate and topping with about ½ cup of the frosting and leveling with a spatula.
  • Continue with all layers. Finally cover the entire cake with the frosting, and top with chopped pecans if desired. Enjoy! 
  • For Carrot Cake Cupcakes: 
    Bake for 15 minutes at 350° F, and check with a toothpick to see if insides come out clean. (Ovens vary so checking a minute or two earlier than 15 minutes may be best, and baking until around 20 minutes may even be necessary for your oven.) Keeping an eye on the first batch will help you nail down how long to bake the rest!
     Cool for 5 minutes before taking the cupcakes out of the cupcake tin and allow them to cool on a wire rack before frosting or the frosting will melt!

Notes

Please keep in mind that the nutritional information provided below is just a rough estimate and variations can occur depending on the specific ingredients used. 

Nutrition

Calories: 758kcal | Carbohydrates: 123g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 144mg | Sodium: 694mg | Potassium: 265mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 96g | Vitamin A: 17.2% | Calcium: 13.2% | Iron: 12.9%

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 MMM!!! Easy homemade carrot cake recipe - so moist and SOOO good!

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