Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake is classic slice of cake loaded full of cinnamon spice and everything nice!  A carrot-filled, cinnamon-spiced cake batter is baked until fluffy and moist. Layered together with decadent cream cheese frosting, this classic Carrot Cake recipe is sweet slice of heaven.

What KJ Loves about this Recipe

What’s not to love about carrot cake?! The fluffy, carrot-filled cake layered with an ultra creamy cream cheese frosting is what carrot cake dreams are made of. I love how nostalgic this cake is. Also, how pure the carrot flavor is in the cake. No nuts, raisins or pineapple interfering with the flavor here! Gimme a slice with all the extra cream cheese frosting, please!

All things Carrot

Since this is a carrot cake recipe, we need to talk about carrots!

When it comes to carrots for this recipe, the best ones to use are whole carrots that have been peeled and grated. Whole carrots have a sturdier texture to them vs. baby carrots, which tend to have a higher water content. Another great thing about whole carrots is that they have a wonderful, bright orange color that stands out even through the baking process. You can’t have a slice of carrot cake without that classic orange color, right?

Carrot Grating Tips

A carrot cake needs quite a bit of grated carrot, and this recipe is no different. But, trust me, it is so worth it! For the fastest grating method, use a food processor with the grater attachment. Otherwise, bust out the box grater and get to work! 

Cake Batter Details

A carrot cake batter is very similar to a spice cake batter. Perfectly spiced and everything nice!

Start this cake batter off by whisking together the wet ingredients. A combination of eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla extract until smooth. 

Then, fold in the dry ingredients! Flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt are all that is needed. The cake batter should be smooth and lump-free. 

Finally, in go the carrots! Fold the carrots in until they are perfectly coated and combined in the cake batter. The final result is a cake batter that is speckled with sweet cinnamon spice and vibrant orange flakes of carrot. 

Cake Pan Tips

For the best results of the cake coming out of the cake pan in one piece, I highly recommend greasing and lining the cake pans with parchment paper. Quickly fit the parchment paper to the size of the cake pan by placing the cake pan on top of a sheet of parchment paper, tracing the circular bottom of the can pan and then cutting the circle out. Grease the pan, then place the parchment circle in the bottom. Should fit perfectly!

Let’s Talk Frosting

A carrot cake wouldn’t be complete without a decadent cream cheese frosting. They go together like peanut butter and jelly! 

Personally, I want all the cream cheese frosting I can get! I love to swirl and swoop the frosting all over the cake. It’s decorative and gives me all the cream cheese frosting to go along with my carrot cake. 

There are many ways that a cake can be frosted. A homey, non-fussy frosted cake is my language. But, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be done differently! Cleanly frost the cake, add the excess frosting to a piping bag and pipe beautiful swirls! 

Want to amp it up even more? Separate some leftover frosting into two separate bowls, and then add in some food coloring! Go for orange and green and then pipe little carrots all over the top of the cake. How fun would that be? Here’s an easy video tutorial for making frosting carrots.

Recipe FAQ’s

Can baby carrots be used for this recipe?

Even though whole carrots are recommended for this recipe, that doesn’t mean that baby carrots can’t be used. They will be harder to grate if a food processor isn’t being used. Whole carrots are recommended for their full carrot flavor and vibrant orange color.

Can this cake be made in advance?

Yes! Bake the cake rounds according to the instructions, cool them completely and then wrap each cake round in plastic wrap before storing in the refrigerator. I recommend making the frosting right before frosting as it is easiest to use and frost when freshly made.

Can this cake be made into cupcakes instead?

Yes! Fill each cupcake liner about 3/4 of the way full of the cake batter and bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting. The frosting can be spread on or piped on.

Recipe Video:


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Carrot Cake

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 4.50 out of 5)


  • Author: KJ & Company - Kate Poskochil
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x


Carrot Cake is classic slice of cake loaded full of cinnamon spice and everything nice!  A carrot-filled, cinnamon-spiced cake batter is baked until fluffy and moist. Layered together with decadent cream cheese frosting, this classic Carrot Cake recipe is sweet slice of heaven.



For the cake:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups shredded carrot

For the frosting:

  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 16 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar


For the cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla until smooth.
  2. Add in the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt and fold in until a smooth cake batter forms without any lumps. Fold in the grated carrot.
  3. Pour the cake batter into two greased and lined 9-inch cake pans. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  4. Allow the cakes to cool slightly in the cake pans before turning them out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

For the frosting:

  1. Add the butter and cream cheese into a large bowl (or bowl of an electric mixer) and cream together on medium speed.
  2. Slowly mix in one cup of powdered sugar on low to medium speed at a time until the frosting is is smooth and creamy. Mix in the vanilla extract until combined.
  3. Once the cakes have cooled completely, layer and frost the cakes with about a 1/2 inch layer of cream cheese frosting in between the layers. Frost the top and sides of the cake. Slice and enjoy!


  • Whole, peeled carrots are recommended for this recipe.
  • The cake layers can be made in advance if needed. Bake the cakes as instructed, cool completely, wrap the layers separately in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. Make the frosting the prior to building and frosting the cake.
  • Frost the cake as decoratively or as homey as you would like!
  • Nutritional information for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 897
  • Sugar: 89g
  • Sodium: 603mg
  • Fat: 48.6g
  • Carbohydrates: 112g
  • Fiber: 1.8g
  • Protein: 8.3g
  • Cholesterol: 130mg

Keywords: Carrot Cake

Share the love!

If you make this recipe and love it as much as I do, I’d love to hear from you! Comment below, rate the recipe, or share a picture tagging @kjandcompany or using #kjandcompany so that I can see your fun pictures 🙂

Thanks for following and cooking along with me!


Affiliate Links

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  1. Rebecca B

    So easy and so good! Seriously the best carrot cake I’ve ever had.

    • KJ

      That’s so great to hear, Rebecca! So glad you like it 🙂 Thanks for giving it a try!


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