Super Easy Carrot Cake Recipe
Get ready to fall in love with this super easy Carrot Cake recipe with an irresistible cream cheese frosting!
As parents, we’re always looking for ways to sneak vegetables into our kids’s meals, right? I’ve made zucchini brownies and black bean brownies. But honestly, if you’re going to put vegetables in dessert, there’s no better way to do it than by making Carrot Cake!
Now, I firmly believe that carrot is the perfect Easter dessert. Carrot is extremely versatile; if I’m missing one ingredient, there are plenty of substitutes! Also, this recipe is packed with flavor and perfectly moist. Gone are the days of dry and chalky carrot !
Here’s the list of ingredients. (If you’re looking for possible substitutions, scroll to the Common Carrot Questions section of this post).
Ingredients for Carrot Cake
- Vegetable Oil
- Granulated Sugar
- Shredded Carrots
- Crushed Pineapple (drained)
- Baking Soda
- Raisins (optional)
- Chopped Walnuts or Pecans (optional)
Ingredients for Cream Cheese Frosting
- Cream Cheese (softened)
- Powdered Sugar
How To Make Carrot Cake
First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Next, you’ll grease two round tins. If you don’t have round tins, a 9 x 13 pan is just fine. Cut some parchment paper to put on the bottom of the pan.
In a large bowl or stand mixer, add your oil and . Stir.
Then add the eggs, shredded carrots, , and . Blend well.
Mix in the , salt, , and . Blend slowly and only for a minute or two. Don’t overmix! Your should look like this:
Add a cup of or chopped nuts (completely optional).
Evenly divide the batter between your two tins (if you’re using the 9 x13 pan, dump the entire batter into the one pan).
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes (45 minutes for the 9 x 13 pan).
Once done, remove the from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes. You can slide a knife around the edges to loosen the from the pan. You can also move the from the pan to a wire rack to cool faster.
Also, Don’t forget to remove the parchment paper from the bottom!
How To Make Cream Cheese Frosting
In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine your and .
Beat together until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Add in the , , and salt. Blend on low until the is completely incorporated. If the is too thick, add milk or water to thin it out.
Now spread the frosting over your cooled cake, sprinkle some toasted coconut on top (if desired), and serve!
For the Carrot Cake
- 1 cup vegetable oil (or half olive oil, half vegetable oil)
- 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 1 /2 cup crushed pineapple (drained)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup raisins (optional)
- 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the Carrot Cake
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two round cake tins. Cut out a circle of parchment paper to cover the bottom of each tin.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, add the 1 cup of oil and 1 1/3 cups of sugar. Stir.
- Add the 3 eggs, 2 cups shredded carrots, 1/2 cup crushed pineapple, and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Blend well.
- Mix in 2 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Blend slowly so flour doesn't fly all over. Do not overmix.
- Add 1 cup of raisins and one cup of chopped nuts (optional).
- Evenly divide the batter between the two cake tins.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs.
- Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes. Slide a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool complete. Remove the parchment paper from the bottom of the cake.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- Add the 6 ounces of cream cheese and 1/2 cup softened butter to a large bowl or stand mixer.
- Beat together until light and fluffy.
- Add 3 cups powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Blend on low speed until powdered sugar is incorporated. If needed, you can add milk or water to thin, or more powdered sugar until you get the consistency you like.
You can also bake this in a 9x13 pan. Just grease the pan and pour all the batter into it. Then bake for 45 minutes.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 724Total Fat: 39gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 420mgCarbohydrates: 91gFiber: 3gSugar: 65gProtein: 7g
Common Carrot Cake Questions
What ingredients can I substitute with Carrot Cake?
Luckily, carrot cake is an extremely versatile dessert and there are plenty of substitutions, should you be missing an ingredient.
Missing Ingredient: Vegetable Oil
Possible Substitution: Coconut Oil (just be sure that all your other ingredients are room-temperature.) Canola oil works too!
Missing Ingredient: Crushed Pineapple
Possible Substitution: Applesauce or a mashed banana. Some people even use Greek yogurt, crushed mango, or peach purée!
Can I use pre-shredded carrots? Or do they need to be fresh?
You can totally use pre-shredded carrots. However, I’ve noticed that when the carrots are pre-shredded, they lack moisture, are quite hard and are a little big. I prefer to shred the carrots myself because they are filled with water, won’t dry out the , and are smaller (I don’t know about you, but I prefer my cakes not to be crunchy). You can try boiling the pre-shredded carrots in hot water to make them softer and get back some of the moisture.
Why did my Carrot Cake sink?
There are actually quite a lot of reasons your might sink. It could be because the was underbaked, or you could have overmixed the batter. You might have added too much or opened the oven door too early and let out the heat. Maybe you forgot to drain the and had too much moisture in the batter.
Can Carrot Cake sit out and not go bad?
It would be better if you put your finished carrot in the fridge, especially if you’ve decorated it with a . That being said, you can leave the out for around a day or 2 without it going bad. Putting it in the fridge will extend its shelf-life to 5 or 6 days. However, it’s best to bake and frost the carrot cake on the same day. Storing the unfrosted cake in the refrigerator (even when wrapped in plastic wrap) tends to dry out the cake.
Can I freeze Carrot Cake?
Of course! Carrot actually freezes quite nicely. All you need to do is wrap up the in some plastic wrap, and you’re good to go. It can stay in the freezer for up to 6 months! I’ve even heard people say they like the flavor of carrot better after it’s been frozen.
I probably wouldn’t recommend freezing the carrot once you’ve put on the , as the frosting will probably separate and start “weeping” (leaking water) as it thaws, but that’s not a hard rule.
Are Carrot Cake and Spice Cake the same?
Kind of. The difference (as you probably guessed) is Carrot has carrots in it, while spice does not. Carrot may contain a mixture of spices such as ground , ginger, or nutmeg (so it is a spice ).
I prefer my carrot to have subtle hints of spices, so I don’t add nutmeg or ginger.
If you’ve enjoyed this recipe, here are a few others I recommend checking out!
- Zucchini Carrot Cake Cupcakes (This recipe is quite similar and the cupcakes are just as delicious!)
- Orange Zucchini Bread
- Lemon Bundt Cake