The BEST Carrot Cake

Only the BEST carrot cake recipe, in my humble opinion. Check it out! ;)

The BEST Carrot Cake Recipe |

I was planning to wait and post this recipe closer to Easter.  But as you all know, I seem to have zero patience when it comes to sharing recipes I’ve made that I really love.  And carrot cake happens to fall in the category of recipes I really, really, really love.  So without further ado, I present to you a very humbly-named classic:

The BEST Carrot Cake.

Well, at least it’s the best in my opinion, as I am a total purist when it comes to carrot cakes.  That’s right.  I’m one of those people who does not want to see any nuts, raisins, pineapple, applesauce, or (heaven forbid) carrot substitutes in my carrot cake.  Instead, give me a perfectly spiced, moist cake made with a heaping mount of freshly-grated carrots and lots of homemade cream cheese frosting.  And I will be a very happy carrot-cake-eating camper.

(Ok, ok, though — if you happen to adore nuts and/or raisins in your carrot cake, we can still be friends.  I’ve included an option in the recipe for how to add them in.)

Still, in my world, this recipe is Da Best.  I even tested it twice this week just to double check with my friends, and they wholeheartedly agreed.  (And for the record, this one is 500x better than a box mix!)  So here’s the how-to:

The BEST Carrot Cake Recipe |

Alright, here’s the how-to:

The BEST Carrot Cake Recipe |

As I mentioned, one of my absolute non-negotiables for good carrot cake is an entire pound of freshly-grated carrots.  They make all the difference in terms of flavor and helping to create a good moist cake.  Although don’t worry if you’ve never baked a homemade carrot cake before — the carrots totally blend in to the cake once it is baked.  No “eh, what’s up Doc?” carrot crunching moments here.  :)

If you have a food processor, this process can be made so much easier by grating carrots using the (fine) grater attachment.  But otherwise, you can get a good bicep workout and burn some calories by grating carrots by hand.  It will make eating them back up all the sweeter, right?

So grate about 1 pound of carrots…

The BEST Carrot Cake Recipe |

Then mix up your cake batter, and fold the carrots in at the last minute.  Be careful not to overmix the batter.

The BEST Carrot Cake Recipe |

Then pour it into cake pans that have been greased and floured.  I chose to bake 3 8-inch round cakes, but this recipe also works for 2 9-inch round cakes.  (You will just need to adjust the cooking time.)

The BEST Carrot Cake Recipe |

Then once they are done, pop them out of the oven and let them cool until they reach room temperature.  Then I like to pop them in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes to cool slightly, in order to make them easier to level and frost.

The BEST Carrot Cake Recipe |

So while they are cooling, whip up a batch of homemade cream cheese frosting.  I made mine with low-fat cream cheese, but any kind will work.

The BEST Carrot Cake Recipe |

Then pull your cakes out, and level them off to even thickness with a large knife or cake leveler.

Pop them on a pedestal or serving plate, and then layer a nice thick glob of cream cheese frosting between each layer, and then frost the rest of your cake however you’d like.

The BEST Carrot Cake Recipe |

And then you’ll have one heck of a carrot cake ready to enjoy.  Speaking of, I think I’ll go have a leftover piece right now.  :)

The BEST Carrot Cake Recipe |

The BEST Carrot Cake

This classic carrot cake recipe is moist, perfectly-spiced and made with lots of fresh carrots and a cream cheese frosting.


Carrot Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups + 2 Tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 lb. finely-grated fresh carrots
  • (optional: 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts and/or 1/2 cup raisins)

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:

  • 3 (8 oz.) bricks cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 6 cups powdered sugar (or more if needed to thicken)


How To Make The Carrot Cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. G

Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Or alternately, you can use two 9-inch round baking pans. (Just be sure that every square inch of the pans greased and coated in flour so that the cake does not stick!)

In the bowl of a large stand mixer, mix together oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until combined and smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla, and mix until smooth.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder, nutmeg and cloves) until combined. Add the dry ingredient mixture to the mixing bowl, and beat on medium-speed until just combined, scraping down the pan at least once to be sure that everything is well mixed. Then fold in the grated carrots by hand, and stir until combined. If you would like to add nuts and/or raisins, stir them in at this time as well.

Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans. Then bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Remove pans and let them cool on a wire rack until the cakes reach room temperature.

I then like to pop them in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to cool off slightly. Then remove them and use a large knife or a cake leveler to level off the domed tops of the cakes so that they are level and even.

Layer the cakes with the cream cheese frosting, and then frost the outside of the cake as you desire. Serve that day or store, covered, for up to 4 days.

How To Make The Cream Cheese Frosting:

Using an electric mixer, cream together cream cheese and butter on medium speed for 1 minute or until smooth with no lumps remaining. Add in vanilla extract and salt, and continue mixing until combined. Lower speed to medium-low and gradually add in powdered sugar. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until combined.

If frosting is too thick, you can add in a teaspoon or two of water. If it is too thin, you can add in more powdered sugar.

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

The BEST Carrot Cake Recipe |




Leave a Comment:


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  1. Erin — June 25, 2015 @ 12:42 am (#)

    Hello! How do u think this cake would turn out if I froze the cake for about a week? Then thawed and frosted for a party? 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 28, 2015 @ 8:38 pm (#)

      Hey, Erin! Yes, we think that would work just fine!

  2. Christa — June 25, 2015 @ 1:56 pm (#)

    Question : Can I use a 9×13 pan for this recipe
    Some Ladies asked the same question but didn’t get an answer.Would love to make this cake in a 9×13 pan

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 25, 2015 @ 10:30 pm (#)

      Hi, Christa! We’re pretty sure this cake makes too much batter to work well in a 9×13 pan. But what you could do is, make the full recipe (in a 9×13 pan), and whatever batter you have left, that won’t fit in the pan, you can make cupcakes with. We hope that helps!

  3. Hopeq8 — June 29, 2015 @ 7:34 pm (#)

    I’ve tried to bake it today, it was very easy despite all the mess i did in the kitchen 😂.
    I loved it but when i’ll bake it again i’ll decrease the sugar in the cake and the cheese cream .. It is sooooo sweeet. 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 30, 2015 @ 1:51 pm (#)

      Thanks, Hope, we’re glad you liked it!

  4. Diana — July 2, 2015 @ 2:59 pm (#)

    This is the best carrot cake I have ever made : ) I even added pineapple, raisins & pecans, as well as substituting regular flour for Cup 4 Cup GF flour. 

    I wanted to know if you ever make cupcakes with this recipe?

    Thank you again for sharing your recipe!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 2, 2015 @ 3:47 pm (#)

      Thanks Diana, we’re so flattered to hear that! : ) And this recipe should work just fine with cupcakes! It shouldn’t take quite as long to bake, so I would just set the timer for 15 min, and keep monitoring from there on out.

  5. Nicole Cartwright — July 15, 2015 @ 4:08 pm (#)

    Hi there I was just wondering what kind of flour is best? I have always used self raising in baking a normal sponge but a wholewheat flour for carrot cakes. What do you use in this recipe in particular?

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 15, 2015 @ 6:29 pm (#)

      Hey Nicole, we use good old All-Purpose (unbleached.) But if you wanted to use some whole wheat, you could try 2 3/4 cups of all-purpose, and 1/2 cup of whole wheat! We hope this helps, and that you enjoy the cake! :)

  6. Maira — July 19, 2015 @ 5:31 am (#)

    I loved it. Though I didn’t use that much sugar. Only used 1 cup. Very very good. Thank u.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 19, 2015 @ 11:33 am (#)

      You’re welcome Maira, we’re happy you liked it!

  7. Asha — July 23, 2015 @ 8:25 am (#)

    Is this is American cups or…?

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 23, 2015 @ 10:47 am (#)

      Yes :)

  8. Autumn — July 29, 2015 @ 11:06 am (#)

    Have any suggestions for those of us who want to add pineapple? I thought about cutting the carrot quantity in half and adding drained crushed pineapple. And possibly a teaspoon of pineapple juice to the cream cheese frosting. Thoughts?

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 30, 2015 @ 2:44 pm (#)

      Hi Autumn! Hmmm, we’d probably suggest still going with the full amount of carrots, and just adding 1/2 cup of pineapple. And, a teaspoon of pineapple juice in the frosting sounds like a great idea! We hope this helps, and that you enjoy!

  9. tashieka — August 5, 2015 @ 10:34 pm (#)

    I am going to try this for my husband this is his favorite cake 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 5, 2015 @ 10:50 pm (#)

      Awesome Tashieka, we hope you guys enjoy it – let us know how it turns out!

  10. Bobbie Jo — August 7, 2015 @ 12:14 am (#)

    Most recipes use applesauce, and I want this cake to be perfect.  Do I decrease the amount of eggs to add in some?

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 7, 2015 @ 5:18 pm (#)

      Hey Bobbie Jo! This cake is actually super moist without it, but if you’d still like to add apple sauce, you shouldn’t have to alter the amount of eggs unless you plan on adding a lot. We hope you enjoy the cake!

  11. kathryn davis — August 10, 2015 @ 4:51 pm (#)


    I’m wondering if i could make this using 2 9×13 baking pans instead of the rounds. I’d like to make this for my little ones bday party and were having around 30 people. thanks!


    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 13, 2015 @ 1:15 pm (#)

      Hey Kathryn! We think that should work fine. We hope you enjoy the cake (and happy birthday to your little one)! :)

  12. jane — August 10, 2015 @ 8:27 pm (#)

    Hi Ali. I have been looking for carrot cake recipe for months now and even tried most of it but it only results to failure. It’s really frustrating knowing that many of my clients are requesting for this cake.
    I’m super happy that i came across your blog and had a chance of trying your perfect recipe (at least for me). I’ve been receiving a lot of good feedback. My OB Gyne who is carrot cake fanatic really enjoyed it and said that this is the best carrot cake he ever tasted!. This is my go cake from now on. A million thanks to you. More power….

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 13, 2015 @ 1:13 pm (#)

      What a nice compliment Jane, thank you! We’re so happy to hear you love this recipe – carrot cakes can definitely be tricky! :)

  13. Judy Adams — August 20, 2015 @ 8:50 am (#)

    How many cups is 1 lbs of grated carrots?  I don’t have a way to measure them in lbs.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 27, 2015 @ 12:58 pm (#)

      Hi Judy! We’d say about 2.5-3 cups grated carrots = 1 pound.

  14. Sue — August 22, 2015 @ 12:02 pm (#)

    Super easy to make, and we look forward to eating it. I used 2 x 9″ round pans, and in my convection oven 35 minutes was just right! Would like to add, though, that the icing recipe made more than double than I needed and was very soft, even with added icing sugar — next time I would halve the recipe and add even more icing sugar. Thanks! 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 24, 2015 @ 8:23 pm (#)

      Awesome Sue, we’re so happy to hear that! Also, thanks for sharing the size of pans and your cooking time, that’s helpful for others to know! :)

  15. Kevin Krause — August 29, 2015 @ 5:00 pm (#)

    I am SUPER HAPPY with this recipe and the results! The cake is PERFECTLY moist and very well spiced! I can’t believe I’ve been eating  the carrot cake that I have.  It’s been dry  and flavorless.  This recipe is so tastey it’s orders of magnitude better than what I used to make.  Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 2, 2015 @ 11:03 am (#)

      Thanks Kevin, we’re so happy to hear that, and you’re so very welcome! :)

  16. Jenny — August 31, 2015 @ 6:19 am (#)

    WOW!  I usually just lurk on recipe blogs, stealing recipes without leaving a comment, but I have to give you credit for THE best carrot cake I’ve ever tasted. 

    My husband and I go to a local diner every Sunday after church, and we always say we’re going to go home with one of their $6.99 slabs of carrot cake, which gets rave reviews. I decided that I would make him his very own cake, and that’s when I found your site. 

    The only change I made in the ingredient list was to add the optional 1 cup of pecan chips. And, well, I COULD have let the cake cool just a little longer before frosting, but bedtime was approaching. Lol. 

    I put the cake in the fridge overnight and sliced a big piece for Hubby to take to work. Of course, I had to sample a small piece. Oh my!!!  Confectionary Heaven!  Thank you so much for an outstanding recipe!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 2, 2015 @ 10:31 am (#)

      Thank you Jenny, we appreciate you taking the time to leave such sweet feedback! We’re so happy you and your husband love this recipe! :)

  17. Melissa — September 4, 2015 @ 1:38 pm (#)

    I was looking to make carrot cake muffins/cupcakes with a cream cheese filling instead of frosting (I want to freeze them to have when baby arrives in a few weeks). Would the frosting in this recipe work to be baked in? Also, would cake flour work instead of all purpose flour or would the recipe need to be adjusted? Thanks so much! Looking forward to making this recipe – I don’t like the walnuts and my daughter doesn’t like raisins!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 8, 2015 @ 9:25 am (#)

      Oooh, we think that would be yummy Melissa! And sure, we think the icing recipe should work fine for that. What you’ll have to do though is after you make it, shape it into a log on a piece of plastic wrap, twisting up the sides as you roll, then freeze for about two hours, before you use it to fill the muffins/cupcakes. For the cake flour, you’ll need to use 3 & 1/4 cups plus 6 1/2 Tablespoons. We hope this helps!

  18. Marcella — September 8, 2015 @ 9:47 pm (#)

    I was wondering if you think I could replace the oil in the cake with either butter or coconut oil?!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 9, 2015 @ 10:27 pm (#)

      Hi Marcella, you definitely can use either of those! Just make sure if you use coconut oil that you melt it and let it cool completely beforehand. We hope you enjoy!

  19. Verenice — September 15, 2015 @ 2:14 pm (#)

    What if I don’t have a stand mixer? Can I use a hand mixer?

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 15, 2015 @ 9:16 pm (#)

      Yes, you definitely can!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 17, 2015 @ 9:06 am (#)

      Yes, that’s fine! :)

  20. Ana — September 19, 2015 @ 1:22 pm (#)

    Of all recipes I have tried this trully is the best, not only for my taste buds but friends, family and especially my husband for whom carrot cake is his favorite. I do add about 1/4 c each of raisins, crushed pineapple and 1/8 crushed or slivered almonds.  

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 22, 2015 @ 11:32 am (#)

      Thanks so much Ana, what a nice compliment! We’re happy to hear you like this so much, and those additions sound yummy! :)

  21. blake — September 20, 2015 @ 10:00 am (#)

    is the flour you used all purpose?

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 22, 2015 @ 11:41 am (#)

      Yes. : ) We hope you enjoy this!

  22. caro — September 22, 2015 @ 9:43 am (#)

    Hi, I wonder if cream cheese quantity (for the frosting) is 3 times 8oz or 3 packs which make 8oz in total? I am french and cream chees are not the same size I think. Thanks !

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 23, 2015 @ 9:30 am (#)

      Hi there! It will be 3 8 oz packs, making it 24 oz. total of cream cheese. We hope that helps – enjoy! :)

  23. Georgia Schwab — October 2, 2015 @ 11:26 pm (#)

    I made this recipe for mother’s day and it was delicious! I halved the recipe and made a dozen cupcakes. I used coconut oil instead of vegetable oil and added walnuts and raisins cause my mother and I love them! We could have cut the icing recipe down more. There was so much left over! Next time I will cut it into thirds. And there will be a next time:)
    Not sure if this works but here’s a photo!
    /Users/Georgia/Desktop/Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 9.25.57 PM.png

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — October 4, 2015 @ 9:35 pm (#)

      Awesome Georgia, thanks for sharing! Unfortunately we aren’t able to see the photo – could you try again?

  24. Samah — October 3, 2015 @ 9:54 am (#)

    If i would like to just do one layer of this cake then what is the best way to divide the quantity. And what can i substitute cream cheese with? Thx

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — October 4, 2015 @ 9:33 pm (#)

      Hi Samah, you would just do half the recipe, but use a 9-inch round pan. You could just do a buttercream if you don’t care for cream cheese. If you like cream cheese, but are just wondering about a substitute, the closest thing would be mascarpone. We hope you enjoy!

  25. Holly — October 3, 2015 @ 9:10 pm (#)

    I’d like to make this but it seems like an awful lot, thinking of halving the recipe

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — October 4, 2015 @ 9:39 pm (#)

      Holly, you could definitely do half the recipe, just use a 9-inch round pan – that should be perfect! :)


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