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Carrot Cake

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: best carrot cake recipe, carrot cake, carrot cake recipe
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 16 slices
Calories: 620kcal
This classic carrot cake recipe is loaded with nuts, raisins, coconut and pineapple, then topped with rich and delicious cream cheese frosting!
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Carrot Cake

  • 2 ¾ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • ¾ cup raisins or currants
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup oil olive oil, vegetable oil or canola oil
  • ½ cup unsweetened apple sauce or use an additional ¼ cup oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups carrots grated, packed
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple canned, drained well (use crushed pineapple in 100% juice)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • ½ cup unsalted butter 1 stick
  • 8 ounces cream cheese 1 package
  • 3 to 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons heavy cream or milk


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9"x13" cake pan OR two 9" round cake pans by rubbing lightly with butter or oil and lining the bottom with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.
  • Add nuts, coconut and raisins to the flour mixture, then set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer (or a large bowl and using a hand mixer), blend eggs and sugar.
  • Add oil, apple sauce and vanilla and blend until fully combined.
  • Stir in carrots and pineapple. Blend well.
  • While slowly mixing, pour in the bowl of dry ingredients. Blend until fully combined.
  • Pour batter into prepare pan(s). Spread to level, as needed.
  • Bake 9"x13" pan for 50-60 minutes (mine was ready at 54 minutes, in a metal pan). The cake is ready when it appears baked on top, has a slight dome and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The top of the cake will be quite dark.
  • Allow cake to cool (at least an hour) before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth. Add cream cheese, and beat until smooth and fully combined.
  • While mixing, add the powdered sugar, a little at a time. After you've added two cups of sugar, add the vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of cream.
  • Add additional sugar until you've reached the desired consistency and desired sweetness. Add the additional tablespoon of cream as needed.
  • Spread onto cooled cake (using an offset spatula).
  • Garnish finished cake with nuts if desired.


Ingredient options - If you do not care to add nuts, raisins or coconut, each of those items are optional and the rest of the recipe can remain the same. If you do not care to add pineapple, you may omit it, but I would suggest replacing with 1/2 cup apple sauce or 1/2 cup sour cream to keep the cake nice and moist.
Cake sizes - This recipe will make a nice thick cake in a 9"x13" pan, and the baking time is listed for this size. You could also bake this cake in most any combination of pans (8" round, 9" round, 10"x15" jelly roll pan, etc.), making sure to adjust the baking time as needed. The cake is done with it has a slight dome, appears baked on top, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Storage Information - This cake is even better the next day, and I almost always make it the day before I want to serve it. Just keep the cake in an airtight container in the fridge (because of the dairy in the frosting), and it’ll keep for 3-4 days just fine.
To Freeze: You can also freeze this carrot cake. Just pop slices of it into freezer-safe containers and freeze for up to 3 months.


Calories: 620kcal | Carbohydrates: 79g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 401mg | Potassium: 240mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 53g | Vitamin A: 3121IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 2mg