Best Homemade Carrot Cake - Look no further! Moist, tender, perfectly spiced with a whipped cream cheese frosting.

Best Homemade Carrot Cake

The best homemade carrot cake with whipped cream cheese frosting is to-die-for! I will never try another carrot cake recipe again. This is the one!

Super moist, perfectly spiced, topped with whipped cream cheese frosting. You can’t go wrong.

The whipped cream cheese frosting sends this cake over the top for me. I usually end up scraping half the icing off a piece of cake on other cakes because it’s too sweet.

The cake part is what I’m after most of the time.

What Makes This Simple Carrot Cake Recipe Work

The whipped cream frosting makes the cake. It’s light and airy, unlike a thick, oversweet cream cheese frosting. It marries so well with this incredibly moist and utterly delicious carrot cake.

Carrot cake on white cake platter cut to show texture.

Another reason is that it is a homemade cake. No boxed mixes, just real ingredients. And you can absolutely tell the difference.

Tips

  • Make sure to get the carrots finely chopped to allow for proper cooking with the cake.
  • Create the flour with a spoon and level the flour on the measuring cup with a straight edge.
  • Use room temperature eggs.

How to Make the Best Homemade Carrot Cake

Cake batter in mixing bowl with carrots and pecans added.

I use the food processor to grate the carrots and chop them up smaller. It’s faster than hand grating, and you don’t end up with long carrot strings in the cake.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Line 2 9″ round cake pans with parchment paper. Spray with baking spray or butter. Dust with flour and set aside.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger in a mixing bowl.

In a large mixing bowl, combine vegetable oil, applesauce, eggs, granulated sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer.

Slowly stir in dry ingredients and mix until well blended. Stir in pecans and grated carrots. Divide the cake batter evenly into the 2 prepared cake pans.

Bake the cakes for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool 5 minutes in the pans before removing to a wire cooling rack.

Carrot cake batter divided into metal cake pans.

This recipe bakes nice and level. I didn’t have to level the tops of the cake layers.

Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting Flip cakes upside down when frosting.

Carrot cake on white cake platter cut to show texture.

How to Make Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

To make the whipped cream cheese icing, chill a large bowl. Whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks. A stand mixer comes in handy for this step.

In another bowl, soften the cream cheese with a mixer, and add the sugar, salt, and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth and creamy.  Make sure the sugar has dissolved.

Frost the cake with this amazing icing and enjoy a slice of pure heaven!

A slice of carrot cake on gray plate,

Enjoy the rave reviews from your family for the best carrot cake ever!

FAQ

Can I use pre-shredded carrots in my carrot cake?

You can, but it’s not recommended. Packaged carrots are dried out compared to freshly grated.

Should you shred or grate carrots for carrot cake?

You do not want to have chunks of carrots. They should be finely grated so they can cook with the cake. Using a food processor and then using a sharp knife to cut them even smaller makes for a perfect size.

Why is my carrot cake dry?

There’s too much flour and not enough fat (oil or butter).

Why is my carrot cake too moist?

Carrot cake is an oil-based, not a butter-based cake. Avoid adding things like pineapple, extra nuts, and coconut, as they can add additional moisture to your cake.

Should I sift my flour for carrot cake?

If you’re going for a moist cake, skip the flour sifting.

Is carrot cake better the next day?

Yes. The flavors have had time to come together, and the cake will be moister.

Other Delicious Cakes

Best Homemade Carrot Cake - Look no further! Moist, tender, perfectly spice with a whipped cream cheese frosting.

Best Homemade Carrot Cake Recipe

Best homemade carrot cake with whipped cream cheese frosting is to-die-for! Super moist, perfectly spiced, topped with amazing whipped cream cheese frosting.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: cake, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: best, cake, carrot, homemade
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 12
Calories: 629kcal
Author: Don’t Sweat The Recipe

Ingredients
 

Cake

  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 cups finely grated carrots** lightly packed
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans optional

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, cold 1 – 8 oz package
  • 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream or heavy cream cold

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 9″ round cake pans with parchment paper, spray with baking spray or butter and dust with flour, set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
  • In a large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, combine vegetable oil, applesauce, eggs, granulated sugar, and vanilla.
  • Slowly stir in dry ingredients and mix until well blended. Stir in pecans and grated carrots. Divide mixture evenly into the 2 prepared cake pans.
  • Bake cakes in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool 5 minutes in the pans before removing to a wire rack to cool.
  • Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting Flip cakes upside down when frosting.

For the whipped cream cheese frosting:

  • Chill a large bowl for the whipped cream.
  • In a large chilled bowl, whip cream with a mixer until it forms stiff peaks.
  • In another bowl, use a hand mixer to whip the cream cheese, sugar, salt, and vanilla until fully combined and creamy. Make sure the sugar has dissolved completely.
  • Fold the cream cheese mixture into the whipped cream, then use mixer until it’s fully combined and fluffy.

Notes

**I use the food processor to grate the carrots and then I chop them up smaller. Faster than hand grating and you don’t end up with long carrot strings in the cake. Or grate on the small holes of a handheld grater.

Nutrition

Calories: 629kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Cholesterol: 132mg | Sodium: 359mg | Potassium: 299mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 49g | Vitamin A: 6139IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 2mg

Recipe inspired by ChewOutLoud

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4 Comments

  1. This looks like the perfect balance of a moist cake while avoiding being dense. So many carrot cakes over index on moisture and end up being gummy and dense. I’m a classic cream cheese frosting person, but your frosting looks so light, fluffy, and perfect for Easter:)

  2. Carrot cake isn’t my favorite but my husband LOVES it. I had given up on making it a few years ago because I’ve never had luck with any of the recipes that I’ve tried. This cake looks beautifully delicious and the recipe seems relatively simple so I’m going to give it a try! He will be pleasantly surprised to have this special treat at our Easter gathering. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

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