Caramel Carrot Sheet Cake

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This sheet cake is moist, packed with cinnamon and carrot flavors, and topped with smooth cream cheese frosting and buttery caramel. It’s perfect for a spring gathering and will feed a crowd!

With Easter week approaching, it’s time to enjoy vegetables in cake form—especially carrot cake! It’s one of my favorites, and this year I added a fun twist with homemade caramel sauce. Usually, I only take a bite of dessert, but I ate two whole pieces of this one—it’s that good! Making this in a sheet pan avoids the hassle of layering. The frosting has just four ingredients and is silky smooth. The homemade caramel is the final touch that makes this cake amazing. It might seem complicated, but it only takes an extra 10 minutes to make perfect caramel sauce.

Tips for Making Homemade Caramel

This recipe is easy, but you need to be careful not to burn the sugar. Stay by the stove and stir constantly until the sugar turns amber, which can take 5-10 minutes. The deeper the color, the richer the caramel. Once the sugar melts and turns deep amber, stir in the butter. Be cautious, as the mixture will bubble and steam when you add the butter and cream.

For a thicker caramel to fill cupcakes or cookies, let it cool completely in the fridge. For a drizzle over ice cream, heat it in the microwave for 15-20 seconds to return it to a perfect drizzle consistency.

Other Recipe Tips

Pan: This recipe makes a thick cake in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Use a metal pan for even baking. A pan with a lid is great for easy transport.

Frosting Tips: Ensure both butter and cream cheese are at room temperature to avoid lumps. Beat them together for 2-3 minutes until smooth. Store the cake in the refrigerator due to the cream cheese frosting.

Carrots: Don’t use pre-shredded carrots. Buy large carrots and shred them yourself. I prefer using a small grater so they blend into the cake. You need 3 cups of shredded carrots, which is about 5-6 medium carrots.

Caramel Carrot Sheet Cake

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 20 slices


#### For the Cake:

  • – 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
  • – 1 cup light brown sugar
  • – 1 cup granulated sugar
  • – 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • – 4 eggs room temperature
  • – 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • – 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • – 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • – 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • – 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • – 3 cups thinly grated carrots about 5-6 medium carrots

#### For the Caramel:

  • – 1 cup granulated sugar
  • – 1/2 cup heavy cream room temperature
  • – 5 tablespoons salted butter room temperature
  • – 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

#### For the Frosting:

  • – 1/2 cup salted butter room temperature
  • – 8 ounces full-fat cream cheese room temperature
  • – 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • – 3 cups powdered sugar


#### For the Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray a 9×13 inch metal baking pan with nonstick spray.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and eggs until combined.
  • Add the flour, corn starch, baking soda, and salt to the wet ingredients and whisk until just combined. Fold in the shredded carrots with a rubber spatula.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely.

#### For the Caramel:

  • Add the sugar to a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Whisk occasionally. The sugar will clump and melt, turning deep amber. Stir continuously until all the sugar is dissolved.
  • Once melted, stir in the butter one tablespoon at a time. Slowly drizzle in the room-temperature heavy cream, about 2 tablespoons at a time, until fully combined. Be cautious as it will bubble and steam.
  • Remove the caramel from heat and stir in the salt. Allow it to cool to room temperature before using. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

#### For the Frosting:

  • In a stand mixer bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth and combined, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the vanilla and powdered sugar, and mix until smooth.

#### For Assembly:

  • Once the cake has cooled completely, top it with cream cheese frosting.
  • Drizzle about 1/2 – 3/4 cup of room-temperature caramel on top. Use a spatula or spoon to swirl the caramel into the frosting.
  • Refrigerate until serving and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

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