The Best Carrot Cake Recipe

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Get ready for the ultimate carrot cake experience! This recipe is a game-changer—easy to whip up, incredibly moist, and bursting with warm spices. Plus, it’s topped with the most heavenly cream cheese frosting and adorned with adorable mini carrots, making it the perfect treat for Easter or any springtime celebration. Trust me, once you try this carrot cake, you’ll never go back!

What makes this carrot cake the best?

  • It’s made with all butter, giving it a richer flavor and an irresistibly tender texture.
  • Packed with warm spices like ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, every bite is bursting with flavor.
  • The cream cheese frosting is the perfect balance of sweet and tangy, taking this cake to a whole new level.
  • And let’s not forget about the moist crumb—paired with the creamy frosting, it’s a match made in dessert heaven!

Got questions? Let’s tackle them!

  • Want to add mix-ins? Go for it! Whether it’s walnuts, pecans, or raisins, feel free to customize your cake. Just stick to around 1/2 cup to maintain the perfect consistency.
  • Gluten-free option? While I’ve only tested this recipe with regular flour, you can give gluten-free flour a try and let me know how it turns out!
  • Cupcakes, anyone? Check out my carrot cake cupcakes for a delicious twist on this recipe!

Here are some tips for baking success:

  • Measure your flour properly to avoid any baking mishaps.
  • For perfectly shredded carrots, use the small holes on a box grater—trust me, it’s worth it!
  • And when it comes to frosting, make sure your butter and cream cheese are just the right temperature for that fluffy, creamy texture.

The Best Carrot Cake Recipe

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 8 slices


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 313 g
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter 140 g, softened
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar 200 g
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar 110 g
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk 178 ml, at room temperature
  • 2 cups finely shredded carrots 220 g, at room temperature

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter 336 g, softened
  • 12 oz. cream cheese 340 g, cold
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 cups powdered sugar 780 g
  • Orange and green food coloring optional
  • Chopped walnuts optional


For the Carrot Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease three 6-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a large bowl, cream together butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until fluffy.
  • Add eggs and vanilla, mixing until smooth and slightly fluffy.
  • Alternate adding dry ingredients and buttermilk to the butter mixture, mixing until smooth.
  • Fold in shredded carrots.
  • Divide batter among prepared cake pans and bake for 36-41 minutes.
  • Let cakes cool in pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • Whip butter until pale and fluffy, then add cream cheese and mix until combined.
  • Sift in powdered sugar, mixing until smooth and fluffy.
  • Add vanilla and mix until light and fluffy.
  • Divide frosting and tint with food coloring if desired.

Assembling the Cake:

  • Level cake layers, then crumb coat and chill for 30 minutes.
  • Apply final layer of frosting, chilling in between coats if needed.
  • Pipe carrots and stems onto cake with colored frosting.
  • Decorate with chopped walnuts and additional frosting swirls.
  • Serve and enjoy!

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