Carrot Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Bake a classic carrot cake that almost everyone loves. This is a very moist and flavorful cake with a traditional cream cheese frosting; a wonderful cake to serve during the Easter season or anytime.

This beautiful photo was taken by our Daughter-in-Law Christie for our Grandson Dallas’s 2nd Birthday. I made this delicious Carrot Cake, always a crowd favorite, using three 8-inch pans and splitting each layer to make a tall 6 layer cake. It has a crumb coat using Crusting Cream Cheese Frosting, and then finished with Cream Cheese Frosting in blue ombre for this occasion. This photo shows the last piece of cake, tipped over on its side, before we thought to take a picture! See more of Christie’s photography at Christie Hickey Photography.
Recipe type: Dessert | Oil Layer Cake
Serves: 10 to 12
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups grated raw carrots, firmly packed
  • ¾ cups walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped (optional)
Cream Cheese Frosting: (For 8 or 9 inch 2 layer cake or a 13 by 9 inch cake)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
Cream Cheese Frosting: (For 8 or 9 inch 6 layer cake)
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 6 cups confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare three 9-inch round layer cake pans or one 9x13x2 inch oblong pan; lightly grease the pans with shortening and dust with flour. Tip: to make baked cake easier to remove from pan, lightly grease the pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, and then lightly grease the top of the parchment paper and dust the pan with flour.
  1. Plump the raisins by steaming in a colander in a double boiler; steam the raisins about 1 minute or until softened. Thoroughly drain, or spread the raisins on paper toweling to dry. Tip: Create a double boiler by filling a saucepan with 2 inches of water and bringing it to a simmer. Place the fruit in a steamer or plastic or wire mesh colander on top of the simmering water, the upper pan should not touch the water.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg; sift or whisk together to mix. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, add eggs; beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes or until they are a light yellow color and thickened. With the mixer still on medium-high speed, slowly add the sugar to the eggs, either one tablespoon at a time, or in a very slow steady stream, taking 3 to 4 minutes to add all of the sugar, and beating until the eggs and sugar are fully incorporated, and the mixture looks light in color and thickened. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly.
  4. Reduce mixer speed to medium, slowly pour the oil into the batter in a slow steady stream, and then beat for 1 minute longer.
  5. Reduce mixer speed to medium-low, and blend in the flour mixture all at once, mixing just until incorporated.
  6. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Using a balloon type whisk or large rubber spatula, fold in the drained raisins, carrots, and nuts
  7. Bake: Spoon the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the surface with the back of a large spoon. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until a long toothpick, wooden skewer, or cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Place baking pans on a wire cooling rack to cool for 10 to 15 minutes. If using round cake pans, remove cake from pans and place directly on wire racks to finish cooling. If using 13x9 inch pan you can leave the cake in the baking pan to finish cooling, frost, and cut into squares to serve directly from the pan.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
  1. In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, and vanilla; use an electric hand mixer or wooden spoon and beat together until mixture is smooth. Add powdered sugar; beat until frosting is smooth and creamy. Use an offset spatula to spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake.
  2. Tip: I prefer to use a mixer for the frosting. After the sugar is completely mixed in continue beating on high speed for about 2 minutes for the frosting to get extra light and fluffy.
  3. Cover frosted cake and refrigerate until ready to serve. Refrigerate Leftovers.
  4. Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe Notes
Pan: 3 9" round layers or one 9"x13"x2" oblong Pan Prep: Greased and Floured Oven Temp: 350° Storage: Cover and Refrigerate

Help: Cake Hints and Tips

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