Homemade Carrot Cake is perfectly moist, tender and delicious. It is surprisingly simple to make and is topped with an easy homemade cream cheese frosting. Watch the video tutorial below and see how easy it is!
Easy Carrot Cake Recipe
Carrot Cake is a very popular dessert that a lot of people tend to make around Easter. Even though this dessert is the perfect one for it, we believe it should truly be enjoyed all year long.
We have tried many variations of this carrot cake recipes, and this is the best you can get! It will result in a perfectly moist, flavorful and delicious cake. The texture is also amazing, and it looks so festive.
In addition, it has the right amount of spices, and yes, that all-time favorite cream cheese frosting of ours. It is not too sweet, with the right amount of carrots and a mixture of both butter and oil that complements it tremendously well.
You can decorate it the way you like, and with various toppings. Sometimes, we top it with some nuts or chopped pecans. Also, adding some coconut flakes or simply using some whipped cream works just as well.
Once you give it a try and realize how easy it is to make, you will be making it over and over again.
How to grate carrots for carrot cake?
We don’t like to skimp on the carrots when it comes to this recipe, so we use 3 cups of grated carrot. This is usually about 4 large carrots. Before grading them, make sure to peel them off. You can use a box grater to grate your carrots, on in a food processor.
With a box grater:
- First, peel them.
- Then, place it against the side of the grater that has the smallest holes using a downward motion.
With the food processor:
Use the “shred” blade to finely process them. If they are not as fine as you would like, switch to the standard blade and briefly pulse the carrots until they are finely shredded. But make sure not to overdo this step, as you do not want to end up with a purée.
Can I substitute applesauce for oil in carrot cake?
Yes. Applesauce can be substituted with oil, just to make sure when doing so, to use a 1:1 ratio. We have tried this recipe both ways, and personally, like oil better because the oil will keep the moisture better in the cake.
In addition, replacing the oil with applesauce will impact the texture, and might result in a drier cake.
Should I put a carrot cake in the fridge?
Absolutely, and we highly recommend doing so! We like to make it at least 1-2 days in advance, as the cream cheese frosting sits, it absorbs better with the cake, making it really flavorful and moist. Typically, a cake will last in the fridge for 5-6 days.
Can I freeze the carrot cake?
Yes, and this is a perfect dessert to freeze. It can be frozen by individual slices in airtight containers for several months. Simply, wrap it with aluminum foil, this way you can thaw slices one at a time, as needed.
Also, you could freeze each cake layer prior to assembly. Once the layers are baked, make sure they are completely cooled. Then, store each layer in a ziplock freezer bag separately, and freeze for up to three months. When ready to serve, remove from freezer the night before, and frost it the next day!
Carrot cake recipe tips and notes
- We used three 8-inch cake pans in this recipe and really like the size of it.
- Ensure the measure precisely the dry ingredient as per recipe notes, and do not pack the flour into the measuring cup. Otherwise, you’ll end up with too much in your recipe.
- Also, we really love adding some spices to it, such as ground cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. They all add such a wonderful flavor to this cake and also are not too overpowering. However, skip them if you are not a fan.
- Similarly, we use a bit more brown sugar than granulated sugar because it adds more moisture and flavor to it.
- You can decorate it the way you like by adding nuts or other ingredients. Also, adding and mixing some raisins into the batter is another option.
Watch Recipe Video:
Best Homemade Carrot Cake
- Baking Spray for the pans
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon (ground)
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (ground)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs (at room temperature)
- 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
- 1 cup buttermilk (at room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup walnuts (chopped)
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup raisins (rinsed and drained)
- Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 cup walnuts (chopped)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Spray 2 8-inch cake pans with baking spray, cover the bottom to fit with parchment paper and spray again with baking spray. Use 3 pans for thinner layers. Set aside.
- Add raisins to a small bowl, top with boiling water and let sit for 10 minutes. Drain well and place on paper towels to dry.
- In a medium bowl combine dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Whisk to combine and aside.
- Add wet ingredients to a large bowl: eggs, oil, buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla extract. Using a hand mixer (or stand mixer), whisk on medium speed until fully combined.
- Reduce mixer speed to low, and slowly add the dry ingredients mix. Stop from time to time to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Whisk just until fully combined.
- Once combined, stir in shredded carrots, chopped walnuts, and raisins.
- Divide the batter equally into the prepared pans.
- Bake, rotating the pans halfway through the cooking process. A toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, about after 25-30 minutes of baking.
- Remove the cakes from the oven and run a knife around the edges to loosen them from the pans. Let it cool in the pans for about 20-30 minutes.
- Invert the cakes onto a plate and then re-invert them onto a cooling rack. Round side up. Cool completely before frosting.
Frost the Cake:
- Prepare the Cream Cheese Frosting according to recipe directions.
- In needed, use a serrated knife or cake leveler, slice the layer's top to make them flat.
- Add 1/4 cup of frosting onto the bottom of a cake stand.
- Place the first layer onto the cake stand. Add about 1 cup (or more if needed) of frosting onto the cake layer and using an offset spatula, spread the frosting evenly, to create a 1/2-inch layer.
- Add another layer on top and repeat.
- Cover the entire cake with the remaining frosting. Use chopped walnuts to garnish the sides and top edges of the cake.
- Refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours, or until somewhat stiff before serving.
- Stored in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. Preferably in an airtight container.