This moist and delicious carrot cake is so easy to make! Paired with a to-die-for cream cheese icing, it’s a completely fabulous dessert!
The Best Spring Dessert
Carrot cake is a classic spring dessert, and for good reason! There’s something totally irresistible about that moist, delicious, lightly spiced cake, topped with a heavenly cream cheese icing.
Making a delicious carrot cake at home is so easy to do, using ingredients you probably already have in your pantry and refrigerator. This carrot cake recipe is my absolute favorite and it always produces great results for me!
How to Make Carrot Cake
This carrot cake recipe is so simple to make, and you don’t even need a mixer! Here’s how to do it.
Prep – Before you get baking, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. You’ll also want to grab two 8 inch cake pans and line them with parchment paper and give them a shot with cooking spray.
Dry Ingredients – You’ll start by whisking together all of the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Once everything is completely mixed together, set them aside.
Wet Ingredients – Next, mix the wet ingredients together in a large bowl. Then add the dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients and stir to form your cake batter.
Carrots – Next, you’ll want to stir in the grated carrots. I prefer to use freshly grated carrots but pre-shredded ones will work too.
Split – Next, divide your batter evenly between the two greased and parchment-lined cake pans.
Cook – Bake the carrot cakes for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool Down – Remove the cake layers from the pans and allow them to cool completely before adding the delicious frosting. While they’re cooling, you will mix up the cream cheese icing! It has just a handful of delicious ingredients, and tastes absolutely heavenly.
Frosting – To make the frosting, you’ll start by beating the eggs and cream cheese together. Once fluffy, you’ll add in the powdered sugar and vanilla and continue mixing until the frosting is smooth. Finally, you’ll add a little half & half to the bowl and mix it until fluffy.
Level Off – Next, it’s time to frost and decorate the cake! It’s important to level your cake layers so they will stack evenly. I used a serrated knife and just eyeballed it, and it worked great.
Base – Place one cake layer on your turntable or a large plate, and add a thick layer of cream cheese icing over the top.
Next Layer – Add the second layer on top of the icing layer, making sure the two carrot cake layers are lined up evenly.
Cover With Frosting – Frost the top and sides of the cake. I like to use an offset spatula to make it easier, but you could use a knife or rubber spatula, depending on what you have on hand.
Final Touch – If you have any extra icing, you can make a pretty design on the top of the cake (or just eat the extra icing with some graham crackers – my favorite!).
Serve – This carrot cake has the perfect tender texture, and the combination of cake and icing is so delicious! The flavors and textures complement each other perfectly. This carrot cake is perfect for celebrating Easter or a spring birthday, but it’s so delicious that you’ll want to enjoy it all year round!
More Spring Desserts
- Easy Key Lime Cupcakes
- Lemon Cheesecake Bars
- The Best Strawberry Cake Recipe
- Strawberry Lemonade Cookies
- Lemon Cheesecake Bars
Carrot Cake Recipe
for the cake:
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 cups shredded carrots, 3-4 medium carrots
for the frosting:
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1-2 teaspoons half and half or heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line two 8 inch cake pans with parchment, spray with cooking spray, and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and allspice, and set aside. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the sugar, brown sugar, eggs, oil, sour cream, and vanilla until well blended. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in the shredded carrots.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pans, dividing evenly. Bake 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
- To make the frosting, in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until smooth. Add a small amount of half and half to the mixture and beat until light and fluffy.
- Level the cooled cake layers using a serrated knife or cake leveler. Place one layer on a cake turntable or large platter, and add a thick layer of frosting on top. Add the other cake layer, being sure to line up the edges evenly. Frost the sides and top of the cake, and decorate as desired.