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Classic Carrot Cake

A Classic Carrot Cake is a must-have in every home cook’s baking repertoire! Lightly spiced, not too sweet, very moist and finished with an outrageously good cream cheese frosting. Perfect for Easter, spring celebrations, or any time of the year!
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For the Carrot Cake:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 300 grams (about 1 ½ cups) granulated sugar
  • 75 grams (about ½ cup) brown sugar
  • 265 ml (about 1 ¼ cups) vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 265 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 340 grams (about 3 cups) finely grated peeled carrots
  • 110 grams (about 1 cup) chopped pecans

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 225 grams (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 125 grams (9 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 225 grams (2 cups) powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Crushed pecans for decorating



  • Preheat oven to 350ºF degrees, with a rack in the middle. Butter and flour two 8-inch cake pans or line with greased parchment paper.
  • Make the cake: Using a hand (or stand) mixer or a whisk, beat the eggs and sugars until fluffy. Mix in the oil, vanilla extract, spices and salt.
  • Place a fine mesh sieve over your bowl and sift in the flour, baking soda and baking powder into the wet batter. Use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to gently mix - without overmixing - until no lumps of flour remain. Stir in the carrots and pecans.
  • Divide the batter into the two prepared cake pans and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Allow the cakes to cool for 15-20 minutes before removing from the pans to wire racks, so they can cool completely.
  • Make the frosting: In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese and the butter and mix with a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Once combined, add the remaining ingredients and continue mixing until creamy and smooth.
  • Assemble the cake: Once the cakes are completely cooled, use a large serrated knife to give them a trim to make them flat, if needed.
  • Place the first layer on a cake stand or platter, and spread 1/4 of the frosting on top. Top with the second layer and then spread a thin coat of the frosting all over the top and sides. Refrigerate the cake for 15 minutes, then spread the remaining frosting all over the cake.
  • If desired, decorate with crushed pecans before serving!


Do I have to peel the carrots?
Yes! I highly recommend peeling the carrots, as their skin can taste bitter and add a gritty texture to the cake.
I do not add raisins to my carrot cake, but if you'd like to, you can add up to 1 cup of raisins (or other dried fruit, like currants or cranberries) when you mix in the carrots and pecans.
Substitute for walnuts or omit for a nut-free cake.
Make Ahead
This Carrot Cake can be made ahead and refrigerated overnight before serving. 
Alternatively, the frosting can be made up to 3 days ahead and the cake layers can be baked a day before assembly.
Since this cake contains fresh carrots, it has to be kept in the fridge, even if unfrosted. 
Leftovers will keep for up to 5 days!
You can freeze the cake - frosted or unfrosted - for up to 3 months. Make sure to wrap with both plastic and foil to prevent freezer burns!


Calories: 698kcal, Carbohydrates: 70g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 45g, Saturated Fat: 28g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 105mg, Sodium: 535mg, Potassium: 127mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 51g, Vitamin A: 608IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 89mg, Iron: 2mg