Carrot Cake Recipe
Today, we are sharing our favorite Carrot Cake Recipe with you! This amazing scratch recipe has wonderful flavor from carrots, spices, pecans, coconut, and crushed pineapple.
Table of Contents
Why We Love It
Well, we're a little biased, but this is the best carrot cake ever. Here are just a few reasons why:
- Tons of flavor from fresh ingredients.
- Amazing combination of carrots, pecans, coconut, crushed pineapple, and cinnamon. Not every carrot recipe has these add-ins, but they are what make this carrot cake recipe the BEST!
- Always a crowd pleaser! Carrot cake is a go-to favorite for special occasions and holidays, no matter what time of year!
- Fantastic when paired with cream cheese frosting.
How to Make a Carrot Cake
You can find the full, printable carrot cake recipe further down in this post. Here is a quick rundown of our steps!
- First, Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
- Next, line the bottoms of 3 (8 inch) or 2 (9 inch) round pans with wax or parchment paper, grease with shortening and flour the paper and pans for easy release when turning out.
- Dry Ingredients: Combine and whisk the all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set Aside.
- Next, in the bowl of your mixer, add sugar , eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Mix 2 to 3 minutes at medium speed until well blended and light colored.
- Then, with a spoon stir in the flour until moistened. Then add the grated carrots, chopped pecans, crushed pineapple and sweetened coconut.
- Next, Divide the carrot cake batter between the three prepared cake pans.
- Bake 35 minutes at 350 degrees F or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool cake layers in pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack then turn out. Cool completely before adding the cream cheese filling and frosting.
What Frostings Pair Well with Carrot Cake?
For us, you just cannot be the combination of cream cheese frosting and carrot cake layers!
The slight tang from the Cream Cheese Frosting is the perfect complement to the cinnamon in the recipe and the sweetness from the carrots, coconut, and pineapple.
We used our classic cream cheese frosting which is a simple combination of cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, and a pinch of salt.
Another Option: If you cannot use cream cheese frosting or just don't care for it (gasp!), I would go with a Classic Vanilla Buttercream or add a little cinnamon to the vanilla buttercream for a delicious Cinnamon Buttercream.
Assembling the Carrot Cake
Once the carrot cake layers have completely cooled, it is time to assemble!
Place the first carrot cake layer on your cake base or pedestal. Spread with a layer of cream cheese frosting.
Top with the second cake layer and repeat. Top with the third cake layer and frost the top and around the sides of the cake with a thin layer of frosting (this is the crumb coat!)
At this point, we like to chill the cake for 15 minutes in the freezer (or longer in the refrigerator) to firm everything up before applying the final coat of cream cheese frosting.
Then, apply the next layer of frosting to the chilled carrot cake and decorate however you like! You could smooth the frosting with a bench scraper, comb the cake, apply an easy ridged effect to the frosting with an offset spatula, and more!
Cream Cheese Frosting Consistency
Cream cheese frostings are a softer consistency than other frostings, and can be more heat sensitive.
For this reason, keep in mind that you may need to pop your piping bag, bowl of frosting, or even the cake in the refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes here and there to return it to a better consistency for decorating.
More Cakes to Try
In addition today's Carrot Cake Recipe, we have several more classic cake recipes that you must try! These old fashioned favorites are recipes that you will return to again and again.
Make sure to save these go-to recipes!
Carrot Cake Recipe Variations
These would all make wonderful birthday cake recipes, special occasion cakes, and more.
Enjoy the Recipe!
Thanks so much for stopping by. We hope that you love this carrot cake recipe! Don't miss our full collection of cake recipes, including favorite cake recipes from scratch as well as cake mix recipes!
Carrot Cake from Scratch
For the Carrot Cake
- 2 ½ cups (325g) all purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups (400g) sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil 218g
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups (180g) grated (small pieces) carrots (do not use packaged pre-shredded carrots, they are too dry)
- ¾ cup (92g) chopped pecans
- ¾ cup (50g) sweetened coconut (we used Baker's Angel Flake sweetened coconut)
- 1 8oz. can crushed pineapple put in a strainer and let the liquid drain off….I press with a fork to remove not all, but a bit more liquid.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting (this recipe can be easily doubled if you plan to do a lot of piping)
- 2 sticks (226g) unsalted butter, slightly softened
- 16 oz cream cheese (We used two 8 oz packages) (Not reduced fat)
- 2 teaspoons (8g) vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon (2g) salt
- 6 to 6 ½ cups (690g to 747g) confectioners' sugar
For the Carrot Cake
- Preheat oven to 350℉
- Line the bottoms of 3 (8 inch) or 2 (9 inch) round pans with wax or parchment paper, grease with shortening and flour the paper and pans for easy release when turning out……carrot cake has a tendency to stick so be sure to use the paper.
- Whisk together for 30 seconds the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set Aside.
- In the bowl of your mixer, add 2 cups sugar , 4 eggs, 1 cup oil and 1 tsp. vanilla. Mix 2 to 3 minutes at medium speed until well blended and light colored.
- With a spoon stir in the flour mixture until moistened, then add the carrots, pecans crushed pineapple and coconut.
- Bake 35 minutes at 350 degrees or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Refrain from opening the oven door or touching the center of the cake to test for doneness until very near the end of baking time or it could cause the cake to sink slightly in the center.
- Makes 6 ½ cups batter
- Cool cake layers in pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack then turn out. Cool completely before frosting.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- Cut the butter into slices and add to the bowl of your mixer. Beat on low to medium speed until the butter is softened and smooth.
- Cut the cold cream cheese into pieces and add to the butter, beating at low to medium speed until incorporated. If you are using a hand mixer you may need to soften the cream cheese a bit more.
- Add the vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar beating on low speed until blended.
- Increase mixing speed and mix until fluffy. Don't over beat or it will become too soft. If it becomes too soft, just refrigerate a short while to firm it up a bit.
- This frosting will pipe best if used while still chilled. You can make it in advance, refrigerate and when ready to use let it soften slightly (do not microwave) and remix.
- Will frost a 3 layer 8 inch cake