There’s just nothing better than a BIG slice of carrot cake! We LOVE this moist scratch Carrot Cake recipe for it’s winning combination of flavors.
This recipe has it all: carrots, spices, pecans, coconut & pineapple! With that amazing roundup of ingredients, how could you go wrong?
Carrot Cake is a year-round favorite. A thick coat of cream cheese frosting with moist and flavorful carrot cake layers is a heavenly combination. I’ve experimented with and tried so many carrot cake recipes over the years, but this recipe is our absolute favorite!
This has been one of our most popular cake recipes over the years. We hope that you enjoy it!
*I think that carrot cakes are best with cream cheese frosting! You can find our cream cheese buttercream frosting listed in our recipe below, or you may also like our Pipeable Cream Cheese Frosting if you prefer a thicker consistency! Either recipe tastes fantastic with carrot cake!
I love this close-up shot. Look at all of that goodness!
For the Carrot Cake
- 2 1/2 cups (325g.) all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 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)
- 3/4 cup (92 g) chopped pecans
- 3/4 cup (50g) coconut (optional)
- 1 (8oz.) can crushed pineapple, put in a strainer and let the liquid drain off….I press with a fork to remove more liquid.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting (this recipe can be easily doubled if you plan to do a lot of piping)
- 2 sticks ,1 cup, (226g) unsalted butter, slightly softened
- 2 (8oz) packages cream cheese (total weight 452g) I use full fat cream cheese. Using reduced fat or the spreadable cream cheese will cause the frosting to be too soft. Soften very slightly.
- 2 teaspoons (8 g) vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (2g) optional - it will cut the sweetness, popcorn salt is best to use because it is fine and dissolves faster
- 6 to 6 1/2 cups (690g to 747g) powdered sugar
For the Carrot Cake
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- 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 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 1/2 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. Cover the bowl with a towel to keep down the cloud of powdered sugar.
- Increase mixing speed and beat 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 or 9 inch cake.
Did you know that we have a doctored cake mix version for Carrot Cake? Scratch Carrot Cake cake is my favorite but if you prefer to work with doctored cake mixes, this doctored cake mix version is a great one (and much better than a Carrot Cake box mix!) Doctored Carrot Cake Recipe
Don’t miss our full listing of favorite Cake Recipes in our Cake Recipes section! Thanks for stopping by!