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Carrot cake lovers, rejoice!  This is the carrot cake of your dreams, complete with a swoon-worthy cream cheese frosting. Make a towering layer cake, a batch of cupcakes for a bunch of little rabbits, or a bundt cake for your next book club!

Carrot Cake

Carrot cake lovers, rejoice!  This is the carrot cake of your dreams, complete with a swoon-worthy cream cheese frosting. Make a towering layer cake, a batch of cupcakes for a bunch of little rabbits, or a bundt cake for your next book club!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword carrot cake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 16 slices
Calories 505 kcal

Ingredients

For the Carrot Cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil or canola oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups carrots peeled and grated (about 5 to 6)
  • 1 cup toasted pecans coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup raisins

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans coarsely chopped, for topping
US Customary - Metric

Instructions

To make the Carrot Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray, line the bottom with parchment paper, then coat the top of the paper with nonstick spray. 

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and the cinnamon until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk oil, white sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, until blended.

  3. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then add the dry ingredients in 3 batches, stirring after each addition, until the batter is smooth. Stir in the carrots, nuts and raisins.

  4. Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans. Bake until the tops of the cake layers are springy when touched and when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 35 to 45 minutes.

  5. Cool cakes in pans for 15 minutes then turn out onto cooling racks, peel off parchment paper and cool completely.

To make the cream cheese frosting:

  1. In a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, or using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until creamy, about 1 minute. 

  2. Reduce speed to low and beat in the powdered sugar, a 1/2 cup at a time, until fluffy. Beat on medium-high speed for 1 minute. Chill covered until ready to frost cake.

  3. When the cake layers are completely cool, frost the top of one cake layer, place the other cake layer on top. Frost the top layer of the cake and the entire outside of the cake. Scatter nuts on top or press into the sides of the cake as desired.

Recipe Notes

Preparing the Cake Pans: Even though it is a bit time consuming, don’t skimp on prepping the pans. It’s never fun to find your cake layer is stuck to the bottom of your pan. (If this does happen to you, leave the cake pan upside down and allow gravity to do its thing).

How to Make Carrot Cake Cupcakes: For cupcakes, we’d recommend baking for 14 to 18 minutes (or until a tester inserted into the center of one comes out clean). Then let them cool for a few minutes in the cupcake pan before transferring them to a cooling rack. The recipe should make about 24 cupcakes.

Using a bundt pan: We have never done this in our kitchen, but a 10-cup or 12-cup Bundt pan should be fine for this recipe. You will likely need to increase the baking time by about 30% in the 10-cup pan, somewhat less in the 12-cup.

Using a 9-inch by 13-inch pan rectangular pan: simple! Add all the batter to the rectangular pan and bake. The bake time should be similar. 

Adapted from Inspired Taste.