Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting-this is the BEST carrot cake recipe and it’s easy to make too!
You guys, I made a cake…like a real, layered cake! Are you surprised? I rarely bake layered cakes because they scare me. I am fine when it comes to coffee cakes, bundt cakes, sheet cakes, etc. but layered cakes make me nervous. I know they aren’t much different, you just bake them in different pans, but then you have to layer them, frost them, and make them pretty. That is the part that stresses me out.
Well, I made a layered Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and I am quite proud of myself. It is the best carrot cake I have tasted and it actually looks pretty good too:)
The carrot cake is actually really easy to make. If I can do it, you can do it:) The hardest part is grating the carrots, but you can cheat and use a food processor. If you want the extra workout, a grate them by hand. It really doesn’t take that long.
The carrot cake is incredibly moist, perfectly spiced, and dotted with raisins. Yes, I just said raisins. I know there are a lot of raisin haters out there, but I love raisins and I think they are a must in carrot cake. If you are a hater, you can leave them out. We can still be friends. And I personally don’t like nuts in my carrot cake, but if you want to add chopped pecans or walnuts, you can. I will still love you:)
The cream cheese frosting is not an option though, every good carrot cakes needs to end with lots of cream cheese frosting! I decided to keep the cake “rustic” by adding a layer of frosting between the layers and on top. If you want to go all out and frost the sides, go for it! I just kept my cake simple because I am still a little scared when it comes to frosting layered cakes:) And I like the rustic look! It turned out super cute and SUPER tasty!
I ate one piece of carrot cake and loved every bite. I told Josh we had to get it out of the house ASAP or I was going to eat the entire cake. Our friends were happy to take the cake off of our hands. Yay for sharing!
Now, that I am feeling confident in my carrot cake baking, I am going to make this Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting for Easter dessert. It is a classic Easter dessert and I know the Easter bunny will love it! You should add it to your Easter menu too!
For the Cake:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 2 cups grated carrots
- 1/2 cup raisins
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 1/2 cup butter at room temperature
- 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9-inch round, 2-inch deep cake pans. Dust with flour, tapping out excess. Set pans aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs until combined. Add the sugar and beat on medium speed well combined, about 2 minutes. Add in the vanilla. With the mixer on low, add the oil in a thin steady stream and continue to beat until fully incorporated.
- Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Don't overmix. Stir in the grated carrots and raisins.
- Scrape batter into prepared pans, dividing evenly. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around edges of cakes to loosen, and turn out cakes onto rack. Turn right side up, and let cool completely.
- While the cakes are cooling, make the frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and cream cheese and beat until smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar. Add the lemon juice and vanilla, and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Using a serrated knife, carefully trim rounded top of cakes. Place one cake, cut side up, on a plate or cake stand. Spread half of the frosting over cake. Invert the remaining cake on top of the frosted bottom layer so that the flat side (the bottom) is on top. Spread remaining frosting over top.
- Note: The cakes can be made in advanced. Wrap cooled cakes in a double layer of plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 1 month. Store the frosted cake in an airtight cake dome, at cool room temperature, or in the fridge, for 2 to 3 days. You can also make this recipe in a 9x13 cake pan. You can add in chopped pecans or walnuts, if you wish. If you are raisin hater, you can leave them out, but we love them:)
Have you tried this recipe?
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Love love love carrot cake – not raisins though! Can I omit the raisins without any “issues” in the final product?
Thank you. Tammy
Opps – Just read the NOTE section. Raisins are out for me. Thanks.
Haha! Cakes are totally not my thing either! I’m not what one would call the artistic cook… I’m more a tastes good cook! 😉 But this looks AWESOME! I love me some yummy carrot cake 🙂
Cakes are so delicious. Thank you for sharing.
I love carrot cake but I am definitely not a fan of nuts in my baked goods. This cake is perfect for me 🙂
I love carrot cake for the cream cheese frosting 😉 “Rustic” still looks super elegant in my book. I’m always paranoid that other people won’t like it, but when I see it in person I always think it looks professional. There is such a think as too much frosting, and I think that the way you decorated this cake sidesteps that issue. I can’t wait to cut a slice!
This is gorgeous!! I love a proper carrot cake with cream cheese frosting – one of the best desserts ever!
What a gorgeous carrot cake! Love!!
Can I make this without a stand mixer? Will a handheld work?
Yes, you can use a hand mixer.
My family’s favorite is my carrot cake (from the Commissary in Philadelphia) and I have to make it for every family gathering/holiday…..so I think I know the recipe by heart! Very similar to your recipe (minus the raisins)…
I think now that I’m grown up (I think), carrot cake may be one of my favorites! This one is perfection.
Lovely cake! I have huge thing for carrot cake lately and I’ve posted one myself, since it’s almost Easter :). And I know the original one recalls for cream cheese, but I prefer a lot more with mascarpone, it’s ridiculously good!
I just try your cake…so easy & really delicious…thanks for the recipe…
My favorite cake ,It looks delicious ,Layer cake scare me too,but with enough frosting I can hide any cracks,Thank you for sharing your recipe
Could this be done in 3 8 inch pans?
I just made this cake. I cooked it in 2-9 inch pans at 350 for 28 min. The cake came out really hard and dry around the edges. It did not have good flavor at all. It should of been taken out at 25min, if I had cooked it for the 30 to 40 min it called for it would have been black. Very disappointed as this was to go with Easter dinner.
I made this cake for a family dinner and it came out amazing! I added this to my list of favorite cakes! Must try!
Yay! So glad you liked the cake!
Lovely looking cake! Looks so professionally made that I would never think it was homemade if it was in a bakery.
i liek it
This looks wonderful! Can I add unsweetened shredded coconut to the recipe? I realize that coconut absorbs moisture, so would I need to compensate by adding liquid? (How much/ what would you recommend?)
Yes, you can add coconut. If you add a cup of coconut you should be fine without adding any extra liquid.
I am assuming it should read 5 Tbsp of powdered sugar rather than 5 cups…
No, it is 5 cups. You nee a lot of frosting for the cake.
You will love this incredibly moist carrot cake with its ultra-creamy cream cheese frosting. Made with grated carrots and other mix-ins, this is my favorite carrot cake recipe of all time.soft, moist and delicious cake with cream cheese frosting and topped with walnuts.
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