This carrot cake coffee cake is unbelievable! An easy one-bowl cake batter is topped with golden streusel and a cream cheese drizzle. So delicious!

Oh my heavens, I’ve eaten a lot of carrot cake in my day, but this carrot cake coffee cake is definitely one of the most delicious carrot cake variations I’ve EVER had!

Square of carrot cake coffee cake drizzled with cream cheese glaze on white plate with fork.

One-Bowl Carrot Cake Batter

The batter for this cake, is ultra-simple. It’s an easy, one-bowl recipe, and it comes together fast!

  1. Whisk together melted butter, eggs, buttermilk, sugar, and vanilla.
  2. Add the shredded carrots.
  3. Mix in the dry ingredients.
  4. Gaze lovingly at the luscious carrot cake batter before you.

For the carrots, I highly recommend finely shredding full-size carrots (you’ll need 2 to 3 of them for this recipe) yourself. Bonus: no need to peel them first. The pre-shredded carrots in the produce section are a bit too coarse/thick for this recipe.

Simple Streusel

The streusel that adorns the top of this carrot cake coffee cake is simply:

  • brown sugar
  • flour
  • cinnamon
  • salt
  • melted butter

Yes, melted butter.

It saves the agony of cutting in cold butter to the dry ingredients (anyone else shiver when they read recipe directions that indicate “cutting in butter” is required??). The streusel is buttery, sweet, and magnificent.

Top the carrot cake batter evenly with the streusel.

Depending on how long the streusel has sat patiently waiting to fill the measure of it’s existence, it might need to be gently broken into pieces to crumble over the top of the cake.

As the cake bakes, it’s normal for the top of the cake to be a bit wavy as the streusel dips into little pockets here and there.

Top down view of bottom corner of 9X13-inch pan of carrot cake topped with streusel.

To Drizzle or Not to Drizzle

The cream cheese glaze for this recipe is exceptionally delicious and pairs perfectly with the golden, streuseled cake.

However, the cake is mighty delicious on its own. So you can choose whether to employ the bewitching qualities of the glaze or not.

If you do go the glaze route, you can drizzle the entire top of the cake with the glaze OR drizzle individual pieces with the luscious, creamy frosting.

A Truly Exceptional Cake

This carrot cake coffee cake is phenomenal. I’ve never had anything quite like it.

It is one of the best carrot cake variations I’ve ever had, and that’s saying a lot, because from about February to April every year, I happily eat an extraordinary amount of carrot cake and humbly consider myself quite the carrot cake expert.

The cake is incredibly soft and moist. The streusel settles into the top of the cake creating the most amazing buttery, sweet crust. And the cream cheese glaze binds everything together into the perfect carrot cake dessert.

Fork scooping corner bite from square of carrot cake coffee cake.

Although coffee cake is often known to be served for brunch or relatively informal occasions, this carrot cake coffee cake makes a stunning dessert for any occasion.

(Just sayin’ that leftover pieces of this cake make for a pretty remarkable breakfast, too.)

This cake is incredibly delicious served warm or at room temperature. Both options will provide outstanding cake for your taste buds.

I am SO excited to get this recipe in front of you. I hope you love it as much as I do!

Bite taken out of carrot cake coffee cake on white plate with cream cheese drizzle.

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Bite taken out of carrot cake coffee cake on light gray plate.

Carrot Cake Coffee Cake

4.98 stars (48 ratings)



  • ¾ cup (170 g) butter, melted
  • 3 large (150 g) eggs
  • cup (161 g) buttermilk (see note)
  • cup (141 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (106 g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (200 g) finely shredded carrots (see note)
  • 2 cups (284 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg


  • 1 cup (142 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (212 g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • ½ cup (113 g) butter, melted

Cream Cheese Glaze:

  • 3 ounces (85 g) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons (29 g) butter, softened
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (114 g) powdered sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking pan and set aside. (If using a glass pan, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.)
  • For the cake, in a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, eggs, buttermilk, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, and vanilla until evenly mixed.
  • Add the shredded carrots and mix until evenly combined.
  • Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg, and mix until no dry streaks remain and the batter is evenly combined (try not to over mix in this step).
  • Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.
  • For the streusel, in a medium bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt until evenly combined. Add the melted butter and mix well until small clumps form.
  • Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the cake batter (depending on how long the mixed streusel has been left to sit, it's normal to have to break it into clumpy pieces to sprinkle int his step).
  • Bake the cake for 40 to 45 minutes until the top springs back lightly to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Add time as needed (the exact time will vary a bit based on differing oven temperatures, pan types, etc.). If the streusel is browning too much but the cake needs more time, place a piece of aluminum foil loosely over the top of the cake while it continues baking. Let the cake cool until room temperature or slightly warm.
  • For the glaze, in a medium bowl using an electric handheld or stand mixer, mix the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add the vanilla and mix.
  • Add the powdered sugar and mix on low speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until the mixture is thick and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add milk to thin the consistency so it is thick but pourable.
  • Drizzle the glaze over the top of the cooled or just-warm cake OR drizzle over individual servings. The cake is delicious at room temperature or slightly warm.


Buttermilk: if you don’t have storebought buttermilk on hand, whisking together equal parts milk and sour cream is my preferred substitute. 
Carrots: you’ll need about 2 to 3 medium carrots for this recipe. I don’t recommend using pre-shredded carrots from the produce section as they are too coarse/thick. I grate the carrots on the small holes of my food processor (no need to peel the carrots first). Lightly pack the shredded carrots into the measuring cup for the amount called for in the recipe. 
Serving: 1 piece of cake, Calories: 403kcal, Carbohydrates: 57g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 83mg, Sodium: 339mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 36g

Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe