This carrot sheet cake with whipped cream cheese frosting is unbelievably delicious. It’s light and moist and perfectly spiced.

piece of cream cheese frosted carrot cake on a white plate

You just can’t have an Easter season celebration without carrot cake, in my opinion. Even if you aren’t a carrot cake fan, you have to love it for approximately 10 days, give or take a few, just in time for carrot cake season to come and go.

I happen to know about one of the most unbelievable carrot cake recipes, and it is…well…unbelievable. But sometimes necessity requires a simpler version – a carrot cake that doesn’t have to be layered and tediously frosted, a cake that can feed a crowd and maintain its delicious simplicity.

a piece of frosted carrot cake with a bite taken out on a white plate

This carrot cake fits the bill. Sent to me by a reader and friend, Alisha, this cake apparently has been around for a long time and was a renowned recipe in a large bakery that has since closed down.

It definitely lives up to its fame!

This cake is light and moist and perfectly spiced. Topped with the whipped cream cheese frosting, it is a dream.

I even took liberties with the recipe, subbing applesauce for half of the oil, adding vanilla extract and reducing the eggs by one (thanks to Alisha’s own tip) and the result was an absolutely rewarding finish to a lovely meal.

Keep in mind that the full recipe feeds a crowd (think: large sheet pan filled with luscious carrot cake).

The great news is that if you want a smaller batch, it halves beautifully. Same delicious cake just in slightly smaller proportions.

top view of a piece of frosted carrot cake

FAQs for Carrot Sheet Cake

How deep does the pan need to be?

My pan is 1 or 1 1/2 inches high.

What can I use instead of applesauce?

You can use oil if you don’t have applesauce.

Can I halve this recipe?

Yes! This recipe works great halved- just bake it in a greased 9X13-inch pan, for about 20-22 minutes.

Carrot Sheet Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 11X17-inch sheet pan
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
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Ingredients

Cake:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 pounds carrots, washed and ends trimmed (they don’t need to be peeled)

Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour an 11X17-inch rimmed baking sheet. Shred the carrots, finely, on a box grater or food processor. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the eggs, oil, applesauce, water and vanilla. Whisk in the sugar to combine until evenly mixed.
  3. In a second bowl mix flour, spices, salt, soda and baking powder. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until moistened. Gently fold the carrots into the batter until evenly distributed. Bake the cake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely.
  4. For the frosting, mix the cream cheese, vanilla and butter with an electric mixer until light and creamy. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar until smooth. In a separate bowl, beat the heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the frosting and whip to combine (don’t overmix or the frosting will become too stiff). The frosting should be smooth and creamy.

Notes

Halving the Recipe: this recipe works great halved and baked in a greased 9X13-inch pan. It bakes in about 20-22 minutes in my oven when halved.

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Recipe Source: adapted from my friend, Alisha O.