This is hands-down the best carrot cake ever! Simple, with no secret or special ingredients, this delicious carrot cake with whipped cream cheese frosting is soft, tender and unbelievably moist.

The Best Carrot Cake

Since I’ve successfully been making this carrot cake recipe for almost ten years now (!!), I’m taking it from its “unbelievable” status straight up to “best ever.”

I have tried so many variations of carrot cake over the years, it isn’t even funny, and every time, I come back to this tried-and-true favorite when I want a wonderful, classic, no-fuss, best carrot cake.

With Easter quickly approaching and carrot cake season in full force around my house, this amazing and simple carrot cake needed a little moment in the spotlight again.

The Best Carrot Cake

I’m a little particular about how I like my carrot cake (shocker, I know – me? having opinions? who knew).

And actually, carrot cake itself can be quite polarizing.

I’ve received some very, shall I say, animated emails and comments over the years about how carrot cake SHOULD and SHOULD NOT be made.

For instance, if I offered this short 3-survey questionnaire to the public, I know for certain the responses would be passionate and varied:
1) Does pineapple belong in carrot cake?
2) What about nuts? Should they be in carrot cake batter or not?
3) Sorry to even bring this up, but I have to ask: how do you feel about raisins in your carrot cake?

Some of you long-term readers could undoubtedly tell everyone how I feel about #’s 1-3 up there.

In short: no, No, NO! to all three of those options.

I’m a carrot cake purist, I guess.

Leave out all the frilly, lumpy, distracting ingredients and give me straight up, classic, moist carrot cake all the livelong day.

The Best Carrot Cake

And don’t forget the cream cheese frosting, of course.

That combo: best carrot cake + cream cheese frosting. Is there anything more heavenly?

The delectable cream cheese frosting that adorns this carrot cake is an equal partner in terms of best-ever qualities.

It’s a pretty basic cream cheese frosting, as far as cream cheese frostings go, but I learned a decade ago when I first started making it, that the hint of sour cream in the frosting is what sets it apart from all of its cream cheese frosting competitors.

Ultra-creamy, it has that very slightly hint of tanginess that offsets the sweetness and makes you want to dive headfirst into the bowl of frosting.

The Best Carrot Cake

Now, even though I shared some rather aggressive thoughts about keeping nuts out of my carrot cake above, I do have to retract a little.

Even though I normally try to find ways to keep nuts out of all my desserts, there’s something a little magical about the toasty crunch of pecans garnishing the outside of cream cheese frosted carrot cake.

See? I can be open minded. Sometimes.

Just don’t go take a mile where I gave an inch, and throw those pecans farther than they need to go.

As long as they stay on the outside of the cake, we’re good.

I suppose the great news in all of this is that because this carrot cake is so amazing, it will do well with whatever add-in you choose to toss in the cake batter (within reason, of course).

If you are more open minded than I am, go crazy and make this your own!

I’m actually quite interested to hear what you consider to be the perfect carrot cake.

Thankfully there’s enough carrot cake variations to go around for all the carrot cake opinions and lovers in the world (even you pineapple people).

The Best Carrot Cake

For me, though, this is hands-down the best carrot cake ever!

You can see from the comments that I’m not the only one who feels that way, either.

I’ve added notes to the recipe to answer many commonly answered questions about this cake, but overall, the recipe hasn’t changed over the years (although I have made notes to make the method simpler).

Also, if you are looking for a few other fabulous carrot cake desserts, here are four of my other favorites:

The Best Carrot Cake

The Best Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: Makes a 9-inch layer cake or a 9X13-inch cake

Serves 12-15

The Best Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This cake can be made in two 9-inch round cake pans or a 9X13-inch cake pan (other commenters in the thread below have made it into cupcakes and other pan sizes, too). I almost always make it in two 9-inch round cake pans and double the frosting recipe to accommodate the layering. If making a 9X13-inch cake, the frosting doesn't need to be doubled.

Also, many, many people have reported that using half applesauce/half oil (that would be 3/4 cup of each) works great if you don't want to use the full amount of oil.

I often make this cake a day ahead of time. I refrigerate it fully frosted and take it out a few hours before serving to take the chill off.

Ingredients

    Cake:
  • 2 1/2 cups (12.5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 pound medium carrots (6 to 7 large carrots), ends trimmed and peeled or unpeeled (I never peel them)
  • 1 1/2 cups (10.5 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) packed light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable, canola or other neutral-flavored oil (see note above)
  • Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 5 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream, light or regular
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups (4.25 ounces) powdered sugar
  • Toasted, chopped pecans, for garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position.
  2. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking pan with cooking spray or lightly grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt; set aside.
  4. In a food processor fitted with large or fine shredding disk (or using a box grater and shredding by hand), shred the carrots for about 3 cups total.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in large bowl using a hand-held mixer OR by hand with a whisk), beat the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and eggs on medium-high speed until thoroughly combined, about 45 seconds.
  6. Reduce the speed to medium and with the mixer running, add oil in a slow, steady stream, being careful to pour oil against the inside of the bowl.
  7. Increase the speed to high (or just whisk like crazy) and mix until the batter is light in color and well emulsified, about 45 seconds to 1 minute longer.
  8. Stir in carrots the carrots and dry ingredients by hand until incorporated and no streaks of flour remain (don't overmix).
  9. Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s) and bake until a toothpick or skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 32 minutes for 9-inch round pans and 40 minutes for a 9X13-inch pan.
  10. Let the cakes cool for about 10 minutes in the pan and then invert them onto a cooling rack to cool completely (the 9X13-inch cake can be cooled completely in the pan if you don't plan to invert and ice all the sides).
  11. At this point, once the cakes are cooled, they can be wrapped in plastic wrap and put in a ziploc bag and placed in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw at room temperature prior to frosting.
  12. For the frosting, mix the cream cheese, butter, sour cream, and vanilla at medium high speed in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using handheld mixer) until well combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl with rubber spatula as needed.
  13. Add the powdered sugar and mix until very fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.
  14. Frost the cake and garnish with toasted, chopped pecans, if desired.
https://www.melskitchencafe.com/unbelievable-carrot-cake/

Recipe Source: Cooks Illustrated (with my notes included)
Recipe originally posted March 2008; updated with new photos, recipe notes and commentary.

Carrot Cake

235 Responses to The Best Carrot Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Rebecca says:

    Fabulous carrot cake! I did the applesauce/oil split and the cake was still super moist–not oily– even three days later when the last piece was eaten. I have to admit the only problem with the recipe was that it didn’t say if I should squeeze the juice out of the grated carrots or not. I checked out the original Cook’s Illustrated recipe and since they didn’t mention any squeezing, I left the carrots as is. Beautiful recipe, and easy to make since my husband volunteered to grate all those carrots for me.

  2. Martha says:

    What an awesome cake!
    I had been craving carrot cake and made your recipe, amazing!
    Thank you.

  3. Laura says:

    I made this for Easter. I’m not a fan of nutmeg so I adjusted the spices by adding a touch less of that and a touch more cinnamon. I also put in only 3 larger carrots and about a half cup of crushed pineapple (old habits die hard).This was the best carrot cake I have ever had without exception. Thank you for a fabulous recipe.

  4. Sara Sue says:

    I made this a year ago for my son’s 1st birthday and since then I was diagnosed with celiac and have had to cut out dairy. When you reposted this recipe I was sad thinking I’d never be able to eat it again. But ingenuity soon beat up hopelessness and I made the cake with bob’s red mill gf baking 1 to 1 flour and it was amazing! The spices were a little dimmed (per the norm when subbing a gf flour) but it was moist and flavorful and didn’t sink in the middle and and and. .. I did have to increase the baking time by quite a bit and I found/created a different frosting (Buttercream with coconut oil instead of butter and soured almond milk to make it tangy) but honestly it was the best gf thing I’ve ever baked! This recipe is so good that it doesn’t need gluten to have amazing taste and structure!

  5. Sandra says:

    Delicious! FYI: for me, a half recipe made 33 mini cupcakes or a six-inch pan two layer cake. (I grated the carrots much finer for the mini cupcakes since the baking time was so much shorter.)

  6. Jaci says:

    I made this this last weekend and it was a HIT!!! I was worried that it wouldn’t get eaten (because weren’t having a lot of company), but the problem was that it got eaten a little too quickly! This is going to be a yearly tradition of ours for sure! Thanks for another winning recipe, Mel!

  7. Amber says:

    I made this cake for Easter and everyone loved it! My husband went so far as to say it was as just like his favorite carrot cake from his favorite bakery! *fist bumps!* Oh, and I couldn’t get the image of me literally diving head first into a vat of cream cheese frosting while frosting and eating this cake. Ha!

  8. Yvonne says:

    Last night everyone agreed this is absolutely delicious! It is my go to carrot cake recipe and cream cheese frosting recipe from this day forward!!!

  9. Sharaun Foley says:

    I need this to be in sheet cake form (feeding a crowd). I notice you also have a sheet carrot cake recipe on the site. Which one do you prefer? And has anyone ever tried this one as a sheet cake (12 x16)? Is the difference between the two recipes worth doing the math to convert it?

  10. Jenny says:

    My heart was set on making this for Easter for a group of 12, but that group has turned into 21. I know you have a sheet cake carrot cake recipe, but wondering if this works as a sheet cake? Would you double ingredients or just settle for a thinner cake? I just don’t think the layered way will feed that many. Thanks Mel!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Jenny – it’s been a long time, but I remember making this recipe in a large, rimmed baking sheet pan (like, 12X17 or so) and it seemed to work fine. If you try it, just make sure not to overfill the pan. I think I remember that one batch of this cake fit in a large pan, but I can’t remember exactly and don’t want it overflowing in your oven.

  11. Jessica Glover says:

    Mel~ I made this carrot cake this past weekend for my Dad’s birthday. Carrot cake is his absolute favorite and he said it was the best he had ever had! I am not a huge fan of carrot cake but this one will now be on regular rotation at our house for special treats!

  12. Julie says:

    Hi Mel – I am wondering if I make this cake today (Wednesday) and keep it tightly wrapped (unfrosted), if it will be okay on Saturday.

  13. Stephanie says:

    I did not make the cake (hope to in near future), but did use the frosting recipe for your carrot sheet cake recipe…amazing! I needed to double the batch, and then had leftovers that I used to eat just about anything and everything with. The sour cream indeed does give it that certain something, and with the added taste of carrot cake…yum!!!

  14. Sarah says:

    Have you ever tried crushed pineapple in your frosting? Specifically on carrot cake, it is quite delightful!

    • Mel says:

      I haven’t, but someone else told me about that once – said it was divine!

      • Sarah says:

        It really is! Trying your carrot cake today to see if it beats my go-to recipe! Thanks for all the recipes you have added to my rotation over the years, you are my go to!

  15. Lidiya Mccabe says:

    I baked this cake so many times( at last 10 times) … it is the best carrot cake!

  16. Jan says:

    Do you use convection setting when baking? Your post about the cookies the other day got me thinking you use often while baking – I hardly ever do. If so, do you have to adjust the temp or time? I’d like to use my convection feature more often, but feel like when I do it doesn’t work out. I’m sensing a “Let’s Talk” post about convection feature πŸ˜‰ Come to think about it, a “Let’s Talk” post would be great on the difference between neutral oils. I always want to try avocado oil but chicken out and stick to whatever is listed in the recipe. Thanks Mel, my family would starve without your blog!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Jan – I do use my convection bake often – but I always test the recipes I post on standard bake (and unless I specify in the recipe, it’s meant to be standard baked, not convection baked). Having said that, most recipes can be adapted to convection bake (I always do 25 degrees lower). Maybe you are right – some posts are in order! (And if you can find avocado oil, you should use it – it’s my fave!)

  17. Wow. This does look amazing. I’m going to give a try for an Easter pot-luck we were invited to. I’ll leave off the nuts though. I feel like these days, everyone is allergic to something – is that an LA thing? Anyway. Simple and delicious sounds perfect.

  18. Don’t mind me while I drool all over my keyboard.. Ha! Such a wonderful idea, I absolutely love carrot cake. I’ll be using this recipe at home!

    I hope you’re having a wonderful Thursday,
    Michael
    https://www.mileinmyglasses.co.uk

  19. Julie Wittich says:

    This reads like my Grandma used to make I think she added cut up raisins as well. Can’t wait to make it!

  20. Christine Hull says:

    Oh crap this is a BAD time to start a diet

  21. Kaime says:

    Mel–I am going to make this, because I have yet to dislike ANYTHING you post. The roasted asparagus and penne with balsamic was AHHH-mazing! πŸ™‚ So thanks for that one!

    We have a Mexican restaurant down here in TX called Rosa’s, and my family seems to think that they make THE BEST carrot cake. They add walnuts, but very finely chopped walnuts, to the cake itself. It’s not overly spiced and the cream cheese frosting is fabulous (unlike any cream cheese frosting I’ve ever had… makes me wonder if there’s copious amounts of butter, as it’s not overly sweet or tangy?) Anyway, thought I’d share, as you asked what we thought made for great carrot cake. My family’s vote is with Rosa’s CafΓ©, and my vote is for any cake LOADED with cream cheese frosting πŸ™‚ Thanks, Mel! Keep up the awesome-ness and have a great week!

  22. Paige says:

    This looks amazing! I’m totally making this on Easter Sunday!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  23. Emily says:

    Can I just say, I LOVE that you are reposting these classics and updating them. I remember making this in 2008 and ever since then. I’m with you about just carrots. My husband is more the everything but the kitchen sink kinda carrot cake guy usually–but he also LOVES this recipe. And it’s comforting to know it’s still the best!

  24. Lee Lo says:

    It looks delicious! Will try it soon! Thank you!

  25. Ann says:

    My sister-in-law makes a carrot cake with EVERYTHING in it: raisins, pineapple, nuts, coconut, chocolate chips, etc. It’s actually very good, but I prefer mine either plain (but with tons of cream cheese frosting) or with lots of chocolate chips (and still tons of cream cheese frosting). Nuts are okay with me. As soon as I get back to the USA and an oven I will make this. I make many of your recipes that don’t require an oven (it’s way too hot to use one here in the Philippines, even if I had one) but you would be humored by the many substitutions I use in the recipes. Thanks Mel, your site is a sweet tie to home.

  26. Jackie says:

    Can’t wait to try this one- Sounds delicious!
    Just last night, I was explaining to my son, who thought I hated carrot cake, I love it, as long as it doesn’t have “stuff” in it.
    Thanks!

  27. Katrina says:

    Well….my idea of the perfect carrot cake is no carrot cake. Chocolate all the way for me!

  28. Angie says:

    I love carrot cake but developed a cinnamon allergy several years ago. Do you happen to know if this cake would be good without the cinnamon? Or maybe there is a substitute? It is definitely one of the foods i miss since not being able to eat cinnamon.

    • Mel says:

      Hey Angie – I’ve never made it without cinnamon but I’d say it’s definitely worth a try! I’d probably bump up the other spices just a bit.

  29. Jamie says:

    Hi! I’m allergic to carrots, do you think I could substitute broccoli instead? Just kidding!!
    I just wanted to high-five another supporter of cake purism, as it should be. A long time ago, I had flown out to meet the family that I would later claim as in-laws. My husband’s father enjoys being in the kitchen and made quite a meal. Carrot cake was the dessert, and it was alllllllll in there. Raisins, pineapple, and nuts everywhere. But smile and chew! The things we eat for those we love. πŸ™‚

    • Mel says:

      Hahaha….both to your initial question and to your grin and bear it attitude about the kitchen sink carrot cake. Seriously, made me laugh out loud. And if you had been honestly asking about subbing something for the carrots, I probably would have quit blogging for good. πŸ™‚

  30. Ada says:

    My husband adores carrot cake and I can’t wait to try your recipe and see if it can rival his mom’s. ;p I’m wondering though, if I could substitute butter for the oil in the cake batter (or half butter half oil for that matter)? I just personally LOVE butter and love the buttery flavor in my cakes. Do you think it would affect the texture of the cake if i do the substitution? If it’s possible to substitute, how would you do it to preserve the texture of the cake? Thanks for sharing all your awesome recipes!

  31. Josie R. says:

    I made this for the first time last Easter when it was just your “unbelievable” carrot cake. I completely agree, best ever! And you are 100% correct there should never, ever, under any circumstances be raisins in carrot cake or any of that other junk! Blah! I think that’s why I never loved carrot cake before, it was always wrong, now that I’ve made yours, I’m a fan and it will most likely be our Easter staple forever!

  32. Emily says:

    You forgot to ask if coconut belongs in carrot cake. (I’m with you, by the way, although I wouldn’t even bother putting nuts on the frosting.)

  33. Heather says:

    I second the motion for the favorite carrot cake! This carrot cake is so yummy. I’ve brought it to several family functions and it always gets rave reviews. I’ve even made a dairy free icing when I was df with coconut cream and it was so so yummy. One of the best things I ate while being df for my nursing daughters allergies.

  34. Debby says:

    I made these at least three times over the past three months, including last week. This is the best carrot cake EVER!!! I just bought more carrots to make more. I have used this recipe for carrot cake cupcakes too, and it is just as wonderful! Thank you for changing my carrot cake world and sharing this recipe.

  35. Mel.. your cake sounds great but I really wanted to share my ” BEST ” carrot cake recipe with U & your followers

    4 eggs
    3/4 cup sugar
    3/4 cup canola oil
    2 cups grated carrot
    2 cups grated apple
    Whisk tog in large mixing bowl then Add right over top of above ingredients:

    2 cups flour
    2 tsp bkg pwdr
    2 tsp bkg soda
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 cup poppy seeds, optional
    1/2 cup sesame seeds
    Handful dried currents, optional but adds a nice texture

    Bake 350 30_40 min in 8×8 pan

    Icing: for Mexico.. cream cheese comes in 190 or if lucky to find 210 gm pkgs

    3 pkgs Philadelphia cream cheese..room temp
    1/2 cup soft butter
    1 cup icing sugar, sifted
    1 tsp vanilla

    Beat creamcheese w electric mixer ; add butter; beat till well combined
    Add icing sugar , beat till well combined & then vanilla till blended

    This is my revised recipe that I originally got from a deli in Portland Oregon about 35 years ago !

  36. Misty Smith says:

    I always make these as cupcakes & they are perfection! IF I don’t bring these to family functions (both sides) I get a tremendous amount of grief, lol!

  37. Lauren says:

    This carrot cake is so good that when I burnt it terribly in an old school toaster oven from a yard sale, I was able to cut off all black crispy parts, frost & serve to ten family members for my mil’s birthday a couple of weeks ago. Compliments abounded; ev ry one loved it! (My Bosch gas range bit the dust, REFUSING to heat up the DAY of the birthday!) Fortunately, I was able to have a new GE gas range delivered the next week–I am Inlove w it! Thx for helping this kitchen queen have so much confidence that She was able to turn crispy blackened mess into delicious carrot cake. (People honestly couldn’t get over how delicious it was.) I usually make this cake w no add ins but may try all 3 at some point, since crushed pineapple, nuts & raisins appeal to me. I’ve done the pecans on top Once or twice & loved it. I will try & look at this pic in the future to remind me to top w pecans.

    • Mel says:

      Oh my gosh, Lauren! That’s quite a dramatic carrot cake story! I CANNOT believe you salvaged that cake. You are my hero.

      • Lauren says:

        It actually was pretty dramatic; I should have taken pix! I wanted to mention that I served this carrot cake w vanilla BEAN ice cream which complimented the cake perfectly. Thx, Mel, for the heads up re: not pealing the carrots–I love that time saver!

  38. Heather bell says:

    Alright, mel. The picture alone is cookbook worthy

  39. Elisabeth says:

    I am with you!! No, no and no! Nuts to the outside only!! Thank you for such a delicious recipe!! Needed this one for the upcoming holiday!!!

  40. Angela Kamp says:

    My daughter wants carrot cake for her birthday this weekend, but it needs to be decorated like a skunk! Can you pipe the cream cheese frosting? Thanks for another AMAZING recipe!

  41. George Zeller says:

    Good Morning,
    Your recipe sounds very good, I was wondering if I could cook and mash the carrots in stead of shredding them; would that be ok as it would be much easier for me, an older senior? Please advise. Thank you

  42. Mel says:

    I made this cake this week, and it was very good! But I have one question…I had left a sheet of aluminum foil on the bottom rack from when I seasoned some cast iron skillets earlier in the week when I cooked the cake. I cooked it for the required time, and when I tested in the center with a toothpick, it came out clean. I let it cool in the 9” x 11” pan for about 15 minutes. The middle of the cake sunk a little, but I wasn’t too worried. When I flipped it onto the cooling rack, sadly it kind of fell apart because the middle was pretty much completely raw, while the sides were quite well done. I ended up cutting off the cooked edges and frosting them as cake bars, and put the rest back in the oven and made “carrot cake crumble” with all the pieces. Do you think maybe the aluminum foil someone affected the heat conduction in the oven or something like that? I’ve never had such a problem before! The cake was delicious! It just didn’t come out very pretty.

    • Mel says:

      Hey Mel – that’s a great question and honestly, I don’t know, but it seems as though the cake probably just needed more time in the oven. Every oven can differ on exact oven temperature and I’m guessing a few extra minutes would help the cake regardless if there is aluminum foil in the oven.

  43. Sara says:

    Hi mel! I tried to do this carrot cake by Reading all’ positive comments you Have. I don t know if i Have the wrong Cup mesure but i think there is too much sugar in this cake: with my Cup mesure is more than 400gr of sugar and when i tasted the cake it was too much. Could you traslate the recipe in grams?maybe i have the wrong Cup mesure but this is the only One i found in Italy(where i live);-) thank you very much Sara

    • Mel says:

      Hi Sara – there are several online calculators that can help you translate the cake into grams. Sorry I can’t do that for you (I’m not familiar with the conversions and don’t want to mess you up!).

    • Ann says:

      There are 200 grams in a cup. I’m sure it will taste much better with the correct amount!

    • Ann says:

      Make that 200 grams per cup for granulated sugar. Brown sugar is 220 grams per cup. Hope this helps.

  44. Debby says:

    I made this cake today for dinner/dessert with my family and the grandparents. It was absolutely THE best carrot cake I have ever had. Everyone loved it! And I am so glad that there is a little left that I can eat tomorrow!!! Once again, you have shared an absolutely awesome recipe! Thank you for all you do.

  45. Courtney says:

    This was the best carrot cake I’ve ever had or made, and I sorta consider myself a carrot cake connoisseur. I made the recipe exactly as written, but I added a tsp of ground ginger for a little kick. I made it in two 9″ pans and although they fell in the center (I live at 6100 feet so I’m used to this!) it was nothing an extra dollop of the yummy frosting couldn’t cover. This was our Easter dessert and I just finished the last piece today – still as good as ever! Although now I’m sad we’re out of carrot cake :(!! Thanks for the awesome recipe, Mel!

    • Maria says:

      I live at 7000 feet. If you use 3/4 cup of applesauce and oil each, reduce baking powder to 1 teaspoon. and baking soda to 3/4 teaspoon. and reduce the white sugar to 1 cup and brown sugar per recipe, you won’t have any problems. Add two eggs.
      Also, preheat to 375 degrees and reduce the heat to 350 when you put the cakes in.
      If you do muffins instead, bake at 375 degrees, watch at about 12 minutes for doneness, and make the above changes, except for the sugar, you can use 1 1/4 cup, the same for brown sugar, and 1 1/4 baking powder and 1/2 tsp baking soda. The cupcakes set faster and are going to be beautiful! GOOD Luck!

  46. Jennifer G says:

    In case anyone wants to make this into a bunt cake, it works fine. I baked it at 350 for 50-60 minutes.

  47. Grace says:

    Hi, just wanted to say thank you for this recipe. It worked beautifully. I made it in a 9″ square tin and 6 muffins. Gifts for my neighbours for Easter. Delicious!

  48. Nikki says:

    You said to use medium sized carrots, could I use baby carrots instead? Thanks!

  49. Whitney says:

    Should I refrigerate this cake if I plan to make it ahead of time?

  50. Senta says:

    As any one made this with out a standing mixer? Did it still turn out well? Thanks! Ps Mel I love all your receipes!!!

  51. Kasey says:

    Can you make this recipe into cupcakes?

  52. Stacy says:

    Hi Mel! LOVE this carrot cake. I made it for my Bible study and everyone said it was the best carrot cake they had ever had. I wanted to do it in cupcake form soon- have you done this? I’m guessing I only need to change the amount of time it is in the oven.

    • Mel says:

      It’s been a while so I don’t remember how they turned out or how many they made but I know several people up in the comment thread have made this recipe as cupcakes with good results. πŸ™‚

  53. Brittainy says:

    Hi Mel! I don’t normally comment on the recipes that I try online but I had to tell you how much I loved this cake! It was so delicious – made it for my husbands birthday and he couldn’t have been happier either! The frosting was amazing as well – so much more fluffy than traditional cream cheese frostings (at least that I have found)! Actually left me wanting more instead of regretting dessert like I usually do. Amazing recipe!

    I just had one question – I didn’t use walnuts in it this time as the hubs isn’t a fan, but I love nuts in my cakes and cookies. Have you ever tried making this with nuts (walnuts or pecans) in it? How much would you suggest using?

    Thanks again for an great recipe! Going in the keeper file for sure!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Brittainy – I haven’t used nuts in the actual cake batter (since I’m in the camp of never put nuts in my desserts πŸ™‚ but I think you could certainly try it. Maybe start with 1 cup chopped and see how that goes. Good luck!

  54. Ann says:

    I made this carrot cake for the first time and brought it to work and it was such a success I will definitely use this for my go to recipe from now on. I used my kitchen aid grater attachment and what a bonus.

  55. Stacie says:

    Hi Mel,

    I need to make a wine bottle/crate cake for a friend next weekend, and she’s requested carrot cake (which I’ve never made before). The cake ‘crate’ is going to be 2 9×13’s stacked, and was wondering if this cake is sturdy enough to stack without crumbling apart. I’ve always made a heavier cake (like madeira) or mud cakes when I need to stack, so this ‘light, but not rich carrot cake’ that she wants has me a little worried.

    Thanks so much!!

    • Mel says:

      I stack several 9-inch layers and it works fine so I think the two 9X13-inch layers should be ok although I haven’t tried it that way myself.

      • Stacie says:

        Thanks so much Mel. If the weight of several 9″ layers hasn’t crushed the bottom cakes on yours, then I think (fingers crossed) this would actually work.

        Going to make this later today so I can try it first (any excuse to eat cake right LOL). Now I just need the grocery store to open so I can get carrots.

      • Stacie says:

        Mel, I just had to tell you how amazing this cake is! Everyone who’s tried it, LOVED it! Usually it takes me a few tries of a new cake flavor before I find one I really like, but this one is winner – I don’t have to try any others!

        Thanks again for sharing!!

  56. Ruth says:

    Hi Mel…I have been following your website for about 4 years and tell everybody about it! Your recipes comprise about 80% of my weekly menu πŸ™‚ my son turns 3 next week and is surprisingly requesting a “carrot applesauce cake”. Do you know if I could sub the oil in here with applesauce?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Ruth – that’s a pretty cute request from your 3-year old! I haven’t tried subbing all the oil out for applesauce but I’m guessing it stands a pretty good chance of working (and I think others in the comments have done it).

  57. Sadie says:

    It helps to know that you use the dip and level method when measuring by volume for your recipes. I’m an obsessive recipe tester (almost 2,000!) and find that the norm is to spoon and level flour when measuring by volume. Many recipes caution NOT to dip and level. Cook’s Illustrated is one of the exceptions. I think it’s great when both measurements are given in a recipe, but it’s also helpful to know which method is used or the end result may not be what’s pictured. Those extra, or fewer, tablespoons of flour can make quite a difference! Thanks!!

  58. Sadie says:

    I quickly scrolled through all the comments and couldn’t see that anyone has asked this question. Do you measure the flour by volume or weight when making this cake? CI has a heavy hand when it comes to flour. Their 1 cup of all-purpose flour weighs 5 oz. However, most volume/weight charts vary from 4.25 to 4.5 oz. for 1 cup of all-purpose flour, measured by lightly spooning the flour into a measuring cup and levelling with a knife. My weight for 1 cup of all-purpose flour is 4.5 oz. Therefore, if I were to make this cake using a volume measure I would only have 11.25 oz. of flour, which is considerably less than 12.5 oz. It would be helpful to know which measurement you use. Thank you.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Sadie, I use the weight measures for the recipe – I actually just did a post about measuring vs. weighing flour. I use the dip and level method and my cups of flour always weigh right around 5 ounces. It’s really difficult to use the dip and level method and get a cup of flour that weighs in the 4-ounce range and since that’s how I measure my flour (if a recipe doesn’t have weight measures), I go with the 5 ounce/per cup rule of thumb. If a recipe includes both weight and volume, I always encourage readers to use the weight if they have a kitchen scale since it will be more accurate (good case in point that when you measure your flour by volume, it weighs less than mine). Hope that helps!

  59. Sasha says:

    How would I alter this recipe for high altitude? This is my favorite carrot cake recipe ever.

  60. Tiana says:

    Thanks for the recipe!
    Since I have only one round baking pan (9inch x 2.5inch), I’ll have to bake and cool the first cake, then bake the remaining half of the batter. So for how much time would I have to bake half of the batter?
    Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      The baking time shouldn’t change if you are still using the same size pan as indicated in the recipe (even if you are just baking one pan at a time).

  61. BakerEm says:

    Made this carrot cake for Easter and it was a HUGE hit. I used your whipped cream cheese icing though instead of the one accompanying the recipe. Even non-dessert eaters wanted seconds!

  62. Dalia says:

    Hi Mel πŸ™‚ First off I just wanted to say that I recently found your site (I’m mad I’ve been wasting my time with all those other ones all this time) I LOOOOVE your recipes and tips!! Your site quickly became my go-to!! Everything I’ve tried so far has gotten nothing but praise! So thanks for that!! And I love knowing that I’m not the only measuring junky out there πŸ˜‰

    Ok, now the reason I’m posting on this particular recipe isn’t actually because of the carrot cake, which by the way I’m soooo going to try it soon! My question actually has to do with the cream cheese frosting. I have been searching for what seems like forever for the perfect cream cheese frosting recipe. Every one I’ve tried in the past comes out too runny. So when I saw this one, I thought I couldn’t go wrong, but come to find out the problem can’t be the recipe, it has to be me. When trying to make this frosting, and all the others for that matter, I stuck to the recipe. Or at least I thought I did. When it came out runny again, I tried adding more sugar and butter, but that didn’t help. I really don’t know what I’m doing wrong. :'( Do you have any idea what it could be or have any suggestions? I would really appreciate it!!!!! Thanks for making my kitchen life easier with all of your hard work!!! πŸ™‚

    • Mel says:

      Hi Dalia! Thanks for your kind words! About the frosting, what kind of cream cheese are you using? Full fat or light (neufchΓ’tel)? Light cream cheese will definitely make the frosting much softer/runnier.

  63. Chari S. says:

    I JUST made this cake for Easter after all these years of this being on your website.
    So sad.
    For those who have yet to make this cake, it lives up to the hype for sure.
    I baked it in a bundt pan and it took almost 10 minutes longer. Just fyi.
    Very pretty, very good.

  64. Lisa says:

    Such a delicious cake!! just the right level of sweetness, very moist and balanced flavours. Went down a treat! Thank you Mel

  65. Molly says:

    Hi Mel! I’m super excited to make this for Easter this year, I love all the recipes I’ve made from your site! I was wondering, I saw people posting about putting it in the fridge, but I thought that would make it more dry. Do you store this in the fridge, since it has cream cheese frosting? I am hoping to make it the day before Easter, so I just wanted to find out how to store it overnight! Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Molly – if I’m storing this for longer than 4 hours, I cover it with a cake dome and put it in the refrigerator. It doesn’t dry the cake out, especially if the cake is well sealed with frosting. I try and take the cake out of the refrigerator a couple hours before serving to soften up a little.

  66. Sarah says:

    This is the best carrot cake I have ever tasted! Incredibly moist, but not too moist, and so much flavor!! I’ve made cream cheese icing in the past, but who knew adding sour cream would perfect it. I made 3 thin 9-inch pans with this recipe, doubled the icing, and still had some icing left over so the kids did some awesome decorating! Thank you for your amazing recipes, you made me famous in my family, lol!

  67. Elizabeth says:

    I was wondering if you could sub coconut oil (melted obviously lol) instead of canola or vegetable oil?

  68. Kathy says:

    Am I missing something,, where are the nuts for the frosting? Are they walnuts or pecan?

  69. Misty S says:

    Hi Mel! I had (emphasis on had) a go to carrot cake recipe until I made this one last night. I am a cupcake kind of gal so I did cupcakes using my large cookie scoop to fill and they turned out perfect, yielded 28 – baked up so nice & even & didn’t sink in the middle. They were sooooo delicious & tender! I have tried several of your recipes & haven’t been let down yet. Keep up the awesomeness!

  70. Laurel says:

    Hi Mel~ I’m a long time reader and recipe tryer (??)!! I’m such a fan! πŸ™‚ This carrot cake is making an appearance (again!!) for Easter and I was wondering if I can make it a day ahead? Do I need to refrigerate it or just let it sit at room temp? Should I refrigerate the cakes and wait to frost it? Help! Thank you πŸ™‚

    • Mel says:

      Hi Laurel – yes, you can definitely make this a day ahead of time. Make it and frost it (the frosting helps keep it moist overnight) – then cover it as best you can (in a cake carrier or lightly covered in plastic wrap) and refrigerate. I like to take it out 1-2 hours before serving to let the frosting soften just a bit. Good luck!

  71. […] adapted from my fellow food bloggers: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe (cake) and Sally’s Baking Addiction […]

  72. Heidi Doxey says:

    Could you bake this in a bundt pan?

  73. Melissa says:

    Mel, just wanted to check back. I just made the cake, successfully subbing half applesauce for half the oil, and adding approximately a cup of toasted pecans and a cup of raisins. It was delicious and much loved by the birthday boy. Thank you so much for such a wonderful recipe base.

  74. leslie t says:

    Hi Mel,
    Just wanted to thank you for providing an amazing carrot cake recipe. I am not usually a fan of carrot cake (or cream cheese) but this turned out perfectly! I sprinkled chopped pecans on top like in the photo, so it’s easier for people to remove if they don’t like nuts (rather than baking the nuts in the cake). Icing was perfect too. I’m so glad someone sent me the link to your blog, because I made the freezable burritos awhile back, as well as the tikka masala chicken, and both of those turned out very well, so I figured your carrot cake would be too πŸ™‚ Thanks for providing this site to all of us.

  75. Rebecca says:

    Thanks, Mel! I’ll let you know how it turns out — I prefer my cake without, but the husband really wants them in there! I read another recipe similar in size and it looks like it was a cup of each!

  76. Rebecca says:

    I would love to make this with the addition of nuts and raisins! How much of each would you suggest? I’m thinking pecans!

    • Mel says:

      Rebecca – I haven’t added either of these before, so you will have to experiment. Maybe a cup of each? And if you toss them with the flour they won’t have a tendency to sink to the bottom while baking. Good luck.

  77. Melissa says:

    Hi, Quick question. I know that I can add nuts to this without issue, but do you think that I can add raisins without any issues? I cannot wait to make this! Thanks in advance.

  78. Anne says:

    Hi Mel , we absolutely love this carrot cake !! I was wondering if you have ever baked this cake ahead of time and frozen it? I was hoping to make them into cupcakes and freeze them for Easter morning..

    • Mel says:

      Anne – Yes, this cake freezes great.

      • Andrea says:

        Hi Mel, If I’m going to make ahead (i’m totally a cooking novice) and want to freeze, do I freeze when it is still warm or after it has cooled completely? is there a trick to freezing so the cake doesn’t dry out?

        • Mel says:

          I always bake it and let it cool before I freeze it. I turn it out of the pans onto a cooling rack and let cool completely and then wrap each layer separately in plastic wrap and slide it into a gallon freezer ziploc bag and pop in the freezer.

  79. Brinestone says:

    This was a PERFECT carrot cake. I tried a different recipe last year for my son’s birthday (carrot is his favorite kind of cake), and while it was fine, it was disappointing. There is nothing disappointing about this one. I’m having trouble restraining myself from eating the entire cake.

  80. Melissa says:

    Hi Mel! I am wondering since you perfected your yellow cake, would you think this cake would taste better with cake flour? If so…how much would I use in this recipe? I also wondered with doubling the cream cheese icing…how much I set aside to pipe happy birthday? Thank you.

    • Mel says:

      Melissa – Yellow cake so far is the only cake that has needed (as in, no subs) cake flour. Funny enough chocolate cake and others, like carrot cake, do just fine without it because of the other ingredients that help tenderize and make it light and moist. So for this carrot cake, I’ll keep making it with all-purpose flour. You could certainly try cake flour but might have to adjust the amounts so there is enough structure to the cake. I’d probably set aside a cup or so to pipe happy birthday.

  81. Melissa says:

    Hi Mel,

    Would this cake work if I used two nine inch heart shaped Wilton pans instead of 2 rounds? I also wondered with this icing…I know I couldn’t pipe with the cream cheese icing – but can I still write happy birthday on it and have it not mush into the cream cheese icing? Any cake decorating tips to make it more birthdayish (new word) would be appreciated…I may just make your new cupcake recipe instead but thought I’d ask if you had any thoughts. Thank you!

    • Mel says:

      Melissa – The frosting is pretty sturdy so I think you could definitely pipe happy birthday on top of it. I haven’t used the Wilton heart-shaped pans but it should work fine, just keep an eye on baking time. I’m actually making this for my son’s birthday in two weeks (his request) – I’m probably going to make the icing as smooth as possible (instead of swirly) and then pipe large dots around the bottom in a border. Good luck!

  82. Becky says:

    This carrot cake was absolutely delicious! This is the third recipe of yours that I have tried (sweet & sour chicken and cheesecake) and each one has been complete perfection. After each one, my husband comments on what a good cook/baker I am…and I tell him it’s all you! Your recipes are so clear and easy to follow that even I can’t screw them up. Thank you for creating such amazing recipes. You are now my official go-to blog when I’m looking for a recipe that is guaranteed to turn out perfect.

  83. Ashley says:

    I made this cake on Saturday and it was fabulous! The cake itself was super moist and flavorful and then the addition of the cream cheese frosting was so good! I also did mine in two 9 inch pans and then added chopped pecans to the top. I plan on making this recipe as cupcakes next time around and also maybe substituting applesauce for the oil and adding less sugar just to see if I can make a lower fat version πŸ™‚ Carrot Cake is one of my husband’s favorite desserts so he was more than thrilled when I told him I was making it. Thanks for another great recipe!

  84. Viktoriya says:

    I made this amazing cake for New Years and it was incredible! What a great way to start a new year!:))

  85. Viktoriya says:

    Umm I only have 8 1/2 oz of cream cheese and have the rest of the ingredients. Would I have to decrease the powdered sugar a bit for a 9-inch cake?

  86. pau says:

    Hello, I want to try these, but I have to ask, what do you mean by ground cloves? Is this fresh garlic that is pounded and minced? Or can I use the garlic powder in the small McCormick bottles? Thank you!

    • Mel says:

      Pau – ground cloves is more of a fragrant spice (not like garlic at all). Please don’t substitute garlic! It’s more like a nutmeg or cinnamon type spice.

  87. pau says:

    Hello, I want to try these, but I have to ask, what do you mean by ground cloves? Is thia fresh garlic that is pounded and minced? Or can I use the garlic powder in the small McCormick bottles? Thanks!

  88. Rebecca says:

    How do you think this frosting would be on some fabulous pumpkin cupcakes?! I have a good cupcake recipe, but still looking for that perfect cream cheese frosting (although I do LOVE the one on the pumpkin bar recipe you have posted!)

  89. Carolyn says:

    Wanted to let you know that I also made this cake today and it was great. Really moist and loved the flavour; I made a mistake and used only 1 cup of oil but didn’t seem to really matter at all; still really moist.

  90. Isabella says:

    I only have baby carrots. Do you recall how many cups the carrots ended up being when shredded?

  91. Joyce says:

    Hi Mel…
    Are those chopped pecans or walnuts on the cake?

  92. Denise says:

    This carrot cake was amazing! We made it for Easter and had to give 1/2 of it away because we couldn’t stop eating it!

    Quick question: we made this in 2 circular pans and layered it with your yummy frosting. For some reason the middle of both of the cake cakes sunk in a little bit. Any ideas why? It still tasted amazing, but I was curious how I could avoid that in the future. Help!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Denise – not sure why that happens; sometimes it’s due to different altitudes or variance in oven temperature. You might try baking a few minutes longer or baking 25 degrees lower and adding a few more minutes to the time.

  93. Holly says:

    This cake is fabulous it’s so moist and delicious! We had carrot cake for dessert on Easter and I have been sneaking a leftover slice for breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday. (Don’t make this cake if you’re trying to cut back on sweets, it’s so good, you’ll have to have another slice.) This frosting is great too (it has that wonderful cream cheese flavor without being overly sweet. Yum!) Thanks for posting this terrific recipe. It’s a keeper!

  94. Cyndi says:

    Excited to try this!! Will let you know how delicious it turns out!!! πŸ™‚

  95. Claira says:

    Could I make this as cupcakes?

    • Mel says:

      Claira – I’ve never made the cake as cupcakes, although I’m sure it would work. You’ll have to experiment with baking time (cut down significantly from recipe) and figure out the yield. Good luck!

  96. Kaitlin B. says:

    I’ve halved this recipe twice to make a small batch of cupcakes, and with a little guesstimation on the spices (I just went ahead and used the full amount for ground cloves), it turned out fantastic! The frosting is great, too. I had a cupcake for breakfast, second breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks…. I think you catch my drift. Great recipe. I think next time I make it I’ll switch the brown and white sugars, because I love the taste of brown sugar. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  97. Jane says:

    I always use this recipe just as written and it’s fabulous. Last time I think the whole room went silent when dessert was served because everyone was so focused on eating it! haha

    Do you think it would be totally crazy to try layering it with cheesecake similar to your red velvet/cheesecake recipe? I may have to make that an experiment! πŸ™‚

  98. anne says:

    Hi Mel, do you think the cream cheese frosting is the right consistency to pipe roses on cupcakes like you showed in your tie n dye tutorial?

    • Mel says:

      Anne – the frosting is a bit on the soft side but if you added more powdered sugar (maybe just a cup?), I think it would be fine for piping.

  99. Cheryl says:

    Heavenly for sure! My boys were afraid of the carrots, so maybe I’ll use a food processor next time.

  100. DEE TRAHAN says:

    YOU SHOULD USE 3 JARS OF BABY FOOD CARROTS IN PLACE OF THE GRATED CARROTS — IT MAKES THE SMOOTHEST CARROT CAKE EVER…..
    d

  101. Diane McLaughlin says:

    I made this cake today for my Mom’s birthday! I must say, this is THE best carrot cake I have ever made! Thank you for sharing the recipe πŸ™‚

  102. Mel says:

    Elizabeth – generally applesauce is a good substitution for oil but I haven’t subbed all the oil in this cake so you’ll have to experiment with that. I’ve never subbed the pumpkin spice, either, but it’s probably worth a try.

  103. Elizabeth says:

    Also could you possible sub pumpkin spice for the cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves?

  104. Elizabeth says:

    could you maybe sub sour cream instead of canola or veg oil in the cake???

  105. […] cake, from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. (Slightly […]

  106. Bex says:

    A good substitute for the oil would be coconut oil which, as you may or may not know, is coming into its own finally as the best kind of oil for almost everything. Canola not so much anymore. It’s more pricey but worth the extra for health reasons.

    The last time I sent my husband to the store for food, I wrote down “large bag of carrots” and I had no idea they even MADE a bag so big as the one he came home with. It takes up half of my shelf in the fridge! So I need to make a good carrot cake and soon! Will use the coconut oil instead of the other, though. This stuff works on the exterior of the body as well as the interior!

  107. […]   UNBELIEVABLE CARROT CAKE AND CREAM CHEESE FROSTING Recipe from: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe […]

  108. Hilary says:

    I took this recipe and switched it up a little – substituted whole wheat flour for the all purpose, and used half applesauce, half oil. Made these into muffins for our breakfast and the kids are begging for more! Can only imagine how delicious “the real thing” is!! Thanks for another great one Mel!

  109. Angela says:

    This carrot cake lives up to its name….unbelievable! It was better than the carrot cake we had at our wedding….and that was pretty dang good! The only thing I had to change was the amount of oil. I didn’t have enough, so I used 3/4 c veg oil and 3/4 c apple sauce. It was perfectly moist, and the frosting was delish. Will definitley make again. Thanks!

  110. Shannon says:

    I just made this cake this weekend for my daughter-in-law’s birthday. I didn’t have 9″ pans so I used 3-8″ pans. It worked great and looked impressive. Thanks for another great recipe!

  111. […] UNBELIEVABLE CARROT CAKE AND CREAM CHEESE FROSTING Recipe from: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe […]

  112. Mel says:

    Christine – if you read through the comments, I’m pretty sure that there are others who have subbed out some of the oil and have detailed their results. Good luck!

  113. Christine says:

    This looks amazingly good! And all the reviews have convinced me to make it as well πŸ˜€ But I’m just a little worried about the amount of oil? Would it destroy the recipe to reduce it, or perhaps sub some (if not all) with applesauce?

  114. Sharlene says:

    So I made this recipe on fiat for my father-in-law’s birthday… I have never made carryout cake… But things like that never hold me back!! I love the challenge! And this succinctly was not a challenge…super easy to prepare and so delicious! I agree that it tasted better (more moist) after sitting in the fridge. My bake time was one again different (from the altitude I suppose) and was done in about 25 minutes for 2-9 inch pans! Everyone loved it… Including my 10 month old son… Because on grandpa’s birthday t the grandson can get away with anything!

  115. Pauline says:

    I’ve never made a bad carrot cake and I always thought carrot cake recipes were just about the same. I made this in a pan that had twelve 2 1/2″x 2 1/2″ squares (kinda like square cupcakes) to send to my husband’s office. Comments back were unbelievable! I don’t know how this one was different (maybe all the oil?!!!…..I generally sub at least half oil for applesauce) but it is definitely in his office Top Three! I did add 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts (I gotta have nuts!).

  116. Juliann says:

    You are RIGHT! This was the best carrot cake!
    I needed a cake recipe for my husband’s birthday with about 3 hours to bake and make an entire meal for 14. NO problem! I am so glad I found this recipe first.
    I am going to make just the cake as a cake with no frosting it was so moist and yummy. Everyone loves that there we no nuts in the cake…..we all agreed we didnt like hidden nuts in anything πŸ™‚

  117. Mel says:

    lindseylu8 – yes, the 1 1/2 cups oil is correct but that’s great if your substitution of buttermilk and oil worked out!

  118. lindseylu8 says:

    does this really call for 1.5 cups of oil and no water or milk? Seems like a lot of oil when I was making it last night so I did 3/4 cup oil & 3/4 cup buttermilk & it came out really well. Just curious about the 1.5 cups of oil. Thanks for the recipe !!!

  119. Mel says:

    Anna – you could definitely try a substitution. As for it turning out the same, I can’t tell you 100% since I’ve never tried it. If you haven’t already, read through the comments above to see if anyone else has tried it. Good luck!

  120. Anna says:

    Could you substitute something for part of the oil, say applesauce, and it turn out the same?

  121. […] Carrot Cake (2nd place) (I added raisins and walnuts) […]

  122. Reyna says:

    For Father’s Day my husband requested carrot cake. I’ve never made a carrot cake–but I knew you’d help me out, and sure enough you didn’t fail me! This was a delicious and moist cake and was a huge hit. I’m so glad to have a great recipe to add to the arsenal! Thanks as always.

  123. Edna says:

    Did anyone experience the cake go flat? Not totally flat just the middle. We stuck a fork in the middle and it came out clean. It looked perfect when it came out but after a few minutes the middle went down. I did the 9×13 size. Haven’t tried it yet tho but I’m sure its DELICIOUS! The things I’ve tried here has become a staple in my family….and we are VERY picky…well I am πŸ˜‰ hehe I’ll let ya know how it turns out!! Thanks MEL YOU ARE AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Mel says:

      Edna – I hope this tasted ok despite the flattened middle. I’ve never had that happen, but I’ve always baked it in 2 9-inch round pans.

  124. […] Old huh? He loves him some good carrot cake and so that’s just what he got. And after finding this, I will never go searching again for another carrot cake recipe. It was di-vine and perfect for the […]

  125. Alicia says:

    Oh… forgot to add that we made it in a bundt pan. It was so easy. I know you said the carrot sheet cake recipe also on your site is easier than this one; honestly this was pretty dang easy. No need for me to try the other recipe… this is a keeper!

  126. Alicia says:

    I, too, made this for Easter (OK… my 11 year old daughter did most of the work!). It…was…AWESOME!! Even my husband and youngest daughter, both carrot-cake haters, went back for more after the required “polite bite”. My husband kept sneaking slices yesterday.

    I have to say, this cake is best straight from the fridge; it somehow becomes moister (although it was moist at room temperature as well). PERFECTION!! Thanks, Melanie!

  127. Lori says:

    The cupcakes turned out amazing! I ended up cooking them for about 15 minutes, and it made about 30 cupcakes. I usually don’t like carrot cake either, but I think it’s because of the usual addition of raisins, which I hate. I didn’t get to bring this to Easter dinner because my sister-in-law brought a carrot sheet cake, but I had to snicker at the fact that these were so much better! πŸ™‚

  128. Michelle says:

    I thought I would tell you that I made your carrot cake this weekend (actually, our entire Easter dinner was recipes from your site – crockpot ham, baked garlic mashed potatoes, 5 cup fruit salad) and it was a HUGE hit. I am a lifelong hater of carrot cake, but I knew my whole family would love it so I tried it out. I am a convert. From the first bite, I was sold. If only all carrot cakes tasted like this one!! Thanks to your wonderful recipes my first Easter dinner was a success! Can’t wait to try out some of your others… πŸ™‚

  129. Christy says:

    I made this for Easter and everyone said exactly what I was thinking – this was the best carrot cake we’ve ever had! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe…I am so happy to have a keeper carrot cake!!! I love your blog so much and trust your recipes 100%. I have made so many and not one has been a failure!

  130. Callie says:

    made this today for tomorrow and every time i open the fridge it taunts me! funny story-i saw this recipe and thought “well i need to check americas test kitchen baking book cause they have the best cakes”. surprise! they are the same! your cooking time was way more accurate, about 35 minutes compared to the 25 in the book.

  131. Lori says:

    Hi Mel! Do you have any tips/suggestions for making this batter into cupcakes?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Lori – I’ve never made it as cupcakes but I don’t know why it wouldn’t work. It is a fairly high rising cake, so I would only fill the muffin liners 1/2 to 2/3 full. You’ll probably get more than 24 cupcakes out of the batch, but that is just a guess. You’ll have to see as you go. And then I would probably bake them for 12-15 minutes – checking to ensure they aren’t over baking. Hope that helps a little!

  132. […] Carrot Cake- I love making a carrot cake from scratch every year. Last year, I missed my tradition due to sick […]

  133. Joyce says:

    I haven’t tried making this carrot cake…yet. Because I’m slightly obsessed with your carrot sheet cake (and, of course, the frosting :)) Just curious, which is your favorite?

    • Mel says:

      Joyce – if you really nailed me down (because I love them both!), I’d go with the layered carrot cake. It is my first carrot cake love and is so beyond delicious, I want to run upstairs and make it immediately – just typing this!

  134. JaNae says:

    I made this last weekend and we gobbled it all up! I have tried a few carrot cake recipes, and this one was by far the best! Thanks again!!!

  135. Danielle says:

    This has been my choice for my birthday dessert for two years running. It is nothing less than heavenly. I like to think the carrots balance out everything else in the cake to make it healthy. Hey, it’s my birthday, so I can think what I want:)

  136. mia says:

    *coffee (two e’s) oops!

  137. mia says:

    ummm, *blush* i may not have mentioned a time or two in between that i’ve made it. seriously addicted. my son and i had some for breakfast. carrot cake + coffe = breakfast of champs!! πŸ˜€

  138. mia says:

    mmmmmmmm, i made this AGAIN for company last night. such a great yummy easy fabulous cake πŸ™‚ i know i already told you this but it seems to me it needed to be said again. i *adore* this cake. mmm!!! the first time i had carrots to use up cuz i accidentally bought a big bag and realized when i got home i already had a bag in the fridge…now i buy carrots like crazy so i *have* to use them up!!! πŸ˜‰ this cake is greatness. it’s my heroin on a fork!!!

  139. Mel says:

    Jacquie – I agree that this carrot cake is one in a million. I’m so glad you liked it!

  140. Jacquie says:

    Hi! I made this carrot cake for Easter dessert and it was fabulous! I think the cream cheese frosting was the best I’ve ever had – definitely the best I’ve ever made. I did not expect such a small amount of sour cream could make such a difference, but it really does. Melanie, I think you should put this carrot cake in your Best Recipe section. Thanks!

  141. Mel says:

    mia – so glad you like this…it is one of my favorite cakes of all time!

  142. mia says:

    i’ve made this twice now and it’s been a huge hit both times!!!! thank you for the awesome recipe! (recipes since i have many new faves off your site!!)

  143. The Mendoza Family says:

    I made your carrot cake and I LOVED it!! Of course, it was a custom order so I added the pinapple, golden raisins, and added crushed walnuts to the icing (divine), and I LOVED your recipe! Thank you! Now let’s talk about stealing Mel’s recipes to make money. πŸ™‚

  144. Sarah says:

    That sounds amazing…I am bookmarking this recipe to try soon!

  145. eatme_delicious says:

    Okay you’ve definitely convinced me I too need to try out this carrot cake! I’ve made carrot cake before and was happy with it but I’ll always try a new one. Looks delicious!

  146. Katie says:

    Awww, I’m so flattered 1) you like my blog and 2) you tried a recipe from it. Oh my gosh, I KNOW this cake is so amazing. After we made it for my brother’s party we made it THREE more times! So good.Your pictures really do it justice, unlike mine, so thank you!Yum!

  147. Cakespy says:

    Oh my, oh my, oh my. Now THIS is a cake. A cake to ruin all other carrot cakes for you, I think!

  148. Darrin and Britta says:

    I am visiting my parents for the holidays, and I made this for my dad’s birthday tonight. It was so moist and the texture was perfect! I made it in a bundt pan and it was very beautiful with the nuts on top. Thanks so much again for a wonderful recipe!

  149. chelley325 says:

    This looks like it should be in a magazine – beautiful!!

  150. PheMom says:

    This looks so perfect! Much like all the other recipes on your blog, I’m sure I’m going to have to try this one too!

  151. Erin says:

    I made this finally! I was sold just by the gorgeous picture of it. And sure enough, when I made it the presentation was pretty! Especially with the chopped pecans sprinkled on top. What’s even better was that it tasted fantastic too! πŸ™‚ It was very moist – to be on the safe side I set the timer for only 30 minutes since I did it in the 2 round pans too. I’m glad I did, because when I checked it, it was done! The frosting wasn’t as sweet as I expected, but when I tasted it with the cake I thought it complimented it well – it went with the cake just right. We all enjoyed this. Thanks Mel! πŸ™‚

  152. RecipeGirl says:

    This will definitely have to become my go-to carrot cake recipe too. CI just gets it right every time. I love that you disintegrated the carrots so they aren’t big chunks, and I HATE nuts and raisins in carrot cake. I recently tried CI’s Spice Cake recipe and LOVED that one too.

    • Sonya says:

      I just made the Cook’s Illustrated Spice Cake today, along with the recipe from Cook’s Country, and loved them both too! The CI is a little more spicy with more of a normal cream (and I love the idea of using some spices in the cream cheese frosting!). The CC is more fluffy-buttery with a little less spice. Both are great and both will be making appearances again in my house πŸ™‚

  153. grace says:

    boy, i’m glad you doubled that frosting recipe–there’s nothing worse than skimpy frosting! i probably would’ve tripled it and saved a batch to nosh on, much to the chagrin of my hips and thighs… πŸ™‚

  154. Melanie says:

    Britta – oh, I LOVE this cake and have kind of forgotten about it until your comment. So thank you for the reminder! I’m glad to know it worked out in a bundt pan – I bet it was lovely. Thanks for letting me know!

  155. Deborah says:

    I thought that I had found the perfect carrot cake recipe, but now I want to try this one!!

  156. Kevin says:

    That carrot cake looks so good! The sour cream in the icing sounds interesting. I will have to try it.

  157. Steph says:

    I’ve been searching for the a good carrot recipe, I have to look no further! Thanks!

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