This perfectly spiced carrot cake with tangy cream cheese frosting is soft and irresistible. It’s baked in a single layer baking dish and can easily be brought to potlucks or parties!
To be fair, carrot cake is mostly cake with carrot and other moisture-rich ingredients that make this cake so delightfully irresistible. (Peep on down to the recipe card to see the full ingredients list – I raised a few eyebrows as I was following the handwritten recipe too, but it is SO GOOD – trust me!)
Does carrot cake have raisins?
Some carrot cakes will feature raisins in the batter, but not this recipe. This carrot cake does have walnuts and coconut flakes as well as a hefty dose of spices.
The cream cheese frosting really pulls the recipe together and rounds out the “spiciness” of the cake with its cool, creamy and tanginess. It’s not overly sweet like some cream cheese frostings and isn’t too rich where it makes your stomach hurt afterwards.
This carrot cake usually makes its yearly appearance at Easter dinner, but it is definitely perfect for any occasion. It’s baked off in a single layer baking dish, so you can take it straight from the oven to a party, potluck, or the office break room.
Baking in a 9″ x 13″ pan is the best – no removing cake layers from individual pans, having to frost more than one layer and hope the crumbs don’t come up and ruin your beautiful cream cheese frosting, or pretending like you have passable cake decorating skills.
I can appreciate a beautifully made cake, but I do not have the patience or skill to make one on my own. If you’re like me, you’re going to ABSOLUTELY LOVE this cake because it’s simple to make, easy to frost, and it is SO DELICIOUS.
How to Make Carrot Cake
Combine dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another. Add the wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir to combine.
- baking soda
- baking powder
- crushed pineapple
- shredded carrots
The cream cheese frosting comes together equally as fast as the cake does. The frosting ingredients are:
- cream cheese
- powdered sugar
- vanilla extract
Do you have to peel carrots for carrot cake?
As long as the carrots are thoroughly washed and scrubbed, it’s not necessary to peel the carrots. However, I don’t like to chance it and will peel my carrots before using a box grater to grate them into shreds for the carrot cake.
Should carrot cake be refrigerated?
If you choose to use the cream cheese frosting with this cake recipe, it’s best to keep the cake in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it again.
This carrot cake is best fresh, but it keeps well in the refrigerator for a few days.
Did you make this cake? Let me know in the comments below!
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1¾ cups granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup coconut flakes
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 cup crushed pineapple
- 1 cup shredded carrots
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 16 ounces cream cheese softened
- ½ cup butter softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp milk
For the carrot cake
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9" x 13" pan with nonstick cooking spray or butter, set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and granulated sugar. Whisk to combine.
- In a separate bowl, combine eggs, vanilla extract, coconut flakes, walnuts, pineapple and carrots. Stir to combine.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir thoroughly to incorporate.
- Pour batter into 9" x 13" pan.
- Bake for 45 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow cake to cool thoroughly before frosting.
For the cream cheese frosting
- In a medium bowl, combine softened cream cheese and butter. **For best results, use a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a hand mixer with beaters.
- Once combined, add powdered sugar, a little bit at a time. Continue to mix frosting.
- Add in vanilla extract and milk. If frosting seems a bit thick, add more milk in ½ teaspoon increments.
- Frost carrot cake liberally. Slice and serve.