This really is the best Carrot Cake recipe!
This extra-moist carrot cake has a tender crumb and is jam-packed with goodies, all topped off with our favorite cream cheese frosting.
Incredibly moist, this homemade cake is the dessert I am known for and one of my most requested. There is so much to love about this easy, from-scratch recipe!
An Easy Carrot Cake Recipe
This is a cake I’ve been making for about 25 years now, and it’s one I’m known for. I’ve made it literally a hundred times (most of those times for my friend Billy who dubs this the best carrot cake recipe ever)!
- This carrot cake recipe is extra moist and fully loaded with add-ins.
- I love that this easy carrot cake recipe is baked in a 9×13-inch pan. No layering is required.
- It’s so good and so moist, that frosting isn’t needed but we all know that carrot cake deserves a good homemade cream cheese frosting.
- Once baked, this cake freezes well (even with the frosting).
Ingredients for Carrot Cake
Dry Ingredients – The base of this cake consists of all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and warm spices like cinnamon and ginger. Add a pinch of nutmeg for extra flavor.
Wet Ingredients – Eggs, unsweetened applesauce, light-flavored oil such as vegetable or canola oil, buttermilk, and granulated sugar make this cake extra moist and decadent.
Add-Ins – What really makes this the best carrot cake is the add-ins! Crushed walnuts (or pecans), coconut, raisins, and a can of pineapple.
Adding a can of crushed pineapple makes it incredibly moist, similar to a hummingbird cake which calls for pineapple and banana.
Variations – Don’t feel like making cream cheese frosting? This cake is also amazing when it is topped with whipped cream or can be used to make carrot cake cupcakes.
How to Make Carrot Cake
- In separate bowls, combine the wet and dry ingredients.
- Stir dry into wet ingredients in a large bowl just until combined. Fold in the add-ins.
- Pour the prepared batter into the prepared pan and bake (per the recipe below).
Let the cake fully cool, then top it with cream cheese frosting or your favorite frosting recipe!
Remove a few tablespoons of the cream cheese frosting and color a little bit of it orange and a little bit of it green. Place in a sandwich bag and snip off the corner to pipe little carrots on the cake.
Tips for Moist Easy Cake
- Grate carrots using the larger holes on a box grater, or with the shredding option of a food processor.
- Ensure ingredients are at room temperature.
- Line the pan with parchment paper if you’d like to lift the cake out to slice.
- No need to pull out the stand mixer; this cake is so simple that I use a spoon or rubber spatula and a bowl.
- This cake is deliciously rich and very moist, so store it covered in plastic wrap or in an air-tight container, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It tastes best if you bring it to room temperature before serving.
- This cake freezes well, bake it now and enjoy it later!
Our Fave Flavorful Cakes!
Did you love this Carrot Cake as much as we do? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!
The Best Carrot Cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- ¾ cup soured milk* or buttermilk
- ½ cup apple sauce
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups grated carrots
- 1 cup walnuts chopped
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup flaked coconut optional
- 8 ounces canned crushed pineapple well drained
- Cream Cheese Frosting
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9×13 pan or glass baking dish, set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, powder, cinnamon, ginger, and salt with a whisk. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, buttermilk, applesauce, oil, sugar, and vanilla.
- Stir in the flour mixture just until mixed. Fold in the carrots, coconut, walnuts, pineapple, and raisins and mix until combined.
- Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 50-65 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center of the cake.
- Remove from the oven and cool completely in the pan. Once cooled, frost with cream cheese frosting.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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I’m really excited about this recipe and would like to use it but I’d like to make it in two 9’’ round pans will this change the recipe or cook time?
I haven’t tried two round pans but that should work just fine. The baking time will likely be reduced, I would check it early and bake until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center of the cake. If you try it I would love to hear how it turns out Devyn!
Amazing & moist, not dry. I omitted raisins, coconut & pineapple. I am super happy with the result. Also I made cupcakes and a small loaf with the batter so we can freeze & thaw portions easier. Wonderful recipe! Thank you
This was so good! I made it exactly as written and used your cream cheese frosting recipe. It turned out great. I served it at Easter and it was a big hit ( I also used your deviled egg recipe for Easter which is 5 star btw). Everyone loved it.
Thanks for sharing this recipe.
Will it make a difference if I omit coconut and nuts?
You can omit and it will slightly change the flavor and texture of the cake, but will still be delicious Wendy!
My daughter made this cake for my birthday. It was amazing. The cake was
moist and the raisins and nuts were a great addition. The cream cheese frosting was not too sweet and perfect. We do not eat a lot of cake and usually throw most of it away. We will be making another one for Easter.
This is amazing! My first time ever making carrot cake and this is the best I’ve ever had! Moist and delicious! Thank you for sharing❤️
is the coconut sweetened or unsweetened?
You can use either, if I have it I usually use sweetened.
Why anyone would ruin a perfectly good cake by putting raisins in it is beyond me
You can leave them out if you’d like! :)
Can one usr a bundt pan? Eould one need to double or? The recipe? Thank you.
I haven’t made this in a bundt pan so I can’t say for sure. I would ensure your pan is not more than ⅔ full and bake at 325. You’ll want to start checking your cake for doneness at about 40 minutes. Please let us know how it turns out for you.