The Best Carrot Cake

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This really is the Best Carrot Cake and it is one of my most requested dessert recipes of all time.  It’s quick, incredibly moist, and homemade.

This cake fully loaded with pineapple, coconut, walnuts and raisins and all topped off with cream cheese frosting. If you like carrot cake, you are going to love this easy, from scratch recipe!

The BEST Carrot Cake Recipe on a white plate

A Classic Dessert

Carrot cake is a classic dessert that I think we’ve all enjoyed!   I have sampled and savored countless recipes over the years, and I think it is safe to say that today I am sharing The Best Carrot Cake Recipe ever!

It seems to me there are two types of carrot cakes, the ones that are light and fluffy almost more like a spice cake with carrots and then there are the ones like this which are incredibly moist and fully loaded with goodies from nuts and pineapple to coconut and raisins.  I personally prefer the latter!

Everyone seems to have that one dessert they’re known for… this one (along with Caramel Chocolate Poke Cake) is a dessert I am asked for ALL of the time.

Full of Goodies

This easy homemade carrot cake recipe creates a rich cake that is packed full of goodies! It’s completely loaded with pineapple, coconut, walnuts and raisins and it’s impossible to mess up!  I’ve made it literally a hundred times (and I think most of the times are for my friend Billy who loves this cake more than anyone else)!

Ingredients for The BEST Carrot Cake recipe in a glass bowl

Carrot Cake Additions

The walnuts in this cake add a nice nuttiness which is perfect with the cinnamon, you can certainly substitute pecans if you happen to have them on hand (but walnuts are my favorite in this recipe). Making a cake with crushed pineapple makes it incredibly moist (just like adding zucchini or banana to a cake adds moisture)! I grate my carrots using the larger holes on my cheese grater.

An Easier Way

While a lot of carrot cakes are made in layers, those cakes tend to be a little bit lighter in texture and to be honest, I feel like making a layer cake is a bit too fussy for me. I prefer to bake cakes in a 9×13″ pan with a lid so that we can bake and serve (and even freeze) in the same dish.  I find these types of cakes easiest to make and to store.

Piece of The BEST Carrot Cake in a clear dish

A Delicious Dessert

In fact, this cake is so good and so moist, you really don’t need frosting but I personally LOVE a good homemade Cream Cheese Frosting on carrot cake.  If you prefer, this is also amazing topped with whipped cream. Regardless of how you serve it, this is one dessert that is always a crowd favorite so don’t count on having any leftovers!

This cake is a deliciously rich cake and it’s very moist so I store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  It’s best if you bring it to room temperature for serving.  Keep in mind that this freezes well, in case you want to bake now and savor later!

More Great Cake Recipes

homemade carrot cake with frosting on white plate
4.93 from 28 votes
Review Recipe

Best Ever Carrot Cake

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 16 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
The Best Carrot Cake is one of my most requested dessert recipes of all time. It’s quick, incredibly moist, and homemade.


  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup apple sauce
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 1 ½ cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 cup walnuts chopped
  • 1 8 oz can crushed pineapple, drained
  • Cream Cheese Frosting

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  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9×13 pan.
  • Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon with a whisk. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, buttermilk, applesauce, oil, sugar and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture just until mixed. Add carrots, coconut, walnuts, pineapple and raisins and mix until combined.
  • Pour into prepared pan for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool completely and frost with cream cheese frosting.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 299, Carbohydrates: 43g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 31mg, Sodium: 196mg, Potassium: 222mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 21g, Vitamin A: 2270IU, Vitamin C: 1.2mg, Calcium: 39mg, Iron: 1.7mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword best carrot cake
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

Carrot Cake with a title



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About the author


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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

More Posts by Holly

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Recipe Rating


    1. You can leave the coconut out or add extra nuts or raisins if you prefer. Enjoy Liz!

  1. I made your carrot cake on Friday it was delicious. I followed your recipe exactly and it came out wonderful. My family enjoyed it. I will definitely make it again. Thanks.5 stars

      1. I am making this for Easter and am so excited! Do you use sweetened or unsweetened apple sauce?

      2. I usually use unsweetened because that is what I have on hand, but either will work. Enjoy the cake Nancy!

  2. Amazing recipe! Followed it exactly except just a little box of raisins because I wasn’t sure. Followed the cream cheese frosting exact too- minus lemon zest. My family ate it up!5 stars

  3. I will be using this recipe,but omitting the coconut and raisins. My husband doesn’t like coconut. I don’t like raisins. But I like the idea of using a 9×13 pan .5 stars

  4. Hey Holly! Awesome flavor and very moist. Made a couple of changes, substituting the applesauce for extra pineapple (since I love pineapple) and because I was out of walnuts, I used pecans instead. Also, my cake was done with 20 minutes left on the timer, baking it at 350. Suffice it to say I did use a dark non stick pan which most likely decreased the baking time. Thanks for sharing! =)

  5. I made this gluten free (because I’m celiac and I have to) and while I’ll say it came out really moist which is nice, it was REALLY bland. The most prominent flavour was baking soda. Definitely needs more cinnamon, maybe add some nutmeg or cloves. Other than that the recipe works well.3 stars

  6. I made this cake a while ago, and it was the best carrot cake we ever had. Next time I plan to double the recipe & made it into a frosted layer cake layer cake. The other cakes in this post also look to be fabulous! Thanks :-)5 stars

      1. We have only made this recipe as written, Claire. But if you try substituting it we would love to hear how it turns out!

  7. Delicious cake! Everybody just loved it! Like you said, there is even no need in cream. I did’t have cream cheese at home so I’m gonna do a cream made of sour cream, butter and sweet cream.5 stars

  8. This recipe calls for buttermilk but I can only find low-fat buttermilk in our local grocery stores. Will low-fat suffice?

  9. I will make this carrot cake this week for my daughter’s 3rd birthday. I don’t have any buttermilk. Is there a good substitute?

  10. I made this today and was glad I did. This is the moist and delicious carrot cake that I was hoping for. The calories are much less than most versions, only 1/2 c of oil, that is a bonus. Thank you for a delicious recipe.

  11. Made this recipe and carrot cake was excellent. Very moist and excellent flavour. Was a hit, will definitely make again

  12. I haven’t made this but can tell you it hits all my carrot cake requirements and has apple sauce to boot. Can’t wait to try it!

    Thank you!