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Carrot cake slice with cream cheese icing on a white plate with carrots in the background
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4.72 from 7 votes

Carrot Cake

A classic two layer carrot cake studded with spices, pecans, carrots, and pineapple, and frosted with a decadent cream cheese icing. Moist, delicious, cake.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Cool Cake2 hrs
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: carrot cake, cream cheese frosting, layer cake
Servings: 8


  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 8 oz can of crushed pineapple drained (optional)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 16 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 7 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice


  • 1 cup chopped pecans


  • Prepare your ingredients by first eliminating excess moisture from the crushed pineapple by placing a fine mesh sieve over a bowl, and using a spoon or measuring cup to press down on it until excess moisture has drained out.  Set aside.
  • Next, peel your carrots, then use a box grated to grate carrots so they are grated, but not so finely grated they are full of excess moisture. Set aside.
  • Lastly, finely chop pecans, set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). 
  • In a large bowl, add eggs, oil, white and brown sugar, and vanilla extract and beat together. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon.
  • Carefully add the dry ingredients to the wet, combining the two bowls until just mixed, do not over stir or over beat.
  • Carefully stir in carrots and drained crushed pineapple and fold in pecans.
  • Prepare two 9 inch round baking pans by lining with parchment paper then spraying them with nonstick cooking spray and flouring them or grease and flour pans.
  • Pour even amounts of the cake batter into the two baking pans
  • Bake in 350 degree pre-heated oven for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely before layering and frosting. Can be done a day ahead. 

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • Make sure butter and cream cheese come to room temperature to soften.
  • In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, powdered or confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon juice.
  • Using a hand mixer, carefully beat mixture until there are no lumps and it is smooth and creamy. 
  • Place a small dollop of frosting on a cake stand and put the first cake on top. Then frost the top of the cake, and layer the second cake on. Frost the top and sides of both cakes with remaining frosting. 
  • Hide any frosting imperfections and garnish with finely chopped pecans.



  • Be sure to remove excess moisture from pineapple or your cake will be too wet.
  • You can replace some of the oil with applesauce (about ½ cup) if desired.
  • Peel your carrots before grating, and use a box grater to get a nice shred, but not so fine that it is too wet and juicy.
  • Do not use matchstick carrots, as they are too big.
  • If you over beat the cake it will fall in the center due to too much air being in the batter, so be sure to only mix until ingredients are incorporated.