Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
This carrot cake is super moist, rich in carrot cake flavor and topped with a rich cream cheese frosting. As a crepe cake, it’s super easy and perfect for Easter!
This dessert is an Easter must-have, but if you want more, be sure to check out our Carrot Cake Cupcakes or Carrot Chocolate Strawberries!
why hello! It was Fiona who stopped by Just So Tasty and today we are making one of my favorite desserts – carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.
I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love carrot cake (carrot cake cupcakes are a close second). While it’s delicious year-round, I especially want to eat it in the spring and around Easter. Spices, moist cake crumbs, and a rich cream cheese frosting (preferably a lot) are delicious.
Now, I think an easy carrot cake should be on everyone’s baking show. This easy carrot cake recipe can be added to your list. No fancy layers or extravagant toppings! Just simple ingredients, easy preparation, and very satisfying results. It’s made in a jelly roll pan – crepe style – which means easy prep and less baking time.
Tips for Wet Carrot Cake
There are a few main reasons why this cake is super moist:
- Oil. Since the oil is liquid at room temperature, it will keep your cake soft. And since carrot cake already has a lot of flavor, you won’t taste the oil.
- 4 large eggs. Make sure they are room temperature before starting.
- Chopped carrots. Chopped carrots release moisture as they roast.
I like to shred the carrots so they can be incorporated into the cake crumbs. Or you can use a food processor if you want to save time.
Whatever you do, don’t use prepackaged shredded carrots you can buy at the grocery store. They are too dry and crunchy to produce the same results as freshly grated carrots!
How to Make Carrot Cake
Preheat the oven and prepare the jelly roll pan (aka rimmed baking sheet).
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In a blender, beat the oil and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs until there are no lumps, scraping down the sides of the bowl, then beat in the flour mixture. Finally, add the grated carrots, making sure not to overmix.
Pour the cake batter into the pan and spread around the edges. Bake for 20-35 minutes, or until toothpicks come out clean and the center doesn’t jiggle when moving the pan.
Let cool completely before frosting.
Use a different pan size:
One of the appeals of this recipe is that you can make a ton of carrot cake in one jelly roll pan. If you want to use a smaller pan, of course you can.
Be sure to inspect the cake a few minutes before the recommended time and watch carefully to avoid overcooking the cake. Inserting a toothpick in the center will help you know when the cake is perfectly baked.
- 9-inch squares or rounds: Bake at 350°F for about 30 minutes.
- Cupcakes: Bake at 350°F for 22-25 minutes
- Mini Cupcakes: Bake at 350° F for 12-15 minutes
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Once our cake is baked, it’s time for the cream cheese frosting (probably my favorite part). It’s very smooth, creamy, rich, and not too sweet. The only trick here is to make sure your butter and cream cheese are both at room temperature before you start so they mix together evenly without any lumps.
Beat together butter and cream cheese on medium speed until well combined. Turn the mixer to low and pour in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Add vanilla, then whipped cream 1 tablespoon at a time, until the consistency you like.
Note: adding whipped cream will make it thinner and creamier, adding more powdered sugar will thicken it. You can change this setting according to your preferred consistency.
Can you use walnuts instead? Yes! You can sub the chopped pecans for the walnuts, or omit them entirely.
go Ape: Play with walnuts. Instead of randomly sprinkling them on top of the cake, you can form them into beautiful patterns. Creating a thick diagonal stripe or swirl pattern on a pan is easy and pretty. You can also create thick horizontal stripes so some sliced cakes have nuts and others don’t.
storage + freezing
Carrot cake can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 days, as long as it is not frosted, covered with plastic wrap or foil. If there’s frosting on top, you’ll need to keep it in the refrigerator (because the frosting contains perishable dairy).
In the refrigerator, the cake will keep for about a week. You can store leftovers in a baking sheet or slice them and store individual slices in an airtight container.
Can carrot cake be frozen? Yes! It actually freezes pretty well, even though it’s frozen. If you plan to make the cake ahead of time and freeze the whole cake, let the entire pan cool after baking, cover with a layer of plastic wrap and foil, and place in the refrigerator.
If you’re freezing leftovers that have been frosted, wrap in plastic wrap and foil, or place in a heavy-duty freezer bag. When they are stored properly, they should last 4-6 months.
This Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is a classic — and for good reason. Super moist and delicious with a thick cream cheese frosting – it’s the perfect recipe. I love Easter, but it’s delicious any time of year!
For more Easter desserts, check out:
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total time 40 minutes
Serving Size 20
Calories 224 kcal
by Lil’ Luna
- 2 cups all-purpose flour leveled with a spoon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1.5 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 4 eggs room temperature
- 3 tablespoons sour cream (Greek yogurt will work too)
- 2 1/2 cups grated carrots
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
- 8 oz cream cheese sticks softened
- 2 ½ – 3 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream as needed
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour the bottom and sides of a 13×17-inch jelly roll pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. shelved.
Then in a separate large bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the oil and sugar until smooth. Then add the eggs, vanilla and sour cream until no sugar lumps remain. You may need to turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Then with the mixer on low speed, carefully add the flour mixture followed by the grated carrots. Be careful not to overmix.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spread it to the edges, and bake in the preheated oven for 20-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, if you push the pan lightly, the center will not shaking.
Let cool completely in the pan before frosting.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the butter and cream cheese until fully softened and well combined.
Then turn the mixer to low speed and carefully add the powdered sugar about 1 cup at a time, then add the vanilla extract. Then add whipped cream 1 tablespoon at a time as needed, or a little extra powdered sugar, until desired consistency.
Frost cooled cake and garnish with chopped walnuts as desired.
This looks delicious and perfect for any function! Thanks, Fiona! For more of her delicious recipes, be sure to head over to Just So Tasty.