This Easy Carrot Cake Recipe is everything you expect out of carrot cake — moist, dense, infused with a warm spice flavor and layered with a classic whipped cream cheese frosting.
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Carrot Cake is a popular dessert for the dinner table and I am so excited to share this recipe with you!
This Easy Carrot Cake Recipe is ready with just 25 minutes of prep! The cake is perfectly moist and fluffy, flavoured with cinnamon and ginger, and layered with a classic whipped cream cheese frosting.
I’m using 100% Canadian dairy products in this recipe, which helps give the cake and frosting the most incredible flavour.
Look for the Blue Cow logo on your dairy products to know you’re buying dairy products made with 100% Canadian quality milk. Buying Canadian dairy is a great way to support your local dairy farmers throughout the year.
- Butter and Oil: a combination of unsalted butter and canola oil adds so much moisture to the cake.
- Sugar: you’ll use both granulated and brown sugar to add sweetness to the cake.
- Eggs: our binding agent which helps the cake hold shape.
- Vanilla Extract: adds a depth of flavour.
- Buttermilk: any milk will work just fine. I choose buttermilk as I find it creates a more tender crumb. See my tips on making homemade buttermilk here.
- Cinnamon and Ground Ginger: a simple combination of sweet & spice that gives the carrot cake its classic flavour.
- Baking Soda and Baking Powder: keeps the cake light and fluffy.
- Salt: cuts the sweetness and brings out the flavours.
- All-Purpose Flour: for the best results, fluff and level off your flour. If it gets too packed in, it will be over-measured and the cake can be too dry.
- Grated Carrots: use freshly grated carrots for more moisture and better flavor.
- Walnuts or Pecans: chopped nuts are optional but give the soft cake a nice crunch.
- Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting: made with cream cheese, powdered sugar, whipping cream, and vanilla.
How to Make Carrot Cake
This carrot cake requires just 25 minutes of hands-on time. Then all that’s left is baking, cooling, and frosting!
- Combine the wet ingredients: Beat the butter until smooth, then add in the oil and sugar. Beat for a couple of minutes, then mix in the eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk.
- Add the dry ingredients: Add baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, and salt and beat on low until smooth. Mix in the flour, stirring until no streaks remain, then stir in the carrots and nuts.
- Bake: Divide the batter evenly between three 8″ round cake pans that have been lightly greased and dusted with flour. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, then cool completely.
- Make the frosting: Use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar and mix, followed by the cream and vanilla. Turn the mixer on high and beat until thick and fluffy.
- Frost the cake: Divide the frosting between the cake layers to frost and assemble.
Carrot Cake FAQs
Absolutely! Both will work.
You will get about 24 cupcakes out of this recipe. Simply grease and fill muffin pans and bake until a toothpick comes out clean — about 20 minutes.
You can also grease a 9×13″ pan and spread the batter in. Bake for about 25-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
Frosted carrot cake will last uncut in the fridge for up to 1 week. Once it’s sliced, it will last for 2-3 days.
If you want to freeze your carrot cake layers, cool completely, then wrap them individually in plastic wrap before placing them in an airtight container. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to frost and serve, simply thaw overnight in the fridge and they’re ready to go!
You can also freeze any leftover slices! Simply wrap individually or place in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months.
Tips and Notes
- Use freshly shredded carrots. Freshly shredded carrots have more moisture and better flavour than pre-shredded. The extra moisture makes for a better texture!
- Grease and dust the pans. A light layer of oil and a dusting of flour makes it so much easier to remove the layers from the baking pans.
- Cool the cake completely. Make sure the cake is completely cool before you frost it. A warm cake will just melt the frosting!
More Cake Recipes You’ll Love
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Easy Carrot Cake
- ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- ½ cup canola oil 100 grams
- 1 cup brown sugar packed
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup low fat buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour fluffed and levelled 293g
- 3 cups grated carrots
- 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans optional
Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 cup cream cheese room temperature 250g/8oz
- 1 ¾ cups powdered sugar
- ¾ cup whipping cream 30-35% cold
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray three 8″ round cake pans with non-stick spray and dust with flour if desired, tapping pan so that all excess flour is removed.
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth. Add oil and sugars and beat for 2-3 minutes.
- Add eggs and beat until completely combined.
- Add vanilla and buttermilk, and beat on low speed until smooth.
- Add baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, and salt and beat on low speed until smooth.
- Add flour, and stir just until no visible streaks of flour remain. Stir in carrots and nuts if using.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let sit for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Transer the cake layers to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
- In a medium bowl with an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth.
- Add powdered sugar and beat until combined.
- Add cream and vanilla and beat on low speed until incorporated. Turn the mixer to high and beat until light and fluffy and thickened (it should be spreadable). Adjust sweetness to taste.
- Divide cream cheese frosting between cooled cake layers to assemble. Top with additional chopped nuts or decorate as desired
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