Classic Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Tested & Perfected Recipes

This classic carrot cake is nicely spiced, ultra-moist, and topped with lavish swirls of cream cheese frosting.

When my kids were babies, I started a small baking business specializing in cakes and cupcakes, mostly for children’s birthday parties. Before I opened, I spent weeks testing recipes for all of the classic cake flavors. This is the carrot cake that won me over. It is perfectly spiced, ultra-moist, and topped with a luscious, not-too-sweet cream cheese frosting.

Unlike most carrot cakes, which are heavy and dense, this one is light with a fine texture. The secret, which I learned from Fine Cooking Magazine, is finely chopping the carrots in a food processor to the consistency of couscous rather than grating them.

For more classic cake recipes, check out my Vanilla Birthday Cake, Vanilla Cupcakes, Chocolate Cupcakes, Red Velvet Cupcakes, and the Chocolate Lover’s Birthday cake in my cookbook.

What You’ll Need To Make Carrot Cake

ingredients for carrot cake

How to make Carrot Cake

Begin by soaking the currants in hot water to plump them up, then drain.

draining the soaked currants

Combine the flour, spices, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.

dry ingredients in bowl

Whisk to blend.

whisked dry ingredients

Add 1/4 cup of the flour mixture to the drained currants and nuts.

adding flour mixture to currants and nuts

Toss well; coating the currants and nuts with flour will prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the cake.

currants and nuts tossed with flour

Next, add the carrots to a food processor fitted with the steel blade.

carrot pieces in food processor

Process until finely chopped to the consistency of couscous.

finely chopped carrots

Transfer the carrots to a bowl and wipe the processor bowl clean. Add the eggs, granulated sugar and brown sugar.

eggs and sugars in food processor

Process until smooth.

processed eggs and sugar

With the machine running, slowly pour in the oil.

liquid ingredients ready to blend with dry

Stir the wet ingredients into the flour mixture.

stirring wet and dry ingredients

Add the carrots, currants and nuts.

adding carrots, currants and nuts to carrot cake batter

The batter will look very orange!

orange carrot cake batter

Transfer the batter to a greased and floured 9×13-in cake pan.

carrot cake batter in prepared pan

Bake the cake for about 45 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.

baked carrot cake

How to make Cream Cheese frosting

While the cake cools, make the cream cheese frosting. Combine the butter, cream cheese and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until smooth and creamy.

beating butter and cream cheese for carrot cake frosting

Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar.

gradually adding the confectioners sugar to the frosting

Once all of the confectioners’ sugar is added, beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.

cream cheese frosting for carrot cake

Use an offset spatula to frost the cake.

frosted carrot cake

Sprinkle nuts on top, if desired, and serve the cake directly from the pan.

Note: This cake can also be made as a 9-inch layer cake. You’ll have enough frosting for the middle and top of the cake; just leave the sides bare — it’s pretty that way.

You may also like

Classic Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This classic carrot cake is nicely spiced, ultra-moist, and topped with lavish swirls of cream cheese frosting.

Servings: 24
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 50 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • 1/2 cup dried currants
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2-1/4 cups all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off with knife
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1-1/4 cups vegetable oil

For the Frosting

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)

Instructions

For the Cake

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9x13-inch heavy-duty metal cake pan, or spray the pan with a nonstick cooking spray with flour, like Baker's Joy or Pam with Flour.
  2. Soak the currants in 1/2 cup hot tap water for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves. Transfer 1/4 cup of this mixture to a small bowl and add the drained currants and the chopped nuts; toss to combine.
  4. In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, process the carrots until very finely chopped, to about the consistency of couscous. Transfer to a small bowl, then rinse out the food processor bowl (you’ll use it again).
  5. In the bowl of the food processor (again, fitted with the steel blade), mix the eggs and sugars until blended. With the machine running, slowly add the oil in a steady stream until combined. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the mixture into the flour mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until well combined, then stir in the carrots and the currant-nut mixture.
  6. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool on a rack to room temperature.

For the Frosting

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large bowl if using a hand mixer), combine the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and salt. Mix on low speed until combined, then increase the speed to medium-high and beat until aerated and light, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the confectioners' sugar, mixing on low to combine. Once all of the sugar is mixed in, increase the speed to medium-high and beat until fluffy, about 1 minute.
  2. Using an offset spatula, spread the frosting over the cooled cake, swirling artistically. Sprinkle the nuts on top of the cake, if using, and serve the cake straight from the pan.
  3. Note: This cake can also be made as a 9-inch layer cake. You'll have enough frosting for the middle and top of the cake; just leave the sides bare -- it's pretty that way.
  4. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The cake can be frozen (without the icing) for up to 3 months. After it is completely cooled, double-wrap it securely with aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap, or place it in heavy-duty freezer bag. Thaw on the countertop the night before you plan to eat it. Ice the cake prior to serving.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (24 servings)
  • Calories: 401
  • Fat: 23 g
  • Saturated fat: 6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 46 g
  • Sugar: 35 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Sodium: 246 mg
  • Cholesterol: 52 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

See more recipes:

Reviews & Comments

  • I love all your recipes! Would I be able to use unsweetened apple sauce to replace the oil?
    Thanking you in advance,

    • — Kathy on September 19, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Kathy, If you want to go that route, I’d suggest just replacing half of the oil with applesauce. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it this way!

      • — Jenn on September 19, 2019
      • Reply
  • I just made this case and I can’t wait for my husband to get home so we can try it!! Looks and smells so yummy!

    Does this cake need to refrigerated or can it sit covered on the counter?
    How long do you think it will be good for?

    Thank you in advance!

    • — Crystal on September 13, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Crystal, It will keep longer if you refrigerate it, but I usually keep it on the counter if it’s only for a day or two. If you refrigerate it, be sure to bring it to room temp before serving. Hope you and your husband enjoy it!

      • — Jenn on September 14, 2019
      • Reply
  • Good morning Jenn, I’m wondering if I could use this same recipe to make cupcakes. Would I have to make any adjustments and if so what would they be. Thanking you in advance!!!?

    • — Arlene Nelson on July 29, 2019
    • Reply
    • Sure, Arlene. You’d just need to adjust the baking time; it should be 20 to 25 min for cupcakes.

      • — Jenn on July 29, 2019
      • Reply
    • I’m having trouble finding currants at my local grocery store. Could I substitute for raisins instead? If so, do I need to still soak them?

      Thank you so much!

      • — Crystal on September 2, 2019
      • Reply
      • Definitely, Crystal – raisins will work well. 🙂

        • — Jenn on September 2, 2019
        • Reply
        • Thanks Jen! Would I still need to soak them?

          • — Crystal on September 7, 2019
          • Reply
          • Yes I would.

            • — Jenn on September 8, 2019
  • This is a great addition to my family’s baking. Love your simple recipes. I didn’t use as much sugar only 1 cup of granulated sugar in the cake mixture and even reduced the icing sugar in the frosting to half. Was loved by my family. Perfect.
    Thank you 😊

    • — Ash on July 27, 2019
    • Reply
  • Lovely moist and flavour filled carrot cake. It came out looking just like the picture (well almost😉). My icing wasn’t as sturdy because I used a spreadable cheese and not cream cheese, won’t do that again.

    • — Jennifer on July 18, 2019
    • Reply
  • Your recipes never let me down. I made your carrot cake for my boss’ birthday celebration today. Total Hit! Everyone liked it. The only thing I changed was I left out currants and added a little bit more pecan. Thank you so much for sharing your talents to help us be better cooks! I get a great deal of pleasure out of cooking and baking. Your website just enhances that pleasure!
    Thanks again!
    Doreen

    • — Doreen on May 10, 2019
    • Reply
    • ❤️

      • — Jenn on May 10, 2019
      • Reply
  • Everyone loved this cake and frosting! The nuts on top make this a very pretty looking sheet cake too. I left out the currants because I wasn’t sure if I’d like them, and it was still very moist.

    • — Alyssa on May 9, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn my son really wants me to make carrot cake for his birthday tomorrow, I was wondering can I use safflower oil instead of vegetable oil?

    • — Melissa on May 2, 2019
    • Reply
    • Sure, Melissa…enjoy!

      • — Jenn on May 2, 2019
      • Reply
  • Another winner from Jenn! The cake is so moist and tender. I did omit the currants and added more pecans to replace. My family thoroughly enjoyed this for Easter dessert and am very glad there is a little left over!

    • — Kim K on April 22, 2019
    • Reply
  • Lovely flavor and texture. For others at high altitude, my 9×13 cake fell in the middle. I always follow instructions exactly when baking Jenn’s recipes for the first time; next time I make this, I’ll reduce the baking soda and add a little baking powder to correct the rise for altitude.

    • — Sue on April 22, 2019
    • Reply
  • How long do you bake if making a 9 inch layer cake?

    • — Doris on April 22, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Doris, I’m guessing 30 to 35 minutes.

      • — Jenn on April 22, 2019
      • Reply
  • This was a winner at our house, not too sweet and great spice flavor. I halved the recipe, baked it in a 9×9 square pan and it was done at 30 minutes.

    • — SherryinChicago on April 19, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hey Jenn! I’m going to make this for Easter and can’t wait! I have dried cranberries and was wondering if I substitute with them, will it affect taste? I’ve never had currants so no point of reference. Should I still soak them in hot water like the currants? Thanks in advance!

    • — Anita on April 19, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Anita, Currants are tiny and taste just like raisins. I think you could get away with using dried cranberries (and, yes, you’d need to soak them) but I might chop them just a bit so they aren’t so big.

      • — Jenn on April 20, 2019
      • Reply
  • This is without a doubt the best carrot cake I’ve ever made or tasted!! My mind is blown!
    I added 1/2 c. of drained crushed pineapple. It did not affect the cooking time.

    • — Lianne on April 18, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hi jenn
    I want to add pineapple to the carrots cake.If yes how much?
    Thanks

    • — Fanny on April 17, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Fanny, I’d add no more than 1/2 cup — and be sure it’s well drained if using canned. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 18, 2019
      • Reply
  • My 5 year old daughter requested carrot cake for her birthday (she is obsessed with bunnies and loves carrots, and of course a bunny would want a carrot cake). The recipe I have used in the past is heavy so I decided to give this one a try. First off I don’t have a food processor so I grated the carrots using the smallest size, thinking it would be closer to the texture from the food processor. I also left out the nuts because my other children aren’t a fan. Other that that I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out perfectly!!! My daughter loved it.

    I should mention I did a 9in layer cake, I was really worried about not using parchment paper. But after reading the reviews I saw that Jenn advised against using paper liners for cupcakes so I decided to trust her and just buttered and floured the pans. Both layers came out easily! This will forever be my go to carrot cake recipe.

    • — Clara on April 11, 2019
    • Reply
  • This turned out great! Thank you!

    • — A.Lo on March 27, 2019
    • Reply
  • Jenn! You never fail me!
    Made this cake and it turned out perfect!

    • — Saima on March 13, 2019
    • Reply
    • 💕

      • — Jenn on March 13, 2019
      • Reply
  • This recipe is amazing! I use all the time and get so many compliments! What can I use in place of the eggs in this cake, someone requested an eggless carrot cake and im not sure what i can use as a substitute?

    • — Nicola on March 13, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Nicola, So glad you like this cake! A number of my readers that avoid eggs have mentioned that they use flax eggs when baking. I think you could also use a store-bought egg substitute. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on March 13, 2019
      • Reply
  • I made this yesterday for my mom’s 84th birthday. It was easy and DELICIOUS!! A family favorite! Thank you for a great recipe!

    • — Kristen Berry on February 28, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen, Can this recipe work in a bundt pan? If so, at what temperature and for how long?

    Every recipe I have tried of yours has been a winner! Thank you for making me a better cook
    Anna 🙂

    • — Anna on February 22, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Anna, so glad you enjoy the recipes! I do think you could make this in a bundt pan; just be sure to use a baking spray with flour in it so it doesn’t stick. Baking temp will be the same and it should take about 60 minutes give or take, so keep an eye on it!

      • — Jenn on February 25, 2019
      • Reply
  • I tried this recipe over the weekend and took it in to the office. Everyone loved it! 😀 They said it was the best carrot cake they’ve had and these came from the carrot cake lovers! Now, they all think I’m a professional baker haha. You best believe I shared the recipe with all who asked – too good to keep to myself.

    Thanks Jenn for sharing this with us 🙂

    • — Ibi on February 4, 2019
    • Reply
  • My sister requested carrot cake for her 70th birthday and I chose this recipe. I made it as a 2-layer cake and it turned out perfectly with the correct amount of frosting. The only substitute I made to the recipe was I used coconut oil.
    Everyone raved about the cake.

    • — Heathercoult on December 20, 2018
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn. Do you think that if I followed the directions exactly but omitted the walnuts for this carrot cake recipe it would turn out just as good? Thank you!

    • — Stacy Gomez on October 29, 2018
    • Reply
    • Yep – it will still be great – enjoy! 🙂

      • — Jenn on October 30, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hi, Jenn, does this cake need to be refrigerated since it has cream cheese frosting? Or is it OK to sit out on the counter? Thanks.

    • — Laurie on October 17, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Laurie, technically it should be refrigerated, but I’ve stored it on the counter and it’s been perfectly fine.

      • — Jenn on October 17, 2018
      • Reply
  • I’d like to make the carrot cake as cupcakes! I’m baking treats for my contractor as he renovates my condo– and cupcakes will be easier for him and other workers to eat while on the job! How should I adjust the baking time? And anything else? I love your blog and I bought your cookbook. You’re my favorite chef! Thank you!

    • — Sally Prangley on September 13, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Sally, thanks for the nice words about the recipes – so glad you enjoy them! 🙂 I’ve never made this into cupcakes but I think that it would work. Because the batter for the cake is so liquidy, though, I wouldn’t use cupcake liners and instead, grease and flour the cupcake pan (or use non-stick cooking spray with flour). I’d start checking them for doneness after about 20 minutes. Hope the contractors enjoy!

      • — Jenn on September 13, 2018
      • Reply
  • Made this with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free 1-to-1 Baking Flour and it turned out perfectly. I have your cookbook and have made almost everything on your website (Even though I’ve not taken time to post reviews for each recipe online I’d give 5-star ratings to them all)! Thank you for sharing your talent and expertise in the kitchen!

    • — Laurie Hoffman on September 8, 2018
    • Reply
  • This recipe is delicious! I am so happy I found your site, my husband is too!

    • — Laura on August 6, 2018
    • Reply
  • This sounds delicious, Jenn. Have you ever halved the recipe? Would that work? If so, what size pan should I use, and how would that affect the baking time?

    • — Davinia on July 28, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Davinia, You could cut this in half and bake it in a 9-inch round or square pan. I’d start checking it at about 30 – 35 minutes. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on July 29, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn
    For the cake can i used Almond instead of walnut?
    Thanks

    • — Fanny on July 19, 2018
    • Reply
    • Sure!

      • — Jenn on July 19, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn
    Can this be done in a bundt pan?
    What’s going to be temperature and time?
    Thanks again for your wonderful recipe

    • — Fanny on July 19, 2018
    • Reply
    • Sure, Fanny – just be sure to use a baking spray with flour in it so it doesn’t stick to the pan. Baking temp will be the same and it should take about 60 minutes give or take, so keep an eye on it!

      • — Jenn on July 19, 2018
      • Reply
  • Love this recipe and so do my friends and family. They love it so much that I have been asked to make it for a 50th birthday party. There will be over 50 people attending and I was wondering if I can double the recipe and make a big slab cake?

    • — Tamara on July 11, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Tamara, so glad you like this! I’m not familiar with a slab cake, but I do think you could double it. It would also be nice to make two 9 x 13’s and create a layer cake.

      • — Jenn on July 11, 2018
      • Reply
      • Thank you. By slab cake I mean a large single layer cake. Guess I would have to increase the bake time slightly. I have a convection oven so that should help with even baking.

        • — Tamara on July 11, 2018
        • Reply
  • I would love to make the carrot cake but I only have a blender, will that work?

    • — Joan on April 25, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Joan, I’m not sure how a blender will do chopping the carrots — you could always just grate them really finely and use the blender for mixing the eggs, sugar and oil. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on April 25, 2018
      • Reply
      • I haven’t attempted this recipe yet, but wanted to see if it would be possible to add coconut and crushed pineapple (drained, of course)? Should I add more flour or keep the ingredients as is?

        • — Megan on April 17, 2019
        • Reply
        • Hi Megan, I think as long as you drain the pineapple really well, it will be fine; I’d add just a few extra tablespoons of flour.

          • — Jenn on April 17, 2019
          • Reply
  • Can I make this recipe to a carrot cupcake? Are there any revisions to be made in the recipe? What temperature and baking time please? TIA.

    • — Ana on April 25, 2018
    • Reply
    • And can I add crushed pineapple to the recipe too? Thanks again.

      • — Ana on April 25, 2018
      • Reply
      • Sure, you can use pineapple bits here; I would just make sure they’re very well drained diced into small pieces.

        • — Jenn on April 25, 2018
        • Reply
    • Hi Ana, While I’ve never made them, I think that cupcakes would work. Because the batter for the cake is so liquidy, though, I wouldn’t use cupcake liners and instead, grease and flour the cupcake pan (or use non-stick cooking spray with flour). I’d start checking them for doneness after about 20 minutes. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 25, 2018
      • Reply
  • Amazing – I made the recipe exactly as written and it was beyond delicious! Tasted like something from a bakery. So glad I was sending my son home with the rest of it because I could’ve eaten the whole thing!

    • — Jenn on April 14, 2018
    • Reply
  • Hi, Jen. I have two questions. One, do you toast the nuts first? Or is it even necessary in this cake? And two, should I weigh the carrots BEFORE peeling and cutting in 1 in. pieces? Or weigh after? The way you listed the ingredient makes me think the former, but I wanted to be sure. Thanks for your help in advance!

    • — Kaime on April 14, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Kaime, No need to toast the nuts (but feel free if you want). Regarding the carrots, I always measure the weight first and then peel and cut them. It won’t make a significant difference either way. HOpe you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 14, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! I saw my Mom ask a question on here about cupcakes (hi Mom!). She made them for Easter and I HAD to have the recipe. I LOVE carrot cake and nearly cried when I ate a cupcake! I made a 9×13 cake with a 1/2 cup less of the white sugar and it turned out just as perfect! Oh, this is the best carrot cake recipe I’ve tried.

    I do have one question though, do you think the oil could be substituted with applesauce? Thanks for the recipe!

    • — Elijah on April 8, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Elijah, So happy the cupcakes turned out well! I’ve never tried applesauce in place of oil here, but I do think this is the type of recipe where that might work. I’d love to know how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on April 9, 2018
      • Reply
  • Have you ever put coconut in this recipe? If so how much would you recommend?
    Ps.
    I have enjoyed all your recipes I have made.

    • — MICHELLE E on April 6, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Michelle, Personally, I’ve never added coconut to this recipe, but I think you definitely could add it either to the batter or the frosting. I’d suggest about 1/2 cup. I’d love to hear how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on April 6, 2018
      • Reply
  • I made this for easter 2018, very good! Everyone loved it. I did reduce the sugar and oil and it came out perfect.

    • — Holly on April 5, 2018
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    Could I substitute gluten-free all purpose flour in this recipe? Thanks!

    • — Tiffany on April 5, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Tiffany, I haven’t made this with gluten-free flour, but I suspect it should work. Please LMK how it turns out if you make it!

      • — Jenn on April 5, 2018
      • Reply
  • I made this for Easter dessert and everyone LOVED it! Thank you Jenn for another fantastic recipe!

    • — Sandy on April 1, 2018
    • Reply
  • I made this cake for my dad’s 75th birthday and everyone loved it. Thanks for a great recipe.

    • — Charlene on April 1, 2018
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen, the cake’s in the oven now for Easter. I’m using two 9 inch round cake pans to make a double layer cake. I just saw that I have just less than 8 oz cream cheese (1 packet). I do have butter and cream. Would you have any advice to top up the missing cream cheese so I don’t have to run to the store (sick 2 year old twins by myself)? Could I make part of it butter cream frosting and combine? thank you for all your wonderful recipes and kind help!

    • — Janet on March 31, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Janet, It’s perfectly fine to replace the missing cream cheese with more butter. If you want a bit more tang, you can add a tiny squeeze of lemon. Hope that helps and your twins feel better soon. 🙂

      • — Jenn on March 31, 2018
      • Reply
  • You make me look like a superstar in the kitchen. You are my best find ever. From a small dinner party, deserts, or appetizers, whatever I make is outstanding. Thank you- your recipes are wonderful.

    • — beverly Grimm on March 30, 2018
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the recipes, Beverly! Thanks for taking the time to let me know. 🙂

      • — Jenn on March 31, 2018
      • Reply
  • I love your recipes and I’m looking forward to your cookbook. If I omit the currents and the nuts, do I have to make any other changes to the recipe?

    • — Deb on March 30, 2018
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the recipes! It’s fine to omit the nuts and currants and no additional changes are necessary. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on March 31, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hi Jen, I’m such a huge fan of your site. It’s made cooking so much more fun and successful! I’m hosting Easter and planning to make this cake a day in advance. Would you recommend waiting to frost just before serving, or can I frost the day before? If it has to be done day of, can the frosting be made a day ahead and stored in the fridge? Thank you! Stephanie

    • — Stephanie on March 30, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Stephanie, so glad you enjoy the recipes! 🙂 I would frost it ahead of time but if you’d prefer to wait, you can store the icing in the fridge. Just let it come to room temperature before frosting the cake so it’s easier to spread. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on March 30, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, Making your carrot cake for the first time for Easter. I have Morton Iodized salt, Morton Coarse Kosher Salt and Diamond Crystal Kosher salt. Can any of these be used in the cake or should I try and locate the salt in your picture of ingredients. Thank you! Marion

    • — Marion on March 29, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Marion, the Morton Iodized salt will work perfectly here; no need to use the exact salt I did. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on March 29, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! I was wondering if this carrot cake can be made as cupcakes? Are there any adjustments to make? Thanks so much, Tisa

    • — Tisa on March 28, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Tisa, I think that cupcakes would work, but because the batter for the cake is so liquidy, I wouldn’t use cupcake liners and instead, grease and flour the cupcake pan (or use non-stick cooking spray with flour). I’d start checking them for doneness after about 20 minutes. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on March 29, 2018
      • Reply
  • Good morning Jenn,can I grater my carrots and mix the cake in my Kitchen Aid.

    Thanks in advance for your response

    • — Arlene Nelson on March 15, 2018
    • Reply
    • Yes that’s fine, Arlene. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on March 15, 2018
      • Reply
  • Followed exact recipe with perfect result. Admire your talent, enjoy your creative and healthy recipes.

    • — Cathy on March 6, 2018
    • Reply
  • Any chance I could make this in two 9 inch rounds and use one now and freeze one for later? Or would it be better to make in 13×9 and then cut in half and freeze one half? Was hoping to possibly serve two smaller groups with same cake–at different times type of thing…(freezing cake only and frosting once thawed and ready to serve)…

    • — Diane on March 2, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Diane, yes this would work in two 9-inch round pans. The baking time will be a bit shorter – 35 minutes give or take. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on March 2, 2018
      • Reply
  • This looks amazing! Great idea soaking the currants and processing the carrots!
    Can’t wait to make it!

    • — Shelley Schuss on February 5, 2018
    • Reply
  • Having guests…Decided to make this cake because I didn’t want to bother with a layer cake. What a surprise! Delicious! I’m not a huge raisin eater, however the currants (Whole Foods) were surprisingly petite, moist and not at all overpowering. My guests loved it. Followed your recipe to a “T”. I can’t wait for your cookbook. My friends think I’m a fabulous cook….Jenn your recipes never fail me! 😊

    • — Julie Powley on February 3, 2018
    • Reply
  • I’m making this for Super Bowl and would like to know if you took your cake out of the pan before frosting and serving and if so, how? Thanks

    • — debbie on January 29, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Debbie, Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack to room temperature, then invert the pan to remove the cake. Let cool completely before frosting. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 30, 2018
      • Reply
  • I would love to make this cake for a friends surprise party but have a pretty busy day wondering if it’s OK to make the batter the day before and keep in the fridge and bake it on the day of the event what do you think ? Please let me know ASAP thank you !

    • — Minnie on January 16, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Minnie, The cake should be baked immediately after mixing but it’s perfectly fine to make it a day ahead of time – this cake keeps well.

      • — Jenn on January 17, 2018
      • Reply
      • Thanks so much! I was going to make it earlier but I making it at this moment and will serve it for a baby shower tomorrow , wish me luck 😀

        • — Minnie on February 2, 2018
        • Reply
  • This was AMAZING! Carrot is my favorite kind of cake and this recipe is just perfect. My batter was darker than the photos (I used dark brown sugar as per the recipe), and I baked it in 2 9-inch layers. Plenty of frosting left even with a light coat around the sides — almost naked-style. Brought it to a birthday party and got lots of compliments. My family couldn’t get enough. 🙂 Thank you once again!

    • — Flo on January 15, 2018
    • Reply
  • Made this cake on the heels of having made my prior go-to recipe for carrot cake. It comes together very quickly. This is the NEW standard for our house.
    We like our cream cheese frosting on the tangy side and go with a 2:1 cream cheese to butter ratio. Otherwise we followed recipe to a tee.

    • — Jean K on December 4, 2017
    • Reply
    • Also adding a tablespoon or two (to taste) of lemon juice is also amazing! Adds a subtle citrus taste and a bit of lovely tanginess!

      • — Gwyneviere on March 8, 2018
      • Reply
  • I always wanted to make a good carrot cake and have been looking for a recipe on and off over the internet. I found this website when I was looking for ricotta cheese cake recipe and found this carrot cake recipe. I tried it out and it turned out to be the recipe I have been looking for all along. Absolutely delicious. I am very thankful for the descriptions of why to do certain tasks (like tossing the currants in flour so they don’t sink into the cake), love your site and I recommended to so many of my friends since then.

    • — Vasantha on December 3, 2017
    • Reply
  • Okay, I’m alittle concerned because in pouring the oil in slowly it almost got to a mayonnaise consistency – the eggs, sugar, and oil step. No one else mentioned this. I hope its okay. Taking it for Shabbat.

    • Hi Diane, How did this turn out for you?

      • — Jenn on December 1, 2017
      • Reply
  • This may have been asked already but do you think this could be used to make cake donuts? Maybe adjust the liquid to make it more dense?

    • Hi Tracy, I’ve never tried making donuts with this batter, but I don’t think it would translate that well — sorry!

      • — Jenn on November 28, 2017
      • Reply
  • Hi! Quick question for you. I can’t find confectioners sugar in my local grocery store in London. What can I substitute for it?

    • — Ambreen Malik on November 8, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Ambreen, In the UK, I believe it is called icing sugar.

      • — Jenn on November 8, 2017
      • Reply
      • Thank you so much! The carrot cake was delicious! My hubby loved it!

        • — Ambreen on November 10, 2017
        • Reply
  • Big hit with everyone from my mother in law to my mother whom loves carrot cake and at 79 years old told me it is the best carrot cake she has ever eaten. Thank you for this outstanding recipe.

    • — Tracy Anderegg on November 2, 2017
    • Reply
  • Can this be done in a bundt pan?

    • — Bonnie on October 27, 2017
    • Reply
    • Sure, Bonnie – just be sure to use a baking spray with flour in it so it doesn’t stick.

      • — Jenn on October 27, 2017
      • Reply
  • Hi..
    I love the looks of this recipe, but was hoping to make it into mini-cupcakes (24-count). Any suggestions about baking time??
    Thanks!

    • Hi Kate, I’d check for doneness around 12 to 15 minutes. Enjoy!

    • What a phenomenal cake!

      • — Iman on October 26, 2017
      • Reply
    • Hi Kate I want to make mini cupcakes as well; did yours turn out?? Thanks. G

      • — Gwyneviere on March 31, 2018
      • Reply
  • I first made this recipe for Easter. I was not allowed to take home any leftovers as it was a big hit with the hostess! One tip from the recipe I particularly thought was helpful was to put the carrots in a food processor instead of grating them. The small couscous size pieces were a better way of doing it. I’m being asked to make it several times. No better carrot cake recipe out there!

  • I made this for my husband for his birthday yesterday and he said it was the best ever. Since he’s tried a lot, I thought I’d let you know. The chopped carrots were a big helpful tip.
    Love your recipes and your generosity.

  • Oh wowza! This recipe looks amazeballs. I am going to add it to my bookmarks and make it soon. I have a weakness for carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.

  • Hi Jen,

    Cake is delicious. I used 1/3 less fat cream cheese for the frosting and 3-1/2 cups confectioners sugar and it was delicious. Another great recipe from Jen.

    Thanks

  • Fantastic recipe! Delicious and brings back childhood memories. I omitted the currants and it didn`t impact the taste. The icing was delicious! although I must add that the icing wasn`t as firm as I thought it would be., it wasn`t that thick. Maybe I whipped it up too long.

  • Does this need to be stored in the fridge because of the cream cheese frosting?

    • Hi Katrina, technically it should be refrigerated, but I’ve stored it on the counter and it’s been fine.

  • If I use raisins instead of currants do I still need to soak them in hot water?

    • While it’s not mandatory, I recommend it- it definitely helps to plump them up. Hope you enjoy!

  • Hi! So the recipe requires baking soda but no baking powder? Just want to be sure before I make a mistake. Thanks!

    • That’s correct– hope you enjoy!

  • Hi Jen,
    If I were to make this cake with whole wheat flour instead of white flour, would it require any alterations or could I just go ahead with the recipe as is?
    Looking forward to your answer
    Vanita

    • Hi Vanita, I would suggest replacing only about 1/2 of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat and see how you like the results. I suspect using all whole wheat will affect the texture of the cake. LMK how it turns out!

  • For a long time I have been wanting to make an authentic American cheesecake. I made one once, but the recipe came from a Dutch magazine and was, though OK, a bit disappointing. Since all of your recipes I tried ended up in my cookbook, I gave this one a try and it was AMAZING! Of course I have no reference of significance, but the cake is easy to make, it is at the same time light and moist, sweet and spicy and just fingerlicking good! Today you were thought of from across the big pond while we were eating your heavenly good carrot cake out in the garden on the first sunny day of spring. Beautiful picture right? Thanks again Jen for another perfect recipe!

    • — Abi-Janne Boevé
    • Reply
  • This is the absolute best carrot cake recipe! My husband doesn’t even like carrot cake but he ate 1/3 of this one in one night! The frosting has a wonderful light/whipped texture and is not too sweet. I think grinding up the carrots in the food processor really gives the cake a nice texture and lots of moisture! Thank you for this amazing recipe.

  • Carrot cake with homemade icing is delicious and lovely to serve. Using sheet cake pan, so it’s easy to cut into squares and serves a crowd! Adding this to my Easter Brunch menu, with your fabulous pumpkin bread recipe. Thank you for these wonderful recipes.

  • Easy, delish. left out the nuts. Family was crazy about it!!

  • Made this to try out for Easter and it was fabulous. Left out the nuts, personal preference, but it was still really good. Very moist, nice texture.

  • Carrot Cake is my favourite and this recipe certainly makes me like it even more.
    I made in 9″ tins and sandwiched together but have just replaced my tins with 10″. How would I go about making enough batter for 2 10″

    • Glad you like the carrot cake! Are you tins round or square?

  • Hi Jen
    I would like to make this in a springform pan and add a cream cheese layer , what r your thoughts ? Do u think that would work? Thanks for sharing your expertise.

    • Hi Maria, yes, I think that would work. I’d love to hear how it turns out!

  • Carrot cake is my husband’s favorite dessert, so, naturally, when I showed him how beautiful this site is, the first thing he noticed was the carrot cake photo! This recipe is FANTASTIC — moist, light, and beautifully spiced ! Before this cake I’ve made two-layer carrot cakes without raisins, which I generally find too big and distracting. But for this recipe I took a chance on the Zante currants, and I love them! They are perfectly sized and provide, with the walnuts, a nice bit of texture and flavor. I frosted the cake just as it is frosted in the photo. To me the cake’s flavor improved the following day, and it stayed fresh and moist for a week. Delicious for dessert and [guilty smile] breakfast.

  • Can I use raisins since no one sells currants where I live??

    • Sure Tiffany, raisins will work really well.

  • I’m really looking forward to making this. Love your recipes! Sorry to bother you, I just have one question – if I were to make this two days ahead before my party, do you think that’s too much time – would alter the taste and/or dry out?

    • Hi Jen, I think 2 days would be fine, but probably wouldn’t stretch it more than that for the best results. Enjoy!

  • You mentioned to bake in a heavy 9×13 heavy metal pan. Would it work in a glass pan? Thanks

    • Hi Abbie, Glass will work, although I’d keep an eye on it and reduce the heat by 25°F if it looks like it’s starting to brown around the edges. Enjoy!

  • Hi,
    I live in France and I see you’ve spent some time here, so maybe you could help me by giving me an equivalent/substitution name of allspice and ground clove spices over here?
    Thank you!

    • Hi Bianca, In France, ground cloves are called “girofle en poudre” and allspice is called “quatre-épices.” If you can’t find either of them, go ahead and replace with more cinnamon. Hope that helps!

  • This carrot cake is magnificent! The cake is the perfect density/moisture/taste and the frosting is divine… fluffy, flavorful and not too sweet! I made a 9″ layer cake and had enough frosting to cover the entire cake. As usual, every recipe I try of yours’ gets added to my cookbook. Thank you!

  • Oh this recipe looks divine Jenn! I want to make 2 9″ rounds instead of the 9″x13″ pan; what modifications do I need to make to baking time and/or temperature?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Aileen, You don’t need to alter the temperature at all, but the baking time may be a tiny bit longer if at all. Hope you enjoy!

  • Jen, this carrot cake was amazing!! I may have blended the dry ingredients and wet ingredients too much, because it came out quite dense. Is that a possibility?
    Although this cake had great reviews with family and friends, could I substitute the currants with pineapple bits? Just a preference for myself.
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful and perfect recipes!!

    • Hi Beatrice, glad you liked the cake. It really shouldn’t be dense, but I don’t think over blending it would’ve caused that. Did you really finely chop the carrots in a food processor? (They should be the consistency of couscous.)

      • I did. Hmm.. this calls for a re-bake! May I substitute pineapple bits instead of currants? Just a personal preference.

        • Oh yes Beatrice, sorry I forgot to answer that! Sure, you can use pineapple bits here; I would just make sure they’re very well drained diced into small pieces.

  • Thank you for this recipe. Cake was delicious, everybody liked it. I made it for my one year old, so I skipped the nuts. I don’t own a food processor, so instead I used the regular mixer, and it worked fine! I will do it again and again. Tastes better after a few days. Cheers!

  • My son has a nut allergy. Do you have any recommendations for modifying this? Could you also recommend modifications if I skipped the currants too? My other son might not like them.

    • Hi Helena, you can omit the nuts and currants if you’d like. (If he likes raisins, you could replace the currants them.) Hope everyone enjoys!

  • Cake looks so moist and delicious, I can’t wait to try it out.
    I am just curious to know if I would be getting the same result by skipping eggs. Would you recommend any other substitute for eggs?

    • Hi Deepa, Unfortunately, you can’t omit the eggs in this cake. So sorry!

  • If I wanted shredded coconut in the cake, where would be good place to put it? On top or actually in the cake?

    • I think that’s a matter of personal preference Amy. I think either would work!

  • Amazing recipe. Moist and delicious!

  • I made this recipe for my mother-in-law. She requested the recipe!! Thank you!!!

  • My daughter always loved the Costco carrot cake but they’ve stopped selling it at least in her area so for Mother’s Day her daughter made your cake. It was a hit with all the carrot cake lovers! Definitely a winner. Next time they will put all the frosting on (I thought 3/4 was just fine) but we were able to use the part they didn’t add when the girls made it into a glaze for cinnamon roll pancakes. We used raisins instead of currants but followed the rest exactly. Super duper!

  • The carrot cake was fabulous – very moist with a wonderful mix of spices. Best I have ever tasted
    PS -jenn the metric for cream cheese is incorrect 12 ounces is 340 grams not 240 as stated .

    • So sorry about that, Lee Ann. Thank you for letting me know — it has been corrected!

  • I did discover one thing. I think your metric conversions are off. I calculate 12 ounces to equal 340 grams not 240. Just to let you know

    • You’re right LeAnn- thanks so much for pointing that out and I apologize for any confusion that may have caused! Please let me know if you see any other errors!

  • Tomorrow night will be a Jennifer full night as I just made the marinade for the chicken and the dressing for the crunchy Thai salad. But getting to the point – I made this in 2 9 inch cake pans. . What I am worried about is that I had more than enough icing to also ice the sides. What have I done wrong ? Fingers crossed it tastes good, it certainly looks fabulous.

    • No worries, Lee Ann — the recipe makes a lot of icing. Hope your dinner is a success!

  • Made this last weekend, followed the recipe exactly, and it was delicious, the best carrot cake I have ever tasted. I use your recipes a lot and have never been disappointed. Thank you so much and I hope your cookbook is a big success, I will definitely be buying one.

  • Made this cake on the weekend. A lovely moist cake with a delicious frosting. Love that cream cheese frosting!
    This is a recipe I will be making again! 🙂

  • Amazing…..that’s all I can say! Followed recipe exactly. Everyone loved it!

  • Hi Jenn,
    Just wanted to know if this recipe can be turned into cupcakes? If so, what would be the modification (ex: bake time). Thank you in advance for your help!

    • Sandra, I think that would work, but because the batter for the cake is so liquidy, I would forgo the cupcake liners and instead, grease and flour the cupcake pan (or use non-stick cooking spray with flour). I would start checking them for doneness after about 20 minutes.

  • OHMIGOD!!! It’s like you’re psychic!! I had carrot cake on the brain just now, pulled up your site and you just happened to have a recipe right there! Since your recipes are always amazing, I will have to give this a try.

  • I tried the Carrot Cake for Easter and it was a BIG hit! Thanks

  • Hi Jenn,
    I just wanted to tell you that I made this carrot cake this past Easter Sunday and have received 6 formal requests for the receipe!! Everyone loved it! It was absolutely delicious and moist! Thank you so much for all your wonderful recipes.

    BTW: Do you happen to have a lemon cupcake recipe somewhere out there? 🙂
    THANK YOU AGAIN!

    • Glad everyone enjoyed it, Sandra! I don’t have a lemon cupcake recipe posted but I’ll add it to my list. 🙂

  • Can crushed pineapple be added to this recipe? Also, what is all purpose flour? Does that flour already have baking powder in it? Australia uses different descriptions.

    • Hi Beverly, I wouldn’t add crushed pineapple to this recipe — it will make the batter too liquid, and the cake will not have enough structure to rise properly. Sorry! And all purpose flour is just plain flour. It does not already have baking powder or salt in it. Hope that helps!

  • I made this cake for Easter lunch. It received rave reviews from my guests. The food processor preparation was brilliant. The soaked currants were much better than raisins. I especially loved the combination of spices. It’s an easy cake and tastes rich and elegant. Excellent with a good cup of coffee or tea. Thanks Jen for another showstopper.

  • Can you use canned carrots?

    • I’d stick with fresh, Dianna, as canned carrots might add too much moisture and throw the texture off.

  • I am eating this as I’m typing this. Amazing!!! So delicious! The cake is full of flavor and the icing is light. Once again, thank you for a delicious recipe that makes me feel like a rock star when I serve it to my family.

  • I have made many of your recipes and they are always wonderful; however, I made this carrot cake today and it totally fell in the middle and even around the edges it doesn’t seem to be done (although a toothpick came out clean). I used raisins instead of currants and avocado oil – could the avocado oil be the problem? Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly and I’ve never had a problem with my oven not cooking things properly

    • Hi Terry, So sorry you had trouble with the cake. I’ve made it dozens of times and never had that issue. I can’t say for sure about the avocado oil, as I’ve never baked it with it, but it sounds like the cake was likely just undercooked.

  • Just made this!!:)..It was amazing!!..best Carrot Cake I’ve ever made!! Thanks so much!!

  • HI Jenn! can you leave out the currants? And roughly how many carrots is one pound? Thanks Happy Easter

    • Hi Sara, Totally fine to omit the currants (and nuts, if you’d like) and there are about 6-8 medium (or 4 very large) carrots in a pound.

  • can this be made ahead of time and frozen ?

    • Hi Bohdanna, The cake can definitely be made ahead and frozen but not the frosting.

  • I don’t have a food processor,but I have a Vitamix. Do you think that would work okay for this recipe?

    • Hi Karen, I’m not sure how the Vitamix will do chopping the carrots — you could always just grate them really finely and use the vitamix for mixing the eggs, sugar and oil.

Add a Review or Question

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.