Skip to content

Best Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This truly is the Best Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. The cake is supremely tender, moist, and bursting with great carrot cake flavor. The frosting is creamy, smooth, and decadent.

Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting Slice
Super Moist Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Moist Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

It’s finally officially spring. Though the weather can be somewhat of a finicky unknown during spring in this neck of the woods, nobody’s complaining. There might be an April snowstorm (no jinx, please) and puddles of mud, but it’s definitely on the upswing.

Spring calls for the appearance of Lemon Poppy Seed Bread and carrot cake, despite the funny fact that lemons reach peak harvest in winter and carrots are more of a summer farmer’s market staple. Thankfully, fresh carrots are available year round for most of us, and magical carrot cake can happen whenever the craving hits.

And when the carrot cake craving hits, there’s none better than this extraordinarily moist carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. It’s a family & friends’ favorite recipe which has ruined all other carrot cakes for us…fair warning, it may do the same for you.

Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting with plates and fork
This carrot cake is perfect with just a slather of cream cheese frosting.

The perfect texture and balance of flavors

This genuinely is the best carrot cake we’ve ever sunk our sweet teeth into, and that includes many restaurant carrot cake tastings. Here’s why:

  • The combination of baking soda and baking powder gives this cake an extra tender crumb.
  • This cake doesn’t skimp on the spices; your taste buds will appreciate the generous combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.
  • Brown sugar is combined with granulated sugar for a boost in moisture and depth of flavor.
  • Four large eggs go into the batter, binding the ingredients and providing structure
  • The cake utilizes oil to give it that supremely moist texture – we often use light olive oil, which does not impart any olive-ish flavors to the cake. Feel free to use vegetable or canola oil.
  • An entire pound of fresh carrots offer plenty of carrot cake respect. The cake won’t taste like a big carrot, we promise.
  • Whether you grate your fresh carrots using large vs. small holes of your box grater is your choice. If you prefer the carrots to “melt” into the cake more, grate them finer.
  • Crushed pineapple is a legit moisture-booster in this cake. You’ll squeeze out all the excess juice from pineapple to ensure correct liquid to flour ratio.
  • If you’re a raisin fan, feel free to drop in 1/2 cup of raisins.
Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting

This carrot cake needs nothing else but a generous slathering of velvety cream cheese frosting. Feel free to embellish it to your heart’s content with carrot-shaped candies or orange and green swirls on top if you’d like.

Just know that the cream cheese frosting is really all you need:

  • It tastes like smooth, creamy soft cheesecake layers in between moist carrot cake layers.
  • Do use regular, whole cream cheese.
  • Salted butter provides smooth, rich, salty buttery goodness to the frosting.
  • A bit of sour cream give the frosting a tangy boost, helping to offset the sweetness.
  • Pure vanilla extract brings this cream cheese frosting home.

    All the flavors of the cake swing and jive so well together.
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting with plates and fork

Make the entire cake in advance

You’ll love the fact that this entire carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is a make-ahead deal. You can frost and assemble the entire cake and keep it chilled up to a day or two in advance. Just be sure to keep it covered and not exposed in the fridge.

This handy cake container/carrier is super useful for storing cakes or bringing them to a friend’s house.

We love this cake so much, it shows up on birthdays and holidays often. We even have this simplified version for any day carrot cake cravings come calling.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting Square

Did you make this?

Please give us a rating and comment below. We love hearing from you!

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting Square

Best Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

5 from 74 ratings
This is truly the very Best Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting we've ever had the pleasure of sinking our sweet teeth into! The cake layers are super moist, tender, soft, and delicious. The cream cheese frosting is smooth and velvety, like a bit of cheesecake heaven. *This cake can be made a day ahead, and actually tastes better the next day!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 12
Author: Amy Dong


For the Cake

For Cream Cheese Frosting


  • Preheat oven to 350F with rack on lower middle position. Line 2 (9 in) round cake pans with parchment paper on bottom. Grease parchment paper and sides of pan. Set aside.
  • Make the Cake: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat both sugars with eggs on medium high until combined, 45 sec. Reduce to medium speed and add oil gradually. Increase to high speed and mix until light in color, 1 min.
  • Remove bowl and using a rubber spatula, fold in the carrots and pineapple. Gently fold in dry ingredient mixture just until no flour streaks remain; do not over mix.
  • Scrape batter, divided evenly, into prepared cake pans. Smooth top to release air bubbles. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few tender crumbs attached, 30-35 minutes.
  • Remove pans and cool cakes completely in pans on a wire rack (at least several hours.)
  • Meanwhile, Make the Frosting. In stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, mix the softened cream cheese, butter, sour cream, and vanilla at medium high speed until combined, 30 seconds, scraping down as needed. Add confectioners' sugar and mix until very fluffy, 1 minute. Keep chilled until ready to use.
  • Be sure cakes are completely cooled. Run thin knife around edge of cakes to loosen and invert one round cake onto serving platter. Tap back of pan to remove cake and gently peel off parchment paper. Spread half of the cream cheese frosting on top of cake. Repeat with second layer of cake, placing it gently over the top of frosting. Spread remaining frosting on top, and garnish however you like, but no garnish necessary. Cake may be covered and chilled 1 day ahead.


Cake can be fully assembled a day or two in advance. Keep covered and chilled until ready to serve. This cake container/carrier is helpful for storing or transporting. 
Optional: you can add 1/2 cup raisins if you like. Top with toasted chopped pecans or walnuts if desired.
Click here if you'd like to make carrot cake cupcakes.
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating ♡

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 667kcal | Carbohydrates: 81.9g | Protein: 6.8g | Fat: 36.8g | Saturated Fat: 8.8g | Cholesterol: 82.6mg | Sodium: 327.8mg | Fiber: 2.3g | Sugar: 57.8g
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Method: baking

More to Bake and Eat

1. Best Blueberry Lemon Bundt Cake – This moist, tender cake is easy and bursting with berries and bright flavors to cheer up anyone’s day. Super easy, too!

Blueberry Lemon Bundt Cake

2. Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting – This is a super duper easy carrot cake in a pan that doesn’t involve layers but involves lots of moist flavor!

Carrot Cake Cream Cheese

3. Banana Cake with Whipped Cream Frosting. An easy pan cake that is always moist, soft, and perfect for any time of day.

Banana Cake Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting 2

4. Banana Chiffon Cake. This light, spongy, airy cake is moist and tender all the way. So good and addictive, you can almost eat the entire thing all by yourself.

Banana Chiffon Cake 2

5. Best Ever Angel Food Cake. I never tasted real angel food cake until I tasted this. It blows away any store bought version.

Best Angel Food Cake

Add a comment

Recipe Rating


    • Rhoda
    • 5 stars

    Amy I love this carrot cake and have made it on many occasions. So thank you for sharing. I was wondering if it could be made in a larger tin as one cake rather than 2 individual. If so what size you would recommend and the cooking time. Many thanks

      • Amy Dong

      Aww, thank you so much, Rhonda! As for larger cake, you can try a 13×9 sheet pan cake. Here’s our pan carrot cake recipe.

    • Emilie
    • 5 stars

    Thanks for this amazing recipe.
    I love it <3

      • Amy Dong

      SO glad you love it, Emilie!

    • Luke Ratford
    • 5 stars

    This is my favourite carrot cake recipe, and I’ve tried a lot over the years; the family absolutely devoured this cake lol
    Thanks for sharing such a great recipe 🙂

      • Amy Dong

      We love it so much, too. Thank you!

    • Elizabeth
    • 5 stars

    I just had to try this recipe! So delicious! Probably my new go to recipe for carrot cake! Presentation is beautiful!

      • Amy Dong

      Yay, Elizabeth!! 🙂

    • Ann
    • 5 stars

    Carrot cake is my absolute favorite! This cake looks like something you would order from a bakery!

      • Amy Dong

      Yes, it’s our favorite! 🙂

    • Silvia
    • 5 stars

    We are big fans of carrot cake and we try almost every single recipe we found just for the fun of it. Your recipe is delicious, this cake is moist and easy to make. I love the pineapple in it.

    • Moop Brown
    • 5 stars

    This carrot cake looks incredibly soft and moist and like the perfect texture overall. Can’t wait to try it.

    • Katie Crenshaw
    • 5 stars

    Decided to give this recipe a try. You are right! This is the best carrot cake ever! It is so moist and delicious. Every bite is worth every calorie! I definitely will be making again.

    • Aya
    • 5 stars

    This carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is a keeper! The spices used are so good and the cake was so moist and delicious!

    • Amanda
    • 5 stars

    This is such a fabulous carrot cake! It’s perfectly moist and rich, and the frosting is to die for. Beautiful cake recipe!

    • Colleen
    • 5 stars

    This is a perfect carrot cake! I love the addition of pineapple, it makes the cake so moist. And the sour cream along with cream cheese in the frosting is a game changer.

    • Mikayla
    • 5 stars

    You are so right, this cake is absolutely bursting with flavor and with carrots. Each bite just melted in my mouth, wanting more.

    • Leslie
    • 5 stars

    Everything about this recipe is perfection! I absolutely LOVE the cream cheese frosting…it’s the best combination with the cake!

    • Devan
    • 5 stars

    Amy these photos are amazing! You’re making me hungry! I’m a huge carrot cake fan and this one looks so tender, that I’d probably eat the whole cake.
    Thanks for sharing this!

    • Barbara

    I don’t have 9 inch pans. I have 10 inch and 8 inch, bunt and loads of other pans. Which pan would you recommend I use and what would the adjusted time be? Thanks.

      • Amy Dong

      I’d probably opt for the 8-inch for slightly thicker cake layers. Expect to bake a bit longer, due to increase in thickness. Enjoy!

    • Mama Maggie’s Kitchen
    • 5 stars

    This looks Incredibly delicious. I have to make this soon for my family!

      • chewoutloud

      Hope you all love it!

Get our free email series: 5 Easy Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less

Plus our newest recipes each week