Traditional carrot cake with cream cheese frosting recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Cake
  • Vegetable cakes
  • Carrot cake

Moist and delicious traditional carrot cake. A classic carrot cake with lovely hints of cinnamon and cloves.

Sofala, Mozambique

47 people made this

IngredientsServes: 10

  • Cake
  • 350g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 250ml rapeseed or vegetable oil
  • 250g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 4 carrots, grated
  • 150g sultanas or raisins
  • 60g walnuts (optonal)
  • Cream cheese icing
  • 310g icing sugar
  • 50g butter
  • 1/3 tub cream cheese (for desired consistency)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:1hr15min ›Extra time:30min cooling › Ready in:2hr

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 C / Gas 3. Grease a 20x30cm cake tin.
  2. For the cake: Beat together caster sugar and eggs while gradually adding oil until sugar granules are dissolved and you get a smooth texture.
  3. Slowly add in dry ingredients to form a consistent mixture.
  4. Fold in carrots, raisins and nuts. Pour into baking tin.
  5. Bake until a skewer inserted near the centre comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes.
  6. For the icing, mix all ingredients together and spread over cake, only once it has cooled completely!

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(2)

Reviews in English (1)

yum yum-30 Aug 2015

This recipe is a lot like the one my great grandmother used to make. Carrot cake is a classic in my family and is often found at family reunions, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas dinners. Not only is this cake simple to make but it&rsquos packed full of flavor and it&rsquos super moist!

There are two ingredients in this cake that makes it super moist and flavorful &ndash crushed pineapples and applesauce. These ingredients really boost the flavor of this cake!

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick® All Natural Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 box (16 ounces) confectioners' sugar

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How to Make Cake and Frosting

1. Combine the canola oil, caster sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, eggs and grated carrot in a bowl.
2. Stir together until well combined.
3. Sift over the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
4. Stir together until combined and smooth. Don't worry about any small lumps in the batter.

5. Pour into a 20 cm (8 inch) round cake tin lined with baking paper.
6. Bake until golden, evenly risen, and a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

7. Place room temperature butter and room temperature cream cheese in a bowl.
8. Beat until creamy, pale and smooth.
9. Sift over icing sugar. Add lemon juice and vanilla. Beat until very pale, fluffy and smooth.
10. Slather over the cooled carrot cake. Decorate with chopped nuts if desired.

My biggest piece of advice for you when frosting a layered cake is to give yourself grace. I really only make layered cakes like this a few times a year, so I am far from perfect.

Start by putting your first cake layer down. Add some of your frosting and spread a layer over the top of cake. Add a second cake layer on top, then spread another layer of frosting on this layer. Add the last cake layer, (I like to do the bottom of the cake on the up side so that the cake is flat across the top.)

Next comes the crumb coat. This is basically a thin layer of frosting over the whole cake that will help to keep the crumbs from coming through the rest of your icing. You simply spread a thin layer of the frosting over the entire cake. Once you have your crumb coat, you can place the cake in the refrigerator or freezer to set the crumb coat.

Next, you simply finish frosting your cake. I don’t have a lot of fancy tools for this, just a flat spatula and an offset spatula. You can definitely get more creative and fancy!

If desired, you can add chopped pecans and toasted coconut as garnish.


For the carrot cake, preheat the oven to 180C/170C Fan/Gas 4. Grease and line a deep, 20cm/8in round cake tin with baking paper.

Break the eggs into a large bowl, and lightly whisk using a fork. Add the vegetable oil and whisk again. Stir in the grated carrots, raisins, walnut pieces and orange zest.

In a separate large bowl, sift the flour, mixed spice, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Stir in the sugar. Add the wet carrot mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well to combine, making sure there are no pockets of flour.

Spoon the cake batter into the lined tin and bake on the middle shelf for 1–1¼ hours, until the cake has risen and is golden-brown all over. Remove the cake from the oven and set aside in the tin to cool for 10–15 mins, then turn the cake out and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

While the carrot cake cools, make the frosting. Place the butter in a large bowl with the caster sugar, beat it for 2–3 minutes until light and creamy, then beat in the cream cheese until smooth. Place the cake on a serving plate or cake stand. Use a palette knife, or wide flat bladed knife, to spread the frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Scatter more walnuts on the top and serve.

Recipe Tips

Before frosting, carrot cake will keep for a week and can be frozen for up to a month. Once the cake is frosted keep it chilled.

Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

via From The Pantry To The Table

  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup soft brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 1-3/4 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups grated carrot
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup sultanas

Recipe Summary

  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans
  • 3 ½ cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 (8 ounce) package Neufchatel cheese
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan.

In a large bowl, combine grated carrots, flour, white sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in eggs, oil, 1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, pineapple and 3/4 cup chopped pecans. Spoon batter into prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

To Make Frosting: In a medium bowl, combine confectioners' sugar, Neufchatel cheese, 1/2 cup butter or margarine and 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla. Beat until smooth, then stir in 1 cup chopped pecans. Spread on cooled cake.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

This carrot cake recipe is an old favorite that I have been making for many years. It is the much loved traditional recipe with full fat and sugar. It comes out moist and delicious, especially the next day. If you aren’t going to eat it up within a couple of days, just cut into squares and put them in the freezer. You can’t thaw it in the microwave though, if it’s iced, as the heat will melt the icing. Just let it thaw in the container sitting on the counter.

Please be sure to check your oven temperature before doing any baking. Ovens, especially older ones, commonly run 25 to 50 degrees hot (or cold), and while it might not make a lot of difference when cooking chicken and casseroles in it, baking is much less forgiving of differences in oven temperature. All too often, baked goods come out dry and overcooked, and we think the problem is in the recipe when really it is in the oven. Always check your oven temperature by putting a portable oven thermometer into it, especially before baking. You can pick up one of these oven thermometers in most department stores, and even in well stocked grocery stores.

So, let’s get to it. This one’s an easy one! Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F, and oiling your 9吉 pan. Next, stir 2 cups flour, 2 cups white sugar, 1 tsp salt, 2 tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp baking soda, and 1 tsp baking powder together in a bowl. Then get all of your wet ingredients out, measured, and ready to go as you will work quickly from here on.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add 1 cup oil, 4 beaten eggs, and 3 cups grated carrots. Adding the oil first keeps the wet ingredients from getting into the dry until you stir it all together. Make sure to work quickly from this point, because as soon as the baking soda gets wet, it starts to work at creating air bubbles. This is what makes the cake light so you don’t want to stir the batter much after that, as you would be losing those air bubbles. Then add the raisins (and nuts if you are using them), and stir in with a spoon. No need even for a mixer. Pour that yummy batter into an oiled 9吉 pan, smooth it out, and pop it into the preheated oven. And in 30 to 35 minutes or so, you have this lovely, golden brown carrot cake. Check it with a toothpick in the center. Sit the pan on a cooling rack, and let it cool in the pan. In fact, I usually ice it and serve it right from the pan too. Wait till it’s cool before icing with cream cheese icing.

And here is the cream cheese icing recipe that I use:

Set out ahead of time to come to room temperature:

8 ounces cream cheese (one 250 gm package) and 1/4 cup butter. Beat the cream cheese and butter together with an electric beater to combine, then beat in 1 1/2 cups icing sugar and 1 tsp vanilla. Then stir in 1 heaping Tbsp sour cream with a spoon. (Sometimes sour cream gets really liquid if it’s beaten too much, so this is why I just stir it in at the last.)

Spread the whole thing onto your cooled cake, and voila! This cream cheese icing recipe makes enough for this 9吉 cake. If you want to use cream cheese icing for a filled and iced two-layer cake, then just double this recipe. I know you will love this as much as I do!

Carrot cakes in all shapes and sizes

You find a lot of different carrot cake designs out there. Not just regarding decorations, but also how you build the cake or simply how you use the batter. As we mentioned above, you can make a layer cake with moist, creamy layers of cake and frosting, but you can also make carrot cupcakes. You make the batter as you would for the cake but reduce the baking time. Put the batter into cupcake liners and bake for 10-20 minutes depending on their size. Look after 8-10 minutes and use a skewer to check the texture. Decorate with cream cheese frosting when the cupcakes have cooled down.

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