Homemade carrot cake is a simple, family favorite dessert!
This recipe is famous in our family, so famous that my mother calls it “to die for carrot cake” and once you try it, you’ll know why! This easy carrot cake is dense, moist, and covered in a classic cream cheese icing.
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Carrot Cake Love
It’s award-winning, that’s for sure! This homemade carrot cake recipe is so delicious it will become a family favorite at your house too, I’m sure! I remember my mom’s carrot cake being special because it had pineapple in it. It makes it so moist!
Carrot cake can also be made as cupcakes, making them the perfect grab-and-go snack! Also, perfect to pop one in a lunch box for a surprise at school.
Where Does Carrot Cake Come From?
Carrot cake has been around so long, it’s hard to pinpoint its actual origin!
Some food historians think it evolved from a carrot pudding dessert that Europeans made during the Middle Ages when sugar was pricey.
Since carrots are naturally sweet, it made sense to make a dessert from them!
What’s in Carrot Cake?
This recipe includes pineapple, raisins, coconut, and chopped walnuts, but feel free to omit or add in other ingredients!
- Try mini white chocolate chips
- Any dried fruit
- Or even mashed bananas!
PRO TIP: Saute walnuts in a dry pan until they are lightly browned. Toasting creates an extra nutty flavor as well as makes them super crunchy! This goes for shredded coconut too!
How to Make Carrot Cake
Making carrot cake from scratch is a cinch!
- Mix the wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls (per recipe below).
- Add the dry to the wet ingredients and gently fold in the remaining items.
- Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Be sure to let this yummy cake cool before frosting! This prevents the cream cheese icing from melting and sliding off.
Carrot Cake Frosting for Carrot Cake
The best carrot cake frosting is made with lusciously rich cream cheese! And this recipe definitely delivers!
- For an extra touch of color, color a little frosting orange and green and swirl it through the frosting!
- To hand pipe carrots, put the colored icing in two separate sandwich bags. Clip a corner of each bag and pipe little carrots on the top of the cake as a fun decoration!
- Or buy some edible carrot cake decorations for a quick and beautiful presentation.
- Scatter the top of the cake with toasted walnuts. Gently press them into the top with the back of a spatula so they don’t fall off.
Can You Freeze Carrot Cake?
Keep homemade carrot cake covered and at room temperature. The flavors will intensify as the cake ages. It should stay fresh for about 4 days if you resist it that long!
Unfrosted carrot cake can be frozen by wrapping it in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil. Write the date on the outside of the cake and it should keep for about two months in the freezer!
Homemade Carrot Cake Recipe
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups carrots shredded
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup shredded coconut shredded
- 1 cup walnuts chopped
- 1 ¼ cup crushed pineapple with juice
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- ½ cup butter room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 9x13 baking pan and set aside.
- Using stand or electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar until eggs are pale in color. Slowly add oil while beating.
- Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg and mix until well combined.
- Add vanilla, carrots, raisins, coconut, and pineapple. Mix until just combined.
- Pour into prepared baking pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Using stand or electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter together until light and fluffy.
- Add about ½ cup powdered sugar and beat between each addition. Add vanilla and beat until combined.
- Once cake is cooled, spread frosting, decorate if desired, and cover. Chill for one hour before serving (if you can wait!).
Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.
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Recipe from Recipe Tips