Every recipe binder needs a great go-to carrot cake recipe. You can make this tiered or in a 9×13 pan and it ALWAYS turns out.
I’m going to preface this post with a disclaimer: I am NOT a baker. I can throw together some cookies or boxed brownies, but this is the ONLY cake I make from scratch. You won’t see perfect edges on my frosting or Duff style decorating, but you better believe this cake tastes DAMN good.
Every Easter, when I ask what to bring, the answer is always carrot cake. This recipe was given to me after the baby shower for the twins. It was a family recipe from someone and we instantly fell in love with it. It’s always moist and there isn’t too much extra spice. Basically, it’s perfection.
Since this is Ricky’s favorite cake, I usually make it 1-2 other times during the year. The problem with me baking is that there’s always a cake staring me in the face all day long afterwards. The rest of the family has a slice or two and forgets about it…meanwhile, I can’t stop thinking about it! When I made the cake for this recipe, I had to hide it in the fridge outside so I wouldn’t gobble it all up!
You can’t have a cake like this without the thick cream cheese frosting. I miiight use extras to dip with graham sticks. Let’s just face it: since this is cake, it’s not going to be healthy. I’ve tried my favorite healthified tricks to lighten it up–coconut oil or applesauce instead of butter, less sugar–but it’s not worth it!
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup canola oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 4 eggs
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 3 cups carrots , grated (about 4 large)
- 8 ounces cream cheese , room temperature
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 stick butter , room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- Optional: toasted coconut to sprinkle on corners.
Remove cream cheese and butter for frosting from fridge. Leave out while cake is baking.
Preheat oven to 350º
With a mixer, cream sugar and oil. Add vanilla.
Slowly add one egg at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Mix until combined. Add carrots.
Grease 2 round 9 inch cake pans or 9x13 pan.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, until golden.
While cake is baking, add all frosting ingredients into a bowl. Mix well and refrigerate until time to frost cake.
Allow cake to cool for about an hour before frosting.
Store frosted cake, covered, in fridge for up to 5 days. (I promise it won't last that long!)
If you make the cake into a 9×13, you might want to cut the frosting in half or you’ll have plenty left. Not like that’s a huge problem…there are plenty of dipping options 🙂 If you’re the creative type, feel free to go all out when decorating. If you do, PLEASE send me a photo! I’ll drool and be jealous.
What is your go-to make from scratch dessert?