While seasonally appropriate for springtime or holidays like Easter, we’d argue that carrot cake is a dessert that’s perfect for any occasion. After all, it is a dessert containing vegetables that actually tastes delightful. Recipe developer and registered dietitian nutritionist, Kristen Carli, MS, RD, brings us this recipe for carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. Carli tells us that "carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is my husband’s absolute favorite dessert. So needless to say, we make this all the time."

Carli notes that "Instead of grating your own carrots for this recipe, I prefer to use store-bought shredded carrots to save on time and effort. The resulting cake turns out the exact same, so your guests will never know the difference." Because of this time-saving hack, the recipe prep time is considerably shortened, and this carrot cake comes together in no time. Keep reading to find out how to make this carrot cake with cream cheese frosting recipe.

Gather the ingredients for the carrot cake and cream cheese frosting

ingredients for cake and frosting

To make this carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, you can start by gathering your ingredients. For this recipe, you will need flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda, vegetable oil, white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, eggs, shredded carrots, chopped walnuts, cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar.

Mix the wet and dry ingredients

carrot cake batter in bowl

Preheat the oven to 350 F, and spray 2 9-inch cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk the flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl. Then, in the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the oil, white sugar, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and eggs using the paddle attachment.

Then, mix the dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients. Fold in the chopped walnuts, and the shredded carrots. Carli advises "Either using a large silicone spatula, or carefully using the paddle attachment on the stand mixer, to incorporate these add-ins into the batter." Pour the batter evenly into the greased cake pans, smooth out the batter, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

Make the cream cheese frosting

cream cheese frosting in bowl

While the cakes bake, make the cream cheese frosting. In a stand mixer bowl using the whisk attachment, mix the softened cream cheese and unsalted butter, until light and fluffy. Then, add in the powdered sugar and the remaining 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and whisk until incorporated.

Cool and frost the cake

frosted carrot cake

Once the time is up, test the cakes for doneness. The cakes should be golden brown, and spring back when touched. Remove the cake pans from the oven, and allow them to completely cool, at least 4 hours. Once cooled, remove them from the pans, and slice off the domed top of each cakes. Then, spread half of the prepared cream cheese frosting along the top of one of the cakes, top it with the remaining cake, and spread the top cake with the remaining frosting. Serve, and enjoy!

Carrot Cake And Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla, divided
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 ½ cups chopped walnuts
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray 2 9-inch cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, and baking soda.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the vegetable oil, white sugar, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and eggs and using the paddle attachment.
  3. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and mix to combine. Fold the carrots and walnuts into the cake batter.
  4. Pour the batter evenly into the 2 prepared cake pans, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
  5. While the cakes bake, make the cream cheese frosting. Using the whisk attachment, mix the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add in the powdered sugar and the remaining vanilla, and whisk until combined.
  6. Remove the cakes from the oven when done, and allow them to fully cool, about 4 hours.
  7. Once cooled, take a serrated knife, and cut off the domed top part of each cake to create a flat surface.
  8. Spread the half of the cream cheese frosting on the top of one of the cakes. Then, add the other cake on top of the frosting, and spread the remaining cream cheese frosting on the top cake. Slice into slices, and enjoy.

Nutrition

Calories per Serving 836
Total Fat 50.5 g
Saturated Fat 14.8 g
Trans Fat 0.5 g
Cholesterol 115.1 mg
Total Carbohydrates 91.4 g
Dietary Fiber 2.7 g
Total Sugars 70.7 g
Sodium 492.4 mg
Protein 8.8 g