classic carrot cake recipe • #eatseasonal #cake

Classic Carrot Cake Recipe

A well-tested recipe for Classic Carrot Cake with perfectly creamy, vanilla cream cheese frosting.
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Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 2 hrs
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 -10 servings


  • 1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 1' pieces*
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries, coarsly chopped
  • 3/4 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/4 cup vegetable oil

for the frosting:

  • 2 packages, 8 ounces each cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 sticks, 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract, or seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean*
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar


  • Set out the cream cheese and butter for the frosting at room temp for 4 hours before using. This will ensure a smooth, creamy, and impossibly light cream cheese frosting.

for the cake:

  • Move the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two 9 inch round cake pans with a circle of parchment in the bottom of each, spray them with nonstick spray and dust with flour.
  • In a food processor fitted with the steel blade attachment, chop the carrots very finely to about the consistency of a large couscous. Transfer carrots to a medium bowl and rinse the food processor bowl, you will need it again.
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Whisk to blend thoroughly. Transfer 1/4 cup of this mixture to a small bowl, add the cranberries and toasted pecans and toss to combine.
  • In the food processor, fitted again with the steel blade, mix the eggs and sugars until thoroughly combined. With the machine running, slowly add the oil in a steady stream until well blended. Using a spatula, scrape the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Add the carrots and cranberry nut mixture and stir to combine.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 40-45 minutes. Let the pans cool on a wire rack to room temperature before inverting them to remove the cakes. Allow cakes to cool completely before frosting.

for the frosting:

  • In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or using a hand mixer) whip together the cream cheese and butter. Add the vanilla and salt. A cup at a time, add the confectioner's sugar until you reach your desired sweetness (should be between 2-3 cups). Continue to whip until the frosting is light and airy.

assemble the cake:

  • Put a small dollop of frosting in the center of a large serving plate or cake platter (this helps the cake to not move around). Place one cake upside down on the plate. Use a butter knife or offset spatula to evenly spread about 1 cup of the frosting over the top of the first cake. Top with the remaining cake layer, right side up. Cover the top of the second cake layer with frosting and read evenly or spread the entire cake with remaining frosting. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


I used one apple to make up for a lack of carrots (equally 1 lb total) and it worked great. I also used seeds from one vanilla bean instead of the extract and loved the flavor and speckles it added into the frosting.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!