Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

There is something very endearing about a carrot cake.  It is familiar and reminiscent of years ago.  It is traditional in many senses.  For me, a carrot cake is moist, flavored with carrots, cinnamon, and pecans.  The filling should be different from the frosting.   And the frosting shouldn’t be too sweet.  But most of all, there can be NO RAISINS!  I’m sorry, but I come from a family that detests cooked raisins.  So, as a nod to all of them, I have said that they are optional in this recipe.  Do what makes you happy!

Carrot Cake

Back to the cake…I make this carrot cake quite often.  While it seems like a big deal, each step is relatively simple.  And like anything, the more you make it, the easier it becomes.  But the reason that I make this cake so much is that it is truly the BEST carrot cake I’ve ever eaten!  I have gotten comments from carrot cake aficionados that this is the GREATEST carrot cake they’ve ever had!  So, don’t take our word for it, just give it a go…you won’t regret it!

Carrot Cake
Carrot Cake

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Lastly, if you make Carrot Cake, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is one of my favorite things to do!

Carrot Cake

Makes: 12 servings

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Bake Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour & 40 minutes


Carrot Cake:

  • 1 & 1/4 cup vegetable oil (I like avocado oil)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 cup dark raisins (optional)


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tsp vanilla


  • 4 ounces shredded coconut
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla


Preheat oven to 325°F.  Lightly oil or coat with non-stick spray 3 8”-round baking pans.  Line with parchment paper.  

Combine oil and sugar in bowl of stand mixer.  Beat well.  Sift together dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  Sift half the dry ingredients into the sugar mixture;  blend well.  Sift in remaining dry ingredients, alternating with eggs;  mix well after each addition.  Stir in carrots, pecans and, if desired, raisins.  Divide batter evenly between the three pans.  Bake for 50 minutes or until tester comes out clean.  Remove from oven and cool on racks for 15 minutes, then remove from pans.  Remove parchment carefully so that cake doesn’t stick to parchment paper.

While cake is baking, make filling by combining sugar and flour in small heavy saucepan  Gradually stir in cream  Add butter and salt.  Cook over very low heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes just to a simmer (this may take 30 minutes).  Let simmer 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm.  Stir in nuts and vanilla.  Cool completely, ideally overnight.

To make frosting, spread coconut on sheet pan and toast at 300°F for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool.  

Combine cream cheese and butter in food processor or mixer.  Add powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until perfectly smooth.  Refrigerate if too soft to spread immediately.

To assemble, place one cake layer on a cake board or platter.  Spread pecan filling to within 1/2” of the edge of the cake.  Top with another cake layer, more filling and then the top layer (you will not need to use all of the filling but it’s better to make this much as a half-recipe just doesn’t cook up as well).  Frost the tops and sides with the frosting.  Pat toasted coconut onto the sides of the cake.


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    Recipe Reviews

    • Esther Schon

      I agree with Francine, this is absolutely the best carrot cake that I have ever tasted! I made this cake to take to a special dinner party. Each guest chose to start out with a small slice, and then all asked for seconds after raving about how delicious each bite was. It is truly worth the effort to make this beautiful cake and savour every forkful.

      • Francine

        I am so glad that you and your guests enjoyed this cake, Esther! It’s hard to stop eating it!

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