Perfect Carrot Cake Recipe is so simple to make from scratch at home!  This carrot cake has great spice flavor, is super moist, and topped with the best cream cheese frosting!

carrot cake slice on plate

I am a total sucker for carrot cake!  I will pass up any other dessert for a thick slice of this goodness!  You’ll fall in love with this one too once you see how simple it is to make at home, really no fuss at all!  If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know I’ve talked about how much I love my cookie recipes like these easy Sugar Cookies and Chocolate Chip Cookies….BUT, when it comes down to what dessert I want to eat, it’s always CAKE!  If you’ve never had carrot cake, you should know that it doesn’t really taste like carrots.  The addition of carrots make this cake incredibly soft, and super moist, there’s nothing quite like it!  The biggest hit of flavor comes from cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove and it is incredible paired with fluffy cream cheese frosting and topped with crunchy pecans!

how to make carrot cake from scratch photo collage

Making the Perfect Carrot Cake Recipe:

You can follow along with the simple step by step photo collage above if you wish!  It helps give you a quick idea of how things look at each step!  You will start by blending together your sugar and oil.  For this recipe, you can use a neutral oil such as vegetable or canola.  Then, you can add all of the eggs, the cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, vanilla, baking soda, salt, flour, and carrots!  YES everything in one step, no extra bowls for dry ingredients.  The key is to just go ahead and mix everything just until moistened.  Here are a few of my tips for this cake, frosting, and topping.

  • If you haven’t grated carrots before, it’s very easy.  You can use a food processor if you wish, but I find it easiest to just use my box (cheese) grater.  Peel your carrots, then grate them in a downward motion on the smallest holes of the grater.
  • Don’t over mix!  Once you have your flour mixture added to the bowl.  Make sure you mix until smooth, but that should only take 1-2 minutes.  Don’t mix any longer than that.
  • You can use a hand or stand mixer for this recipe.  If using a stand mixer, make sure to use the paddle attachment for best results, and mix on low-medium but never high speed.
  • Once your cakes are baked, allow them to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.  Don’t frost the cakes before they have completely cooled or your frosting will melt.  If desired, you can place the cakes in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process.
  • I love pecans to top this cake.  And I usually use about 1/2 cup of chopped pecans.  But, you can use more to spread on the top and sides of the cake.  It’s also great with almonds or walnuts too if you prefer.

carrot cake




5 from 10 votes

Perfect Carrot Cake Recipe

Perfect Carrot Cake Recipe is so simple to make from scratch at home!  This carrot cake has great spice flavor, is super moist, and topped with the best cream cheese frosting!
Prep 20 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Servings 10


  • 2 cups of Sugar
  • 1 1/4 Cups Vegetable or Canola Oil
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon of Salt
  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • 3 cups of Grated Carrots
  • 8 oz. of Cream Cheese
  • 2 - 3 cups of Powdered Sugar
  • 1/4 a cup of Melted Butter
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2-1 Cup Chopped Pecans optional


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 3 round, 9 inch cake pans and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl if using hand mixer, or bowl of stand mixer using paddle attachment, beat together the oil and sugar for 2-3 minutes until mostly smooth.
  • Add in the eggs, baking soda, salt, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and grated carrots.
  • Turn on the mixer and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, just until moistened and smooth.
  • Pour the batter evenly between the three prepared pans.
  • Bake at 350 for 20-23 minutes, until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  • Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then, invert the cakes onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • If desired, place the cakes in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process.
  • Add the cream cheese along with two cups of powdered sugar, melted butter, and vanilla to a large mixing bowl.
  • Beat over low speed for one minute, then, over medium speed for one minute until smooth.
  • Add remaining cup of powdered sugar gradually until your reach desired thickness of icing.
  • Once cake layers are cooled, stack them, adding icing between each layer. Ice entire cake, and top with pecans if desired.


Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
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Hey! Nice to meet you! I'm Nichole!

Welcome to The Salty Marshmallow! I'm a mom, animal lover, photographer, & kitchen mess-maker. Here you will find the result of my decades-long passion for chasing the best flavors in the kitchen, all meant to be cooked by regular people with busy lives just like you and me.

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  1. Can pineapple and pecans get added to the batter? If so how will the ratio of liquid be effected?

    1. You can pour the batter into a greased and floured 9×13 inch dish and bake for about 35-45 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean 🙂

  2. Can this recipe be halved ? ( or made into muffins so I can freeze some ) ….. this is dangerous to have so much cake around!! Thanks and looking forward to making this !