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Horizontal image of a slice of carrot cake on a dark plate with fresh vegetables in the background.

Classic Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Author: Nikki Cervone
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 2-layer cake 1x


Need a classic carrot cake? Use our gorgeous recipe, with toasted pecans, plump golden raisins, and thick cream cheese frosting.



For the Cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and coarsely shredded
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup toasted pecans, chopped

For the Frosting:

  • 16 ounces (2 blocks) full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), softened to room temperature
  • 5 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


For the Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line and lightly grease two 8-inch cake pans.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt together.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, vanilla, eggs, and sugars.
  4. Whisk the flour mixture into the liquid mixture just until moistened.
  5. Stir in the carrots, raisins, and pecans. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans. Bake the cake for 30-40 minutes until springy and golden.
  6. Let the cake cool for 20 minutes in the pan before removing from the pan and letting it cool completely on a cooling rack.

For the Frosting:

  1. In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with the whisk or paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the confectioners’ sugar one cup at a time. Beat until thick and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the heavy cream, vanilla, and salt. Beat on high for 2 full minutes.
  4. Decorate the cooled cake. Serve and enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Dessert