Carrot cake is one of those desserts that will surprise you, and this is, by far, the best carrot cake recipe out there! Soft cake layers are full of carrots and made moist with pineapple! The flavor combination is incredible, but nothing ties this cake together as beautifully as the rich cream cheese frosting. Even better, this cake can be enjoyed in the form of carrot cake cupcakes

Carrot cake on a cake stand with cream cheese frosting and crushed walnuts on top.

A carrot cake recipe is the easiest yet most impressive cake! Bake three fluffy cake layers and assemble them with the most delectable cream cheese frosting. The result is a beautiful and tall carrot cake! Our step-by-step recipe makes this cake easy to master, and before you know it, you will have a delicious carrot cake made from scratch!

Why You’ll Love This Cake Recipe

  • Delicious. This cake is full of incredible flavors and textures. 
  • Simple. This recipe is easy to follow and makes a beautiful cake. 
  • Easy to make ahead. Follow this recipe and make this cake the night before.
Ingredients needed for this carrot cake recipe with pineapples.

Ingredients for this Carrot Cake Recipe

The ingredients for this cake are simple, and the results are incredible:

  • Dry cake ingredients – all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and cinnamon. 
  • Wet cake ingredients –  eggs, oil, and vanilla extract. 
  • Carrots – peeled and grated. 
  • Coconut – shaved coconut flakes, lightly toasted. 
  • Pineapple – chunks blended to form a puree. You can also use crushed pineapple.
  • Walnuts – add a slight crunch and decor to the cake. 
  • Frosting – cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla make the best, simple frosting. 

See the recipe card below for a complete list of ingredients and quantities.

Don’t Overbake Your Cake!

While the cake is baking, use a toothpick to determine when it is finished. The toothpick should come out clean, with no wet batter sticking to it.

How to Make Carrot Cake

Numbered Instructions on how to make the recipe.

A mixing bowl of the wet ingredients for carrot cake.

1 – In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.

In a separate large mixing bowl, add eggs and sugar. Beat on high speed until the mixture turns a light yellow color and is fluffy in texture. 

A mixing bowl of the mixed wet batter with carrots.

2 – In a third bowl, combine shredded carrots, pineapple puree, oil, and vanilla. Add this mixture to the eggs and use a rubber spatula to fold together. 

Add half the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix with a spatula. Pour in the remaining dry ingredients and combine with the spatula. Finally, fold in walnuts and coconut flakes. 

A baking pan with the cake batter.

3 – Pour the cake batter evenly into 3 prepared 8-inch round cake pans. Bake in the oven at 350°F for 20-24 minutes. Allow the cake to rest in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

A mixing bowl with the frosting.

4 – In a bowl, cream together cream cheese and butter on high speed. 

Slowly beat in the powdered sugar. Once thoroughly combined, add vanilla and beat together. 

A baking pan with the finished cake layer.

5 – Place the first layer on a cake stand. Add a generous layer of frosting and spread evenly.

Top with the next cake layer and repeat until you use every layer. 

The completed and decorated carrot cake.

6 – Use the remaining frosting to decorate the edges and top of the cake. 

Use walnuts to decorate the top, and refrigerate before serving!

Decorate Carrot Cake Like a Pro

Get creative with the assembly of your cake! Use gel food coloring to give your cake some color. A white base with an orange and green decorative border would elevate this cake entirely!

Serving Suggestions

Thanksgiving: This carrot cake makes a beautiful addition to a Thanksgiving dinner

A slice of carrot cake with walnuts, pineapples, and carrots on a plate with a spoon beside it.

Get the Perfect Cake

This recipe can be multiplied or divided to fit your preferences! Make a single-layered cake by dividing this recipe into three, or make even more tiers by doubling the recipe. 

Recipe FAQs

Can I use frozen carrots? 

You can use frozen shredded carrots, allow them to thaw before using. 

Do I have to use walnuts? 

You can use pecans and pistachios instead of walnuts or omit them altogether. The results will still be amazing!

Do I have to use pineapple? 

Pineapple is crucial to making this cake moist and delicious.

What kind of oil should I use? 

Use extra light olive oil or vegetable oil for this recipe.

Can I add raisins? 

You can add raisins, more nuts, or any other addition you love!

The best carrot cake on a cake platter with a cream cheese frosting topped with walnuts.

Store & Reheat 

  • Storage. This cake can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze. To store this carrot cake in the freezer, wrap the individual layers tightly in plastic wrap. Store the layers in the freezer for up to 3 months. Assemble: Allow the layers to thaw before icing it and serving. 

More Cake Recipes

If you enjoyed this carrot cake recipe, be sure to try our other easy dessert recipes; here are some of our favorites:

If you tried this Carrot Cake Recipe Recipe or any other recipe on my website, please leave a star rating and let me know how it went in the comments below – we appreciate it!

The BEST Carrot Cake Recipe

Author: Valentina
Print
4.75 from 4 votes
This is the best carrot cake recipe out there! Moist, fluffy layers of carrot cake are assembled with the most delicious cream cheese frosting. Each bite explodes with incredible flavor, and the texture is out of this world!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12 servings

Ingredients

carrot cake –

  • 2/3 cup sweet toasted coconut flakes
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour measured then sifted
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups grated carrots
  • 1 ½ cups pineapple cubed (1 cup pureed)
  • 1/2 cup oil canola or extra light olive oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup walnuts finely chopped

frosting –

  • 16 oz cream cheese room temp
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • crushed walnuts for decor optional

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and arrange the coconut flaked on a lined sheet pan. Bake for 5-7 minutes or until lightly toasted.

cake –

  • Prepare three 8-inch round pans by lining them with parchment paper. Spray lightly with baking spray and lightly dust with flour.
  • In a bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon.
  • In another large bowl, beat eggs and sugar on high speed until they’re lightly fluffy.
  • In a third bowl, combine grated carrots, pineapple, oil, and vanilla. Then, add this mixture to the eggs and sugar. Use a spatula to incorporate.
  • Add half the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and fold to combine. Then, add the remaining dry ingredients and combine. Fold in walnuts and coconut flakes.
  • Distribute the batter evenly between the three baking pans. Bake the layers in the oven for 20-24 minutes. Let the layers cool for 10 minutes before popping out of the pans and transferring to a wire rack to cool the rest of the way.

frosting –

  • On high speed, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy.
  • Slowly add powdered sugar and beat to combine. Add vanilla and beat until incorporated.

assembly –

  • Onto a cake stand, add one of the cake layers.
  • Take a portion of the frosting apply a generous layer, and top with the second layer. Repeat these steps until all layers are assembled.
  • Use the remaining frosting to decorate the cake.
  • Finish with chopped walnuts for decoration, and refrigerate before serving.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • Pro tip: Be sure to allow the cake layers to cool completely before frosting. 
  • To refrigerate: Refrigerate the cake for up to five days.
  • To freeze: Freeze the layers individually before frosting. Store for up to 3 months. When ready to assemble, thaw the layers and frost before serving.

Nutrition

544kcal Calories48g Carbs7g Protein38g Fat17g Saturated Fat6g Polyunsaturated Fat12g Monounsaturated Fat0.4g Trans Fat99mg Cholesterol248mg Sodium294mg Potassium3g Fiber29g Sugar5272IU Vitamin A12mg Vitamin C88mg Calcium2mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
The BEST Carrot Cake Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 544 Calories from Fat 342
% Daily Value*
Fat 38g58%
Saturated Fat 17g106%
Trans Fat 0.4g
Polyunsaturated Fat 6g
Monounsaturated Fat 12g
Cholesterol 99mg33%
Sodium 248mg11%
Potassium 294mg8%
Carbohydrates 48g16%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 29g32%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 5272IU105%
Vitamin C 12mg15%
Calcium 88mg9%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
(The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)