Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

by Melissa on October 14, 2011

I am one of those people that looks for reasons to bake something. Birthdays, a coworkers departure, a new baby, stubbing my toe, any reason really. Lucky for me I recently had not one or two, but three reasons to make this cake! It was one of my husband’s co-workers birthday, I had a bag of carrots I needed to use, and I saw this Rose Cake Tutorial and couldn’t possibly wait to give it a try!

This is actually a re-post of this carrot cake recipe, but it is so good and has become my go-to recipe when anyone requests carrot cake or cupcakes. I did increase the frosting ingredients this time around, but only so I would have enough to create the beautiful rose design. Oh, and about the design, it is super easy! All you need is a pastry bag and Wilton 1M decorating tip. The 1M tip is already my favorite for decorating cupcakes with, but I am so glad I found another use for it!

Carrot Cake

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups canola oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups grated peeled carrots
  • 1 cups coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter two 9-inch-diameter cake pans. Line bottom of pans with waxed paper. Butter and flour paper; tap out excess flour.

Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in a medium bowl to blend. Whisk sugar and oil in large bowl until well blended. Whisk in eggs 1 at a time. Add flour mixture and stir until blended. Stir in carrots, walnuts and raisins, if using them.

Divide the batter between the prepared pans, and bake the layers for about 40 minutes each, or until a tester inserted into center comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans 15 minutes. Turn out onto racks. Peel off waxed paper; cool cakes completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1.5 sticks (12 tablespoons) of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

In a stand mixer beat all the ingredients on medium until fluffy. Chill the frosting for 10 to 20 minutes, until it has set up enough to spread smoothly.

To assemble a carrot layer cake, frost the top of one cake, place the other cake on top. Frost the sides and top, swirling decoratively. Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes to set up frosting. Rose Cake Tutorial here.

Source: Adapted from Smitten Kitchen.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer @ Mother Thyme October 15, 2011 at 1:24 pm

It is so ironic you shared this Carrot Cake recipe. A friend of mine was just asking me yesterday if I had a recipe, which I do but its been so long since I have used it. Just as I was about to look I found your site through Alida’s Kitchen and this recipe! It looks absolutely divine and now I am inspired to make it too! Thanks for sharing! Glad to have found your site.


Melissa October 18, 2011 at 8:12 am

I hope you and your friend enjoy it!


Nic@diningwithastud October 16, 2011 at 11:23 pm

Love the rose cake! I did one a little while ago and they just look so impressive :)


Melissa October 18, 2011 at 8:13 am

I love how the roses look, and it really isn’t that hard to do!


Tricia October 17, 2011 at 9:37 am

That icing is gorgeous!


Melissa October 18, 2011 at 8:13 am

Thank you!


Jolene ( October 17, 2011 at 11:59 pm

That icing is gorgeous! Very impressive!!!


Melissa October 21, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Thanks Jolene!


Rachel October 19, 2011 at 7:59 pm


I’m a photographer/baker new to blogging ( and just wanted to tell you I really like your site :) Keep up the great work!


Melissa October 21, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Awww… thank you so much!


Jen @ October 20, 2011 at 5:42 pm

I just saw that tutorial as well! Your cake looks awesome.


Melissa October 21, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Thanks Jen! It was so much fun to make!


Linda Thompson January 8, 2012 at 3:08 pm

It might be helpful if you told people the TEMPERATURE of the oven !!! And that’s way too much oil ! This recipe is normally given as being 1.5 cups, but you should only use one cup and one-half cup of applesauce.


Melissa January 9, 2012 at 8:42 am

Thank you so much for pointing that out! I have updated the recipe. As for the oil, I have always had good luck making the recipe as is, but feel free to make whatever substitutions you would like! :)


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