Rich Carrot Cake

Best Carrot Cake

Cris Cantón Photography / Getty Images


Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 50 mins
Total: 75 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
421 Calories
20g Fat
59g Carbs
3g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 421
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 25%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 23mg 8%
Sodium 301mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 59g 21%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 42g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 22mg 2%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 89mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

There are many ways to add the carrot flavor to a carrot cake, whether you use shredded fresh carrots, baby food, carrot puree, or store-bought shredded carrots. But to achieve the sweetest flavor possible, freshly shredded baby carrots are the key. Although baby carrots are made from regular carrots, they don't include the root vegetable's yellowish inner ring, which is more bitter and less sweet than the outer orange flesh. Also, shredding at home versus buying packaged shredded carrots means there is a lot more natural moisture, as the bagged versions are dry and hard.

To shred the baby carrots, you can use a box grater, but it will be quicker and easier to use the shredding function on a food processor. The shredded carrots are then added to a simple batter of oil, white and brown sugars, eggs, vanilla, flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. If you like, you can add some chopped walnuts to the batter and frosting for added crunch.

Like many carrot cakes, this one is topped with a cream cheese frosting. The slight tang and richness the cream cheese adds is the perfect pairing for this tender cake with warm spice. Bake this cake to enjoy at Easter, a birthday, or whenever you crave this tasty dessert.


  • 1 cup oil

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 2 cups shredded baby carrots

  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped and divided, optional

  • 1 batch cream cheese frosting, or your favorite recipe

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 F and coat a 9 x 13-inch pan with cooking spray containing flour, or grease and flour the pan.

  2. In​ a large bowl, combine the oil, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and eggs and beat well.

  3. Stir in half of the flour, the baking soda, cinnamon, and salt and mix well.

  4. Add the shredded carrots and beat well.

  5. Then beat in the remaining flour.

  6. If using, stir in 1/2 cup of the chopped walnuts and mix well.

  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.

  8. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes until dark golden brown and the cake springs back when lightly touched in the center.

  9. Cool ​the carrot cake in the pan for 15 minutes and then turn it out onto a wire rack.

  10. If using, fold the remaining chopped walnuts into the cream cheese frosting.

  11. Spread the frosting over the cooled carrot cake.

  12. Enjoy.

Recipe Variations

  • If you are adding nuts, you can use pecans instead of walnuts.
  • Instead of the nuts, you can stir shredded coconut into the frosting for another layer of flavor.