This is hands-down the best carrot cake ever! Simple, with no secret or special ingredients, this delicious carrot cake with whipped cream cheese frosting is soft, tender and unbelievably moist.

  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Persons: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups (12.5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 pound medium carrots (6 to 7 large carrots), ends trimmed and peeled or unpeeled (I never peel them)
  • 1 1/2 cups (10.5 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) packed light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable, canola or other neutral-flavored oil (see note)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 5 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream, light or regular
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups (4.25 ounces) powdered sugar
  • Toasted, chopped pecans, for garnish (optional)
  1. Instructions
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position.
  3. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking pan with cooking spray or lightly grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt; set aside.
  5. In a food processor fitted with large or fine shredding disk (or using a box grater and shredding by hand), shred the carrots for about 3 cups total.
  6. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in large bowl using a hand-held mixer OR by hand with a whisk), beat the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and eggs on medium-high speed until thoroughly combined, about 45 seconds.
  7. Reduce the speed to medium and with the mixer running, add oil in a slow, steady stream, being careful to pour oil against the inside of the bowl.
  8. Increase the speed to high (or just whisk like crazy) and mix until the batter is light in color and well emulsified, about 45 seconds to 1 minute longer.
  9. Stir in carrots the carrots and dry ingredients by hand until incorporated and no streaks of flour remain (don’t overmix).
  10. Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s) and bake until a toothpick or skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 32 minutes for 9-inch round pans and 40 minutes for a 9X13-inch pan.
  11. Let the cakes cool for about 10 minutes in the pan and then invert them onto a cooling rack to cool completely (the 9X13-inch cake can be cooled completely in the pan if you don’t plan to invert and ice all the sides).
  12. At this point, once the cakes are cooled, they can be wrapped in plastic wrap and put in a ziploc bag and placed in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw at room temperature prior to frosting.
  13. For the frosting, mix the cream cheese, butter, sour cream, and vanilla at medium high speed in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using handheld mixer) until well combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl with rubber spatula as needed.
  14. Add the powdered sugar and mix until very fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.
  15. Frost the cake and garnish with toasted, chopped pecans, if desired.