fork taking a bite of carrot cake slice

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Moist and delicious carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is the perfect dessert for birthdays, holidays, picnic and potlucks!

layered carrot cake with cream cheese frosting with green leaf decoration on a glass cake pedestal

This carrot cake with cream cheese frosting looks so elegant with the layered frosting and exposed edges. Plus, it’s so easy to frost a cake this way, no expert skills needed.

We love moist this cake is. I swear leftovers taste even better after the cake has been refrigerated, giving the carrot cake time for the flavors to deepen.

If you love cream cheese frosting, check out these applesauce bars that are topped with cream cheese frosting too!

steps of frosting carrot cake

How to make carrot cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease (2) round 9″ cake pans. Using parchment paper, trace the bottom of 9″ round cake pans. Cut out 2 round papers and place in bottom of cake pans. Set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer, combine eggs, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract, oil and applesauce.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Slowly add dry ingredients into batter and mixed well.
  4. Add grated carrots, chopped pecans (optional) and raisins (optional). Stir until well combined.
  5. Pour batter equally into the 2 cake pans. Bake for 40 min or until tooth pick comes out clean when inserted.
  6. Allow to cake to cool for 10 minutes on cooling rack. Gently run a flat spatula around the cake and pan, being careful not to damage the cake. Flip the cake upside down out of pan and allow to cool completely.
  7. Place 1 cake on a plate or cake platter. Using approximately half of the frosting, frost the top of cake. Place second cake on top, upside down so that the bottom is on top. This creates a flat top for frosting.
  8. Slice and serve! Refrigerate any leftovers due to the cream cheese frosting.

How to make cream cheese frosting:

  1. Whisk softened cream cheese in a mixer until fluffy.
  2. Whisk in softened unsalted butter until well combined.
  3. Add vanilla and powdered sugar, whisking until creamy.
  4. Add 1 tsp of milk at a time as needed until a smooth spreadable frosting consistency has been reached.

2 slices of carrot cake on white plates with gold fork


Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Moist and delicious carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is the perfect dessert for birthdays, holidays, picnics or potlucks!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Cooling: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 14 -18 slices
Calories: 447kcal


  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup pecans chopped (optional)
  • 1 cup raisins optional

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened but not melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tsp milk as needed


  • Nonstick spray
  • Parchment paper
  • 2 round 9" cake pans



  • Preheat oven to 350F. Grease baking dish(es) with nonstick spray. You can use a 9x13 baking dish or (2) 9" round cake pans. If using round cake pans, trace the bottom of the pan onto parchment paper. Cut out traced line and place paper circle in bottom of baking pan. This will allow the cake to remove easily from pan after baking.
  • In a large bowl with a hand mixer, or using a stand mixer, combine the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, oil, applesauce and vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Slowly add dry ingredients into the batter until well combined.
  • Add shredded carrots. Add nuts and raisins (if using) and mix well.
  • Pour batter into prepared baking dish. If using the 9" round pans, divide the batter equally between the two pans.
  • Bake for 45 minutes if using 9x13 pan or 40 minutes for round cake pans. Insert toothpick to check for doneness. If it comes out clean, it is done.
  • Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack. Allow 9x13 pan to cool completely before frosting. Allow round cakes to cool in pan about 10 minutes.
  • Using a flat edged spatula, run along the sides of the cake to the pan, being careful not to disturb the cake. Using another cooling rack or a plate, place it on top of the baking pan. Turn pan upside down. Allow to cool completely out of pan. Discard parchment paper.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • Using a mixer or stand mixer, whisk cream cheese until fluffy. Add butter and whisk together well.
  • Add vanilla and powdered sugar and combine well. Add 1-2 tsp milk if needed, for desired consistency if it's too thick. Add only a tsp at a time.
  • For 9x13 cake, spread frosting using a flat edge spatula evenly across the top once cake has cooled completely.
  • For round cake, place one cake round on a plate or cake platter. Add approximately half of the frosting on top of cake using a flat edge spatula. Add the second cake upside down on top of the frosting. This allows the flat bottom of the cake be a flat smooth surface for the top. Apply remaining frosting evenly across the top of the cake.
  • Slice and serve immediately. Store cake in refrigerator because of the cream cheese frosting.


(This recipe contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)


Serving: 1grams | Calories: 447kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 331mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 42g
carrot cake with cream cheese frosting with text overlay

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