Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Today is my birthday and my husband, who has never baked a cake on his own, baked me a carrot cake completely from scratch!

When we were in Madera for Thanksgiving, I rummaged through my aunt’s recipe cards and found a few more of my mom’s recipes that I didn’t have.  One of the recipes was for a carrot cake that I remember eating when I was young.  I love carrot cake so I was thrilled to have a new (old) recipe to try!

When Justin surprised me by asking what kind of cake I wanted today, I first requested a yellow cake with chocolate frosting, a classic combination that I’ve always loved.  But at the last minute, I remembered my newly acquired carrot cake recipe and asked if he would be willing to give that a try instead.

I have to say that I’m pretty impressed.  Not only did he find all the ingredients on his own, he did absolutely everything without my help.  My only assigned tasks were carrot grating and pan greasing.  My husband normally does nothing in the kitchen besides making the occasional sandwich, so this new baking development is a rather nice surprise!

I have had a great birthday!  We went out to lunch and then I spent the afternoon shopping with birthday money and gift certificates.  I’ve been receiving birthday cards, phone calls, e-mails, text messages, as well as facebook and twitter greetings all day long.  Birthdays are so much fun in this digital age!  Thanks, everyone!

In addition to my birthday, today is the last day of November and therefore this is my last post for NaBloPoMo.  I shared a recipe with you every day this month (with the exception of Thanksgiving) and I’m finishing it off by sharing my mom’s carrot cake recipe, complete with cream cheese frosting!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Carrot Cake

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 eggs
3 cups grated carrot (about 4 medium/large carrots)
1 1/2 cups canola oil
3/4 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter and flour two 9-inch or three 8-inch cake pans.

In a large bowl, sift together first six ingredients.  Stir in oil then stir in eggs, one a time.  Add carrots and stir until well blended then add nuts.  Divide batter between two 9-inch or three 8-inch cake pans and bake in preheated oven, 30-35 minutes for the 8-inch pans or 35-45 minutes for the 9-inch pans.  Cakes are done when a toothpick inserted the center comes out clean.  Let cakes cool in pans on a wire rack for ten minutes, then remove cakes from pans and let cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Edit 12/01/08: We decided that the cream cheese frosting from my mom’s recipe was way too sweet so I’ve removed it and am sharing another cream cheese frosting recipe that allows more of the cream cheese flavor to come through.  Hope you enjoy it!

2 8-oz. packages of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter (one stick), softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

With an electric mixer, cream together cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.  Add powdered sugar and blend until well combined.  Blend in vanilla extract.  Use immediately or refrigerate, covered, until ready to use.  If refrigerated, the frosting will need to be brought to room temperature before using (after frosting is at room temp, beat with mixer til smooth).

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  1. sugarpluuum

    this is the best and the only carrot cake i will only eat!! thanks for sharing!! *HUG!*

    8:03 am  Feb 22nd, 2010
  2. Zsuzsi

    Greetings from Hungary! I just made this wonderful cake (, it’s such a hit, my family is totally amazed!

    1:38 pm  Feb 28th, 2010
  3. darcus

    i actually made it it was delicous i loved it alot thanks for the recipe

    5:58 pm  Mar 14th, 2010
  4. Kaitlin

    I’m not quite sure what the problem is with this, but I have made it twice and both times it takes well over an hour to bake at 350 degrees…

    10:08 pm  Mar 18th, 2010
  5. Kausambi

    Great recipe, great blog and great pics.. 🙂 I am so enamored by the picture of that slice of carrot cake with cream cheese on it that I am trying it out just as we speak (the cake is already baking away in my oven!) Have tweaked it just a little bit… Will let you know how it turns out soon… (

    4:57 am  Jun 26th, 2010
  6. Katrina

    Something wrong with this recipe… I’m really good at following recipes, exactly, and this one was by far the worst recipe I’ve ever made. I used it to make cupcakes, and one small cake. Neither of them rose, just sunk in the middle :/… I baked them as long as the recipe called for… Only good thing I got from this was, the tops of the cupcakes became really crunchy and turned out being a really good cookie 🙂

    4:28 pm  Sep 11th, 2010
  7. irene

    After a very long day of activities, at 8:45 pm.,my 12 yr old dtr. Kate says
    she is going to make a carrot cake from the internet….
    We watch her hand grate carrots, etc. and in a short while, we are
    eating the fluffiest, most delicious cake. The recipe is very good. thank you.

    6:23 am  Oct 1st, 2010
  8. Jill

    I just like everything u bake!

    6:30 pm  Oct 5th, 2011
  9. Pearly

    Was looking for a nice cream cheese frosting recipe and chanced upon this. Absolutely fabulous. I will try the carrot cake next! Thank you for sharing.

    2:35 am  Jan 6th, 2013
  10. Mahalia

    What kind of nuts were used in the pictures above?

    9:10 pm  Mar 12th, 2013
  11. Teresina

    Yum, yum, yum! And soooo easy!

    6:05 pm  Nov 21st, 2014
  12. Sheila

    Greetings from Malaysia! First of all, a big “Thank You”… tis is One hell of a cake !!!
    I baked it few days ago, n I must say WE ALL LUVED IT SOOOO VERY MCH!
    Carrot cake is one of my fav cake n I just luv tis recipe.. its so really easy n made my 10 yr old daughter to say “im so proud of u mom”.. thnks again!

    9:07 pm  Apr 9th, 2015
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