homemade Carrot Cake recipe {with cream cheese frosting}


recipe for carrot cake from scratch

This is the best homemade carrot cake recipe you will ever find. It comes from my Grandma's recipe box of homemade cake recipes and has been baked so many times I can't count. In the spring, it is made. For birthday's, it is made. With cream cheese frosting, as layer cakes, as bars, and even as cupcakes. This carrot cake recipe couldn't be better or more faithful. If you are looking for a from scratch carrot cake recipe to count on...this is the one.

Today the BEST homemase carrot cake recipe is being added to the collection of proper, every day from scratch cakes we should learn to make, rather than buy. The recipes Grandma made weekly, if not daily. You know, back when they had chocolate cake EVERY NIGHT (is that a good thing or a bad thing? :)).

This cake is one of my husband's faves. Although, I think every time I make a new cake it turns into his "favorite". He swears, though, that this has been his absolute favorite since the beginning of time (his time begins when he met me 20 years ago which, as a good husband, is exactly the right way to tell time! :)). When he heard I was "working" by making a carrot cake he conveniently took the day off. Handy dandy to be self-employed. Dang...self-employed, married to me, and carrot cake to boot?...that man has it GOOD! You all know that when I say he has it GOOD it's a matter of attitude, right. We have had it hard our fair share too. Truth.

the BEST Homemade carrot cake recipe that you will use again and again.

Start with beautiful carrots. If you are making this with children it's suggested the carrots with their tops still on. You know, the ones just like Bugs Bunny eats. Kids seem to better understand these as "real carrots" and simply adore working with them.

To keep this recipe as fast as possible, pop the carrots into the [easyazon_link identifier="B00LBZOYAK" locale="US"]food processor[/easyazon_link] (or use a blender) to get them into itty bitty bits. Save about about 1 cup of carrots to leave in larger pieces (minced is about right) to give great "carroty" texture to the cake.

Tip: Don't make any of the carrot pieces too big, or they will sink to the bottom of the cake. 

Ask your kids why the larger pieces of carrot would sink to the bottom of the cake.

homemade carrot cake from scratch

carrot cake from scratch

There is absolutely no reason that you need multiple bowls. Get all your wet ingredients in the bowl and stir. Add the dry ingredients and stir again. But do not over-stir. Just until moistened and mostly mixed.

Tip: Don't over-stir carrot cake!

homemade carrot cake recipe from scratch
Be sure to grease and flour your pan well so that it doesn't stick. Really really well! Because of the moisture in carrot cakes, they can stick to the pans quite easily! After they come out of the oven, let them cool for about 15 minutes and then flip them upside down to cool completely prior to frosting.

Layer cakes are the best, but if you are a 9 by 13 pan kind of person just adjust the time of baking up about 10 minutes (be sure to check that the middle is done with a toothpick, knife, or chopstick!) to accommodate.

the BEST homemade carrot cake recipe from scratch

This homemade carrot cake is BETTER than any you'll pick up at the supermarket. And it is just as fast to make this as it is to get in your car and run to the supermarket. AND...you KNOW the ingredients are good. Good stuff. REAL stuff. Real butter in the cream cheese frosting, even. That is something special! 

Tip: grab your favorite purchased cream cheese frosting to speed up the time it takes to get this cake on the table. 


the BEST homemade Carrot Cake recipe

this tried and true homemade carrot cake recipe is the BEST. If you want to make it from scratch, use this recipe!
4.66 from 29 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 347 kcal


  • 4 eggs allow to stand at room temp for 30 min
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 cups carrots grated
  • ¾ cup oil


  • Grease & flour two 9 inch round pans (one 9 by 13 works too!)
  • In large mixing bowl ,stir together wet ingredients.
  • Stir well.
  • Add dry ingredients.
  • Stir just until combined.
  • Stir in carrots and stir just until combined.
  • Pour batter into pans, dividing evenly.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.



Calories: 347kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 4gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 186mgPotassium: 212mgFiber: 1gSugar: 30gVitamin A: 5425IUVitamin C: 1.9mgCalcium: 52mgIron: 1.4mg
Keyword homemade carrot cake
Made this recipe?Mention miznelliebellie or tag #NBRecipes!


Cream Cheese Frosting

4.74 from 19 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 11 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American


  • 2 packages of soft cream cheese
  • ½ cup soft butter
  • 1.5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla


  • Beat the cream cheese & butter well.
  • Add powdered sugar and beat again.
  • Add vanilla and beat until fluffy.


Beat in more powdered sugar if your frosting is to thin.
Add more milk if your frosting is too thick.
Made this recipe?Mention miznelliebellie or tag #NBRecipes!


This collection of our favorite frosting recipes includes all the frostings we routinely use on our cakes! Full recipes included.

Naturally Sweetened Cream Cheese Frosting

4.75 from 16 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American


  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ½ tsp cinnamon


  • Beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy.
  • Gently beat in the maple syrup, honey, and cinnamon just until incorporated.
Made this recipe?Mention miznelliebellie or tag #NBRecipes!

This homemade carrot cake recipe will be your tried and true recipe for years to come. In fact, we suspect you'll be passing this one along to your children. Please take an afternoon with your children and make this. Come back and tell us about the recipe. And about the lovely memory you created!

Other homemade cake recipes we think you'll love: 

Butternut Squash Cake : seriously, you'll love this spice cake that is naturally sweetened and bursting with yummy squash flavor!

Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake: this is my personal favorite cakes of ALL our homemade cake recipes. And we have alot!

63 thoughts on “homemade Carrot Cake recipe {with cream cheese frosting}”

  1. Hi. The cake is in the oven!!! How long do you recommend to cool before frosting. I guess I should have let it cool overnight, then made the frosting. Darn it.

    1. You are just fine. And sorry for not getting a comment back to you in time for your cake, last night. Honestly, you just need to cool it enough to put the frosting on without melting the frosting. I often pop it into the freezer for a wee bit. Or, here in MN...just outside :). HOw did it go?

  2. 5 stars
    I'm not sure if I've made a comment already but thank you so, so much for sharing this recipe! I've made it severeal times, sometimes I make recipe and a half and bake in 3 times (only have one pan of the same size) for a bigger crowed. I've made cupcakes as well. I've made it with chocolate ganache and with a whipped cream/cream cheese frosting or just simple! And it is delicious! Everyone asks for the recipe! Thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    This is best carrot cake for my husband 30th birthday I ever made,☺ made more delicious and rich our party. Thanks for the detailed receipe with pictures made more easy to make..☺👍

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