This classic carrot cake is moist and tender, perfectly spiced, and loaded with chopped walnuts. It’s topped with the most amazing cream cheese frosting.
- 3 cups raw carrots, peeled and grated
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups (380g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (236ml) vegetable oil
- 2 cups (280g) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons (5g) ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons (8.5g) baking soda
- 1 teaspoon (5g) salt
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup (116g) walnuts or pecans, chopped (optional)
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, cold
- 12 ounces (339g) full fat cream cheese, cold
- 6–7 cups (911g) powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons (9ml) heavy whipping cream or milk
- 1 ½ cups (174g) walnuts, chopped (optional)
For the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Prepare two 8-inch round baking pans, line the bottom with parchment paper and grease the sides, lightly dust with flour.
- Peel the carrots and use a grater or food processor to shred into small pieces. Set aside.
- Beat the eggs until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat on low speed until smooth. Next add the oil and continue beating at low speed until well mixed.
- In a medium bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients. Slowly add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients and beat until incorporated. Fold in walnuts and carrots.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pans, dividing evenly. Bake for approximately 28-35 minutes or until a toothpick or knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely.
For the frosting:
- Cut the butter into pieces, about 1 tablespoon size. Using the paddle attachment, whip butter for 3-5 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally until the butter is light and fluffy.
- Then add the cream cheese and cream together with the butter for 2-3 minutes until they are whipped and free of lumps, scrape down the bowl occasionally.
- Slowly add confectionary sugar, 2-3 cups at a time, alternating with the liquid (vanilla extract and heavy cream), and beat until desired consistency is reached. Add salt if desired.
To assemble the cake:
- Level off the cakes by removing any domes. Place a dollop of frosting on your cake board and place the bottom layer of cake centered on a cake board.
- Pipe a layer of frosting in circles working outside the edge to the middle. Spread evenly with an offset spatula. Add the second layer of cake, inverted. Apply a crumb coat to the cake and put it in the freezer for 5-10 minutes. Remove from the freezer and add remaining frosting to the side and top of the cake. Use your hands to gently push the walnuts into the side of the frosting.
- To make gluten-free: Use a one-for-one cup gluten-free flour replacement
- Storage and make ahead: The cake layers can be made up to 2 days in advance. Cool completely and wrap tightly in plastic wrap or store in an airtight container. Once frosted, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator such as a cake carrier. Serve at room temperature for best results
- This recipe can also be made as cupcakes
- Category: Cake
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Cream cheese frosting, Cake recipe, Easter cake