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This Easy Carrot Cake recipe is just the thing when you get a craving for moist carrot cake and need it fast! It’s a simple recipe with all of the essential elements: spicy, moist cake and fluffy cream cheese frosting.
Have you ever had a carrot cake emergency? You know when the weather warms up, and your sweet tooth starts talking to you.
You start dreaming of spicy cake and pools of fluffy cream cheese frosting, and no other cake will do. And this folks is a carrot cake emergency! Luckily I have us covered with this simple recipe.
We have a family tradition with my parents and siblings and their families to eat dinner together every Sunday. We rotate the cooking assignments each week.
This last week was my turn for dessert, and I completely forgot to plan something for it until Sunday afternoon. Yikes! After looking through my pantry and racking my brain for a few minutes, I realized I had the perfect solution for my failure to plan. My simple cake recipe to the rescue!
Easy Carrot Cake
This cake is delicious and a definite crowd-pleaser. My family demolished the cake. We probably could have made a good dent on a second pan! (Note to self the next time I am in charge of dessert.)
As we sat down talking and eating our dessert, everyone talked about how much they love carrot cake. I think it is a popular flavor that isn’t made nearly enough. As I was leaving, my dad asked me to please make the carrot cake again. Ok, Dad, I will! And you should make it too!
With Spring in full swing, I thought that it would be epic to dedicate an entire week to one of my favorite desserts, CARROT CAKE! This week you’ll find this recipe plus three other variations!
Can I substitute applesauce for oil in carrot cake?
Definitely! You can substitute equal parts of applesauce for the oil. So if the recipe calls for 1 ½ cups of oil, you can use 1 ½ cups of applesauce instead.
Should you put this cake in the fridge?
Because of the cream cheese frosting, you should store this cake in the fridge. You can leave this cake out at room temperature for up to 3 hours before you need to pop it back into the refrigerator.
How long can I keep a carrot cake in the fridge?
If you cover the cake tightly with foil or plastic wrap, then the carrot cake will stay fresh in the fridge for up to one week. If you choose to freeze the cake, then wrap it in 2 layers of plastic wrap and two layers foil. It will keep for three months in the freezer if stored in this manner.
Carrot Cake Recipe – Cook’s Note:
- This cake will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- If you like carrot cake with nuts, 1 cup of chopped pecans can be added to the batter when you add the coconut.
- mixing bowls
- box grater
- stand mixer
- 9×13 pan
- offset spatula
- cooling rack
If you’re looking for more simple cake recipes then try this white cake, strawberry cake, or Instant Pot dump cake.
Best Carrot Cake
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 pound carrots peeled
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 ½ cups vegetable oil
- 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened but still cool
- 5 Tablespoons butter softened but still cool
- 1 Tablespoon sour cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups powdered sugar
FOR THE CAKE:
- Move the oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13x9-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
- In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt; set aside.
- Using the large holes of a box grater, shred carrots (you should end up with about 3 cups); set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and eggs on medium-high until combined, about 45 seconds. Reduce the speed to low, and slowly pour in the oil. Increase the speed to high and mix until the mixture is light in color and well blended, about 60-90 seconds. Turn the mixer off and fold in the carrots, dry ingredients, and coconut by hand until the batter is evenly mixed and no streaks of flour remain.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it into even layer. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes. Place the cake on wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.
FOR THE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
- Once the cake is cool make the frosting. Add the cream cheese, butter, sour cream, and vanilla to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on high until combined, about 60 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the powdered sugar and mix on high until nice and fluffy, about 1 minute.
FINISH THE CAKE:
- Spread the frosting evenly over the cake using an offset spatula. Cut the carrot cake into 12 squares and serve.
This post first appeared on FFF on April 19, 2015. I have since updated the post.
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This is one of my favorite go-to carrot cake recipes anytime I feel like something special. It is moist and delicious!
So glad this recipe comes in handy for you! 🙂
One of my all time faves! Love that tangy-sweet frosting. Yum!
Luci's Morsels says
I’m always a fan of moist carrot cake, but we just got back from Scotland and apparently that’s the trend there too. Every cafe had carrot cake for an afternoon treat. If I wasn’t trying to eat as many scones with clotted cream as possible, I would have picked it out every time!!
I love this carrot cake! So delicious and moist – one the whole family enjoys!
These pics are super cute and it looks delicious!
I know ‘cake emergencies’ all too well, and love how this recipe can come to our rescue 😉 lots of delicious ingredients and flavours in this cake!
Sylvie, I am so glad that you enjoyed this cake! 🙂
Can I make this without coconut? My husband is not a fan of coconut. Would I just omit it or would I need to substitute something?
You can just omit it. 🙂
I love carrot cake! Favorite of all cakes. However, just diagnosed with heart condition. Are there changes that could be made to be more healthy?
You can use unsweetened coconut for the cake and replace half of the oil with apple sauce. You can also ditch the frosting and use a light dusting of powdered sugar.