Mar 29, 2014

Classic Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting


Topped with a rich cream cheese frosting, this lovely cake is the perfect way to end a special meal. It's beautifully simple with no extra add-ins: just carrots and nuts and a hint of cinnamon throughout moist, tender cake. Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is a classic for any time of year, but is especially good for a special holiday dessert.



Classic Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting  Print Recipe

For cake:
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1/4 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups grated carrots (I use a larger grate)
1 cup chopped pecans


For frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 (16 oz.) box confectioner's (powdered) sugar



1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9" round cake pans. Set aside.  

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt until well combined. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar and oil until smooth. Add the eggs and beat until completely combined. Stir in the applesauce and vanilla.
4. On low, slowly add flour mixture to egg mixture. Stir in carrots and nuts. Divide evenly between prepared cake pans. Bake for about 38 to 39 minutes, or until a tester comes out with a few small moist crumbs attached. I usually rotate cake pans once about half way through baking.
5. Let cakes cool on wire rack for about 15 minutes. Carefully turn cakes out of pans onto wire racks to finish cooling completely.
6. When cakes are cool, prepare frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Sprinkle with vanilla and salt and mix well. 

7. Sift powdered sugar into cream cheese mixture. On low, mix until well-combined. Beat on medium until frosting is desired consistency. If too thick, add a little milk or cream, 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency. Frost cake. Keep covered, and refrigerate leftovers.


Classic Carrot Cake may have been taken to some of these fun parties!



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82 comments:

  1. Oh my word...my mouth is watering! That looks amazing, Joy!

    If you have a minute to spare I'd be thrilled if you could link up your carrot cake recipe to this week's Say G'Day Saturday party. It has just started!

    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz

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  2. I love carrot cake with cream cheese frosting...my favorite actually! This looks delicious, and I would be willing to bet it's as good as it looks. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Yum….need to make one of these soon. Love that you can see all those nuggets of pecans and shreds of carrots. The cream cheese is looks dreamy good...I am going to dream about this cake tonight I know!

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  4. Joy, there is nothing that says springtime like carrot cake and yours looks beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing and pinning! Hope you have a happy Sunday and a wonderful week!! Hugs!

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  5. Oh Joy that looks so good -- I think I could eat that whole bowl of frosting with just a spoon! Probably shouldn't have read this before going grocery shopping. I'm in trouble now!

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  6. Hi Joy, Love your recipe! No Raisins, lol or dark brown sugar. I'll have to try your recipe. I see you changed your blog up a bit. Sorry, it's been a while. I am about to do the same. I have a giveaway going on feel free to drop by and grab a chance! Happy Spring! Theresa @DearCreatives

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  7. Hi! This is my favorite kind of cake! Looks delish! <3

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  8. This looks moist and delicious! One of my favorite cakes, no doubt. Will have to try this one!!

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  9. I love carrot cake and the delicious cream cheese frosting...yum! It looks so delicious Joy. :)

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  10. I need a napkin for all the drool. This looks like dinner, don't tell. Hugs from Bacon Time.

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  11. Carrot Cake is one of my favs, so these pics have set my cravings on high!

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  12. It's a gorgeous delicious looking cake!!

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  13. It looks amazing, I'm literally drooling now... Thanks for sharing this at my Facebook Milestone Link Party <3 !
    I love carrot cake and just baked some last week as well (with a slight twist) - check out my Carrot Cake Cheesecake with a surprise bunny inside ;) http://www.roxyskitchen.com/surprise-inside-carrot-cake-cheesecake.html

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  14. I LOVE carrot cake, but have never made one. I just love the spices with that tangy sweet cream cheese..... sigh. Thanks for sharing at Simple Supper Tuesday

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  15. We love carrot cake!! I've tried a few different recipes, so I certainly will be trying yours ;-)

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  16. This is one of my favorite cakes, yours looks absolutely beautiful!!!!

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  17. hopped over from In & Out ... wow ... this is Hubby's favorite cake and you make it look fairly easy to do! Guess what I'm pinning and making soon? Thanks for sharing!

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  18. I absolutely adore carrot cake, and your looks like it has a beautiful texture to it! :) [#TastyTuesdays]

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  19. Carrot cake is my very favorite cake - and this one looks absolutely fabulous!! Pinning to make soon!!

    Found you through the In and Out of the Kitchen Party!

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  20. Carrot cake is my all-time favorite. This looks beautiful Joy!

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  21. Thank you for Hosting a WONDERFUL, fun party!!!

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  22. Your carrot cake looks yum !! Those picture make want to make one for my husband, he loves carrot cake :)

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  23. My family has never had carrot cake for Easter, but it sure sounds like a yummy addition!
    I stopped over from Share Your Stuff Tuesdays to check out your yummy recipe and invite you to share your talents with my new link party The Yuck Stops Here. It will be open until this Friday evening, April, 4th and will open again next Monday evening at 8pm EST. Stop by http://mommasangelbaby.com to link up! HUGS

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  24. I love carrot cake and your icing looks amazing. Thanks for linking up to Snickerdoodle sunday.

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  25. Carrot cake is my favorite! Yours looks so Yummy!!

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  26. Joy, I love carrot cake and this looks divine! Thanks so much for stopping by our first party The Southern Special and linking up! Hope you'll return.
    Spatulas On Parade

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  27. Good Morning Joy, I was trying to decide which cake to bake for the Easter holidays and you have just solved the problem for me. I love Carrot Cake and yours looks so impressive..... it will look lovely on my Easter Tea Table. I have my mother Phyllis coming to stay for two weeks and I know she will love your version of Carrot Cake. So thank you for solving my dilemma.
    Best Wishes to you.
    Daphne

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  28. Dear Joy, Your carrot cake looks perfect and beautiful! Carrot cake is my brother's favorite. I will be pinning! Blessings, Catherine xo

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  29. Carrot cake is my hubby's favorite cake and this looks so wonderful. Pinning and will be making this soon. Thanks for sharing it and linking up to The Yuck Stops Here! Hope to see you again next week.

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  30. One of my favorite cakes! I love the little swirls you did with the frosting :)

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  31. Carrot cake has ALWAYS been my favourite... Will def be trying this out! #PoCoLo

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  32. This is my absolutely all time favorite dessert!!! Great recipe, thanks for sharing and linking up with us at the #WWDParty! Have a wonderful weekend!

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  33. Oh wow this looks so yummy! Not good for my diet.....although would the carrot class as one of my 5 a day??
    #PoCoLo

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  34. I never make carrot cake and it is my mother's favorite cake. I think I need to make this for her. Thanks for bringing it to foodie friday.

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  35. Looks like a great recipe, will have to try it! #PoCoLo

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  36. Oh my goodness!! This looks to DIE FOR!! Thank you so much for sharing your recipe with us. Pinned! :)

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  37. Oh my word, Joy. What a beautiful cake! I love carrot cake! Thanks for sharing at Saturday Night Fever Link Party - hope to see you again this weekend! Pinned to our group board!

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  38. I have never made carrot cake, but it IS a classic. Thanks so much for joining and linking to the Weekend Wind-Down Party!

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  39. It's been years since I've had carrot cake and I don't think I've ever made one!
    I can tell from your photos that this is a moist cake. Thank you for sharing. Sorry it's taken me so long to come visit you. Work is kicking my tail lately...11-12 hour days!

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  40. I love carrot cake, it's one of my favourite though I've never had it with a cream cheese icing before. Thanks for linking up to Sweet and Savoury Sunday, stop by and link up again this weekend!

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  41. Hi Joy,
    Your Carrot Cake is just beautiful and I am sure would be delicious. A slice would be very nice for my dessert. Thank you so much for sharing this special recipe with Full Plate Thursday and have a fantastic week!
    Miz Helen

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  42. Carrot cake is my very favorite cake! After reading a few of the comments, it looks like it is many peoples favorites! This post was the most viewed at the last In and Out of the Kitchen Link party and will be featured at the next party and in the newsletter. Thanks for sharing. I always love to see what you bring to the party.

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  43. Wow, this looks delicious! You had me at cream cheese frosting. :)

    Thank you for sharing at this week's Super Saturday Afternoon Tea!!!

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  44. Woot! You have been featured this week at Recipe Sharing Monday! The new link party is up and I'd love to see you back. Have a great week. :)

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  45. Delicious carrot cake Joy. I am going to make it as cup cake. Thanks for sharing with Hearth and Soul blog hop.

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  46. Joy, your carrot cake has my mouth watering! What a beautiful cake! I love the cinnamon spicing and the fact that there is applesauce in it too. Thank you so much for sharing this with us at The Hearth and Soul Hop. Pinned :-)

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  47. Love!! This is a stunning cake, Joy!!

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  48. You do realise that you have shared one of my favourite cake recipes EVER?! LOVE this! I need to try your recipe now. Thank you for linking to PoCoLo x

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  49. So glad you stopped by! Thanks for sharing on the Four Seasons Blog Hop! Sandra from Scrumptilicious 4 You! I am Pinning this Now!

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  50. This looks terrific joy... the cake.. the frosting... everything so delicious ! Thank you so much for sharing at Tasty Tuesday. Featuring your cake at Ma Niche today !

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  51. Applesauce sure does make a difference in how carrot cake tastes. This looks so yummy and I have to admit, carrot cake is right up there with chocolate cake. I just love the taste and texture and your recipe looks so good. I am pinning this for later.

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  52. Oh, man! One of my favorite desserts! Looks amazing :-) ~Kelly @ Eyes On The Source

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  53. I haven't made carrot cake for years and yours looks good. I don't have a recipe for carrot cake anymore and haven't got around to hunting one out, but your cake looks so mouth wateringly tasty I may just give this recipe ago.

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  54. I have never made a Carrot Cake, but I certainly want to know after seeing your gorgeous cake!

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  55. Joy,
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe at #GetHimFed Fridays. Hope you party with us this week too.
    Annamaria

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  56. This looks absolutely delicious. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  57. I made this yesterday for an Easter get together and everyone loved it! It was nice and moist! Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe!

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    1. I am thrilled that you enjoyed this cake- you are a sweetheart to come by and let me know! Thank you so much! ♥

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  58. I made this cake for Easter. Amazing! Thank you for a great recipe!

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    1. Marina, I'm so glad that you tried it and enjoyed it, and thanks for letting me know- so thoughtful of you! We looove this cake! :)

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  59. Hi Joy! I made this a couple weeks ago and it was a total hit! Hands down everyone who tried it said it was the best carrot cake they've ever eaten. My recipe modifications include 1/4 cup Applesauce plus teaspoon of baking powder (I had one less egg than your recipe called for so I had to substitute) and I added an extra half cup of grated carrots (got a little grate happy and didn't want to waste). It was wonderful. Now only if my cake frosting skills were up to par....thanks for the great recipe!

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    1. Benna, I am so happy that you tried it and liked it! Thank you for letting me know- that completely made my day! :D

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  60. Thank you for sharing this recipe, it looks fantastic. My son's birthday is next month and every year he requests Carrot Cake. This is the recipe I will use. Thanks again!

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  61. I'm drooling! This cake looks amazing!

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  62. Carrot cake is one of my absolute favorites....this looks SO so delicious!!!

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  63. What a BEAUTIFUL carrot cake! It looks absolutely delicious, baked & frosted to perfection!

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  64. Oh how I love carrot cake! Definitely pinning.

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  65. Oh, I am over the moon right now! Carrot cake is one of my favorite things ever! It's the one cake that I really like! PINNED! Joy, Thank you so much for sharing this on Making Memories Mondays! :-)
    I am so glad that you came! :-)
    Cathy@ three kids and a fish

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  66. Aside from chocolate cake, carrot cake is my next fav. This looks mouthwatering delicious!!

    Thanks for sharing at Marvelous Monday on Smart Party Planning.

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  67. Sometimes you just want to go back to the classics, and this carrot cake definitely does! Thanks for stopping by and sharing this on Five Friday Finds! I'm looking forward to what you share this week. :)

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  68. Wow, Joy - that cake looks amazing, and perfect, and delicious!!

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  69. Carrot cake is a favorite of mine! Thank you for sharing with us at Brag About It!
    ~Laurie

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  70. I love carrot cake! Can't wait to try this! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! Please join us again this week!

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  71. This cake burnt on the outside when baked according to the instructions in this recipe. I used to dark metal pans to bake these. At 20 minutes I turned the temp down to 325. I ended up cutting off a layer around the cake before I frosted. It was the first time making carrot cake so I followed the directions exactly. Hope this helps someone form burning their cake.

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    1. Anonymous, that is so frustrating, isn't it? I am sorry you had a difficult experience. You are absolutely right, dark pans bake a little hotter than lighter colored pans do. And lighter weight pans will bake quite a bit hotter than heavier weight pans will. Neither of which have anything to do with the recipe itself, but a good reminder to keep in mind that other things impact our baking- the pans we use, how hot or cool our oven is, how level our oven is, where the hot spots in our ovens are, the quality of ingredients used, etc., etc. Thank you for the reminder! :)

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  72. The cake looks divine, Joy! So mouth-watering!

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  73. I made this cake for a morning tea at work. It was such a hit that I now have people requesting me to make it all the time. It is so moist and morish. I had everyone saying that it was the best carrot cake they had ever tasted.

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    1. I am so glad you tried the cake and that it was a hit! It really is our favorite carrot cake- it's the only one I make. :) Thank you so much for letting me know you tried it and that your (lucky!) co-workers enjoyed it! Happy October and Happy Baking! :)

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