The absolute best moist and fluffy homemade single layer carrot cake with silky cream cheese frosting. A crowd pleasing dessert, perfect for any Spring occasion!

This carrot cake is a perfect excuse to do some spring baking! I’ve always been a huge fan of spiced cakes… regular spiced cake, carrot cake, pumpkin cake… apple cake! They’re all equally amazing in their own special ways and each have their time to shine. But this cake, it’s the absolute perfect cake for spring. It should be at the top of your baking plans this month. A fun addition to your Easter dessert table or whip it up just because! I’m a fan of cakes and dessert ‘just because’. Why save something so delicious just for a special occasion? Make any day special.

This cake takes more time than the average cake, for obvious reason! The carrots! Don’t rush this step. You want perfectly shredded extra fine carrots. No chunky bits here!

This will become your new favorite carrot cake recipe. It’s incredibly easy to whip up once you have the carrots prepared. It’s perfectly moist and has just the right amount of spice. Top it with a silky cream cheese frosting for an ultimate spring treat!

Carrot cake should be perfectly spiced and moist! I promise you’ll find both of those things to be true with this recipe. This carrot cake can easily serve a range … 12 generous slices to 20 more modest slices making it perfect for any celebration or occasion.

With spring just around the corner, be sure to add this tasty treat to your baking plans! I promise you won’t regret it!

Check below for troubleshooting tips, advice and how to make this ridiculously tasty carrot cake!

How to Make the Carrot Cake

*Plan for extra time preparing this recipe. A normal cake might take 10-15 minutes to whip up. Shredding the carrots will add at least an extra 10 minutes to your prep time. If you have a helper, put them to work while you get everything else going.

  1. Measure a large sheet of parchment paper appropriate for your cake pan, leaving some overhang for grabbing later. Grease a 9×13-inch cake pan with baking spray. Do not use olive oil or spray intended for savory cooking. Add prepared parchment paper to your pan. Small binder clips work wonders at keeping your parchment paper in place during this stage. Just remember to remove them prior to baking.
  2. Prepare your carrots. Shred your carrots using the fine side of your hand grater. Do not squeeze out excess liquid. Measure out 2 cups packed finely shredded carrots and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine vegetable oil with prepared carrots and both sugars. Mix in vanilla, followed by one egg at a time. Scrape your bowl as needed. Mix in your spices, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Lastly, mix in all purpose flour in small batches. Continue mixing until your batter is just combined and no streaks of flour remain.
  4. Transfer the batter to your prepared cake pan and smooth out with a small offset spatula. Bake according to the directions below. Cool completely before frosting.
  5. Prepare your frosting and add to your cooled cake.

Check below this post for even more delicious recipes to make this season!

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Recipe tips and troubleshooting

What is the best way to shred carrots?

For this recipe, I highly recommend finely grating the carrots instead of using the standard thick grating option on most devices. On a standard hand grater, use the fine shredding side. If you have a food processor with a fine grating option, you can give that a try as well. Alternatively, you can toss carrots into a small food processor prepared with a chopping blade. Make sure to only use fine pieces, no chunks.

Can I make this recipe into cupcakes instead?

This recipe was written specifically for and tested only as a single layer cake recipe. If you would prefer to make cupcakes, use my carrot cake cupcake recipe instead.

Can I cut back on the frosting?

Yes! The amount listed below will generously frost one 9×13-inch cake. However, you can easily cut it in half if you don’t want as much frosting.

What if I don’t like cream cheese frosting?

If you’d prefer something lighter, try one of the following:
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Toasted Meringue Frosting
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Can I use a different flour?

All purpose flour is the best standard flour for this cake recipe. If you need to use a gluten free flour for dietary reasons, a 1:1 gluten free flour can be used. Keep in mind, this recipe was only tested using all purpose flour. Any changes to ingredients can change the outcome of the recipe.

Can I substitute applesauce for the vegetable oil?

Applesauce is a great substitution for vegetable oil. However, I’d recommend swapping out no more than half of the vegetable oil called for. If using any amount of applesauce, unsweetened would be ideal but you can use whatever you have on hand.

Can I make substitutions to the ingredients?

Yes and no. Baking is a science. This recipe works with the exact measurements and ingredients listed. Altering one or several of those can cause the recipe to fail. If you’re familiar with baking substitutions, go for it! Outside of any alterations I’ve already mentioned, for specific questions, ask in the comments below.

How many will this serve?

This is a full size 9×13-inch cake. Depending on how you slice the cake, it will generously serve 12 or up to 20, with smaller slices.

How should this be stored?

Your room temperature will be a factor in this. In warmer environments, you should only store this in the refrigerator. Otherwise, it may be stored at room temperature for up to several days in an airtight container. It may also be stored in the refrigerator and eaten chilled or brought to room temperature prior to serving.

What size pan should I use?

For this recipe, use a standard 9×13-inch cake pan.

Do you have tips for clean slices?

A clean knife is key! Between every slice, firmly wipe your knife on a paper towel or rinse and dry your knife between each slice.

Can I make this ahead of time and freeze?

You can absolutely prepare the cake ahead of time. Allow it to cool completely and wrap well prior to freezing. Freeze this without the frosting. Thaw the cake fully in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature prior to frosting.

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Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yield: 20
The absolute best moist and fluffy homemade single layer carrot cake with silky cream cheese frosting. A crowd pleasing dessert, perfect for any Spring occasion!



  • 1 C vegetable oil
  • 2 C carrots, finely shredded
  • 1 C granulated sugar
  • 1/2 C light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 C all purpose flour


  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 C unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 C powdered sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Light grease a 9×13-inch cake pan, using baking spray. Line your pan with parchment paper, leaving overhang on the two long sides. Set aside.
  • Finely shred carrots, using a hand grater or small food processor.
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine vegetable oil, carrots and both sugars. Mix in vanilla and one egg at a time. Scrape bowl as needed. Add salt, spices, baking powder and baking soda. Lastly mix in all purpose flour in small batches. Mix until just combined and no streaks remain.
  • Transfer batter to prepared baking pan. Use a small offset spatula to level off the top.
  • Bake at 350°F for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the center springs back when gently touched. Cool in pan until easy to handle, at least several hours. Then, using the parchment paper overhang, gently remove cake from pan and allow to cool on a wire rack completely. When fully cool, carefully remove the parchment paper. Transfer cake to desired serving tray.
  • Prepare frosting. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat together softened cream cheese. Mix in softened butter, beating until light and fluffy. Add in vanilla, followed by 1/2 cup of powdered sugar at a time. Beat until fully combined and desired consistency is reached. Frost cake as desired.
  • Enjoy immediately. Store cake in an airtight container for up to several days. Cake may be stored at room temperature or chilled and brought to room temperature prior to eating.


Recipe serves 12-20.
An original recipe from Baked by Rachel


Calories: 388kcal, Carbohydrates: 49g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 52mg, Sodium: 230mg, Potassium: 99mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 33g, Vitamin A: 2474IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 50mg, Iron: 1mg
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most accurate data, use your preferred nutrition calculator with the actual ingredients you used to make this recipe.
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see it! Snap a picture and tag @bakedbyrachel on Instagram!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keywords: Cake, Dessert