Classic Carrot Cake

When my coworker said she’d like a carrot cake for her birthday, I was elated. Carrot cake is one of my favorite types of cake, and I don’t get requests for it very often! I used my favorite carrot cake recipe, and went a little wild decorating. The ingredients include:

Cake Base:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups finely grated carrot
  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts


  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1.5 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp heavy cream

047 050 051

Begin by lining and lightly greasing three eight-inch, round, cake pans. Set the pans aside. Stir together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Mix in the eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla at a medium speed, until fully incorporated. Fold in the carrots, pineapple, coconut, and walnuts. Pour the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans.

Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

053 056

While the cakes are cooling, prepare the frosting. Cream together the butter and cream cheese, then slowly ix in the powdered sugar in several installments, on a low speed. Once all the powdered sugar is incorporated, add in the salt, vanilla, and heavy cream. Mix at a low speed until fully combined. Once the cakes have cooled, spread the cream cheese frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake.


Place the cake in the fridge to allow the frosting to firm up, and use a vegetable peeler to create ribbons from a large carrot. Using uniform slices of carrot, create a bow on top of the cake. If desired, you can also add side “ribbons” to the cake to complete the look.


25 thoughts on “Classic Carrot Cake

  1. I love you recipes and want to make this cake for my friend’s bday! She loves carrot cake but doesn’t like nuts so if I were to leave the nuts out, would I need to replace them with something else? Thank you for the help!

    1. the recipe should still turn out if you exclude the nuts! the texture will be slightly different, but I wouldn’t recommend adding anything else in it’s place 🙂

    1. I’ve never tested it out before, but I think that sounds like it should work!! <3 If you do try it, please let me know how it works for you!

  2. How well do you think this will work if I want 2 – 9″ cake layers? I’m looking for them to be quite thick and not as thin as they look in the picture. I feel like 1.5 times the recipe is a lot? What do you think?

    1. if you make two, 9-inch cake layers, they will be a bit thicker than the ones shown in these photos, but not by much! If you do 1.5 batches it’ll be a TON of batter… but maybe you do 3 nine inch layers with 1.5 batches, just to ensure you get thick enough layers?! it’s a tough call!!

    1. It can! but I’d recommend placing a couple flower nails in the pans to help it bake more evenly and quickly! I’d also bake it for a bit longer (maybe 40 mins), but keep an eye on it in the oven!

    1. Hi Vivia,

      I used a vegetable peeler to make carrot ribbons, and stuck them in place with a bit of extra frosting!

Let me know what you think!