Learn how to bake, store and decorate a delicious carrot cake for your next spring celebration. This easy carrot cake recipe, complete with fresh carrots, raisins and tangy cream cheese frosting, makes a fluffy and moist 2-layer carrot cake. Top your dessert with sweet buttercream carrots for the perfect finishing touch.
Made using fresh grated carrots and sweet raisins, this quick and easy carrot cake recipe makes a wonderful dessert for Easter or any spring celebration. One recipe makes two 9 in. cake layers and is the perfect pairing to our tangy homemade cream cheese frosting! Carrot cake can also be refrigerated or frozen, so you can make it ahead of time and decorate it when you’re ready. Learn how to properly bake and store your carrot cake, as well as how to add those cute piped buttercream carrots for a sweet finish!
Common Carrot Cake FAQs
How do I store carrot cake?Storing an unfrosted carrot cake – While most unfrosted cakes can be kept at room temperature, carrot cake needs to be refrigerated. Since the ingredients include fresh carrots, the cake can develop mold if kept in a warm or humid climate. After your cake has completely cooled, wrap your individual cake layers in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use. How to freeze carrot cake – To freeze your unfrosted cake layers, wrap your individual cake layers in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil, which prevents freezer burn. When you’re ready to decorate, remove your layers from the freezer and loosen the foil. Place in the refrigerator to thaw completely, at least 24 hours. Avoid letting your cake thaw at room temperature, as it can cause your cake to become mushy and fall apart. Storing an iced carrot cake – If your carrot cake has been iced and decorated with cream cheese frosting, store it in the refrigerator. If left at room temperature, your cream cheese frosting will melt and fall off the cake. If your cake is uncut, it can be stored in the refrigerator, uncovered, for about a week. The icing acts as a protectant and will help keep your cake fresh and moist. If your cake has been cut, you can use plastic wrap or a cake caddy to protect your cake. You can also cover the exposed areas with extra cream cheese frosting to help seal in moisture.
How long will carrot cake last?Unfrosted cake layers will keep in the refrigerator for about 1 week. Frozen cake layers will keep in the freezer for about 2 to 3 months. If your cake is iced and decorated (and uncut), it will keep for about 1 week in the refrigerator. If it has been cut, it will stay fresh in the refrigerator for roughly 2 to 3 days.
Can I personalize this recipe?
Of course! The best way to figure out what you like is to have fun adding your favorite flavors, but here are a few of our suggestions:
- Try adding nuts, golden raisins or sweetened coconut
- Use a flavored cream cheese (like orange cream cheese) to add more flavor to your icing
- Try adding different fruits, like crushed pineapple, for added flavor and moisture
How do I fix runny cream cheese frosting?If your frosting is runny, it could mean that your cream cheese has melted a bit. Try putting it back in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to reset. You can also add more confectioners’ sugar to bring it back to the right consistency. Keep in mind that adding more sugar will make your icing sweeter, so be sure to taste as you go!
How do I make smooth cream cheese frosting?For smooth icing, make sure your cream cheese and your butter are at room temperature. Beat them until they’re creamy and smooth before adding the remainder of your ingredients.
Carrot Cake Recipe
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 cups carrots, peeled and grated
- 1 cup raisins
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two 9 in. round cake pans with vegetable pan spray and parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat eggs at high speed with electric mixer until foamy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add oil in a thin stream, beating well.
- Add flour mixture to eggs, mixing until combined. Stir in carrots and raisins. Divide evenly into prepared pans.
- Bake cakes 35 to 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes, then carefully invert onto cooling grid and cool completely before decorating.
Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, room temperature
- 8 cups powdered sugar (confectioners’ sugar)
- 1 tablespoon milk
- In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar and milk. Beat on high until smooth, about 1 minute.
- If icing seems too thin, add confectioners’ sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. If it seems too thick, add more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time until icing reaches desired consistency.
How to Pipe a Carrot
No carrot cake is complete without a cute buttercream carrot! Made using only two tips, these little piped carrots are a sweet way to finish off your cake.
- Disposable Decorating Bags
- For Large Carrots:
- For Small Carrots:
- Round Decorating Tip 6
- Round Decorating Tip 2
- Using Orange icing color, tint 1 cup white icing orange. Using Kelly Green icing color, tint 1/2 cup white icing green.
- For large carrots, prepare decorating bag with tip 12 and orange icing. Prepare second decorating bag with tip 233 and green icing. For small carrots, prepare decorating bag with tip 6 and orange icing. Prepare second decorating bag with tip 2 and green icing.
- Hold bag with orange icing above cake, slightly less than a 90-degree angle. Position tip slightly above surface. Using heavy pressure, squeeze bag to form top of carrot. Lift tip slightly, letting icing fan out generously. Gradually relax pressure to taper shape, pulling tip back.
- When carrot is desired length, relax pressure and pull tip back without lifting it off the surface to pull end to a point.
- Using bag with green icing, pipe pull-out lines for carrot tops.
More Delicious Carrot Cake (and Carrot-Shaped) Recipes
Looking for something to make for Easter brunch? Why not try these delicious Carrot Cake Donuts! Topped with a cream cheese glaze and a sprinkle of crushed walnuts, these donuts feature all the delicious flavors of the cake you know and love!
You can also use our tasty carrot cake recipe to make these Mini Carrot Cake Cupcakes or this Carrot Pull-Apart Cake, fun for Easter parties or baby showers.
Looking for a few other carrot-shaped desserts? Check out these sweet treat ideas:
What other questions do you have about making the perfect carrot cake? Let us know in the comments below!
The Best Moist Carrot Cake
This recipe makes a fluffy and moist 2-layer carrot cake, complete with fresh carrots, raisins, and a tangy cream cheese frosting.
- Electric Hand Mixer or Stand Mixer
- 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 2 cups Granulated Sugar
- 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 2 teaspoons Baking Soda
- 2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 4 Eggs
- 1 cup Vegetable Oil
- 4 cups Carrots peeled and grated
- 1 cup Raisins optional
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 cup Unsalted Butter softened (2 sticks)
- 2 packages Cream Cheese 8 oz. each, room temperature
- 8 cups Powdered Sugar (confectioners’ sugar)
- 1 tablespoon Milk
- Preheat oven to 350℉. Prepare two 9-inch round cake pans with vegetable pan spray and parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a separate medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat eggs at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy (about 1 to 2 minutes). Add vegetable oil in a thin stream, beating well.
- Add flour mixture to eggs, mixing until combined.
- Stir in carrots and raisins. Divide evenly into prepared pans.
- Bake cakes 35 to 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes, then carefully move onto cooling grid and cool completely before decorating.
- In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
- Gradually add confectioners’ sugar and milk to butter and cream cheese. Beat on high until smooth (about 1 minute).
- If frosting seems too thin, add 1 tablespoon of confectioners’ sugar at a time. If too thick, add 1 teaspoon more of milk at a time until frosting reaches desired consistency.
Storing unfrosted cake: wrap individual cake layers in plastic wrap then place in the fridge for up to 1 week. Storing frosted uncut cake: store in the fridge uncovered for up to 1 week. Storing frosted cut cake: store in the fridge covered with plastic wrap or in a cake caddy for roughly 2-3 days. You can also cover exposed cake with frosting to seal in moisture. The freeze: Wrap unfrosted individual cake layers in plastic wrap then aluminum foil. Frozen cake will last for 2-3 months.
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Would I halve the recipe (cake and frosting, or cake only?) to use the Easy Layers 5 piece cake pan set (planning on not frosting the sides)?
Hi Sheila – We haven’t this recipe with the Easy Layers pan set – so let us know how it turns out! I would recommend cutting the cake recipe in half and start checking for doneness at 18-22 minutes to ensure it doesn’t over bake. Definitely cut the frosting recipe in half as well unless you want extra for later!