Classic Carrot Cake

Classic Carrot Cake

We love cake at our house! We love spice cakes at our house! In fact, my husband Joel often requests carrot cake for his birthday treat. Over the years, we’ve tried a number of recipes, but we keep coming back to this recipe, so I decided to make a few changes to take our favorite recipe from great to amazing!!

This classic carrot cake recipe has incredible flavor, texture, and the frosting is the perfect marriage. I am NOT typically a fan of frosting. It often detracts from the dessert it is paired with & is almost always much too sweet for me. Maybe I’m a party pooper but I’ve felt this way for as long as I can remember!

Have you tried coconut oil yet? You may notice that I replaced the fat with coconut oil. Coconut oil is my new favorite fat to add to cakes! It doesn’t leave the cake feeling oily & a good coconut oil is much better for your body than vegetable or canola oil. If you’re not sure about the flavor of coconut, I promise that you will not taste it this recipe. Coconut oil creates a less crumbly cake with a texture that is more dense. Your cake will remain very moist, but keep it mind that coconut oil becomes solid at cooler temperatures so for a softer cake, allow your finished cake to sit at room temperature for may hours or overnight. Added bonus is that the spices in this cake will meld & become even better as it sits on the counter for a day or two.

Coconut oil can now be found at all grocery stores including Sam’s Club & Costco. It is a little easier to use coconut oil in the summer months because it stays in liquid form in my pantry. When my kitchen is cooler during the winter moths, I first measure out the amount I think I will need and then melt it in a glass measuring cup. Once the oil is melted, I can easily see if I have a little too much oil (which I can just pour back into the container) or if I need to add a little more. Keeping your other ingredients (like eggs, milk, etc) at room temperature will help ensure that your coconut oil does not return to a solid state while you’re mixing ingredients together.

Classic Carrot Cake

The only carrot cake recipe you’ll ever need!
Cook Time 35 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12


Carrot Cake

  • 1 ¾ cups All-Purpose Flour Kamut flour is a great option but use scant cups.
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice or other desired spices like nutmeg, ginger, allspice, &/or more cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Pink Salt
  • 4 Large Eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar I prefer dark!
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 4 cups Grated Carrots approximately 1 pound
  • 1 cup Walnuts OR Pecans
  • 1 cup Shredded Coconut I prefer unsweetened.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 12 oz Full-Fat Cream Cheese at room temperature
  • ½ cup Unsalted Butter at room temperature
  • ½ cup Full-Fat Sour Cream Try Daisy!
  • ½ cup Powdered Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Brown Sugar Try dark!
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • tsp Pink Salt

Optional Toppings

  • Shredded Coconut
  • Edible Flowers
  • Coarsely Chopped Walnuts or Pecans


Carrot Cake

  • Make the carrot cake. Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter or grease two 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of both pans with parchment or waxed paper; grease paper.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs until frothy. Gradually beat in both sugars. Beat in the oil and vanilla until thoroughly combined.
  • On a low speed, or by hand, beat in the flour mixture in two additions until there is no dry flour. By hand, mix in the carrots, nuts, and coconut.
  • Pour the batter in to the prepared pans ensuring that the batter, carrots, nuts, and coconut are evenly distributed between the two pans.
  • Bake the layers for approximately 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans on wire racks for 15 minutes. Remove the layers from the pans, and removed the parchment paper, then set them on wire racks to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Make the cream cheese frosting. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together for 3-4 minutes, until light and fluffy. Beat in the remaining frosting ingredients.

Assembling the Cake

  • Place one layer of cake on a serving plate or cake stand and spread a layer of frosting over the top. Place the second layer of cake on top and frost the top (and sides, if desired).
  • If covered {a glass cake dome if preferable since it will not touch the frosting}, this cake will store nicely at room temperature for 2-3 days. You can also store if in the fridge. Experiment by eating the cake at room temperature and straight out of the fridge to see how you like it best. I personally like it best at room temperature 24+ hours after it was baked and assembled.

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