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This is the best carrot cake with cream cheese frosting you’ll ever make. This moist and flavourful carrot cake, filled with warm spices and crunchy pecans, is perfectly complemented by a rich, tangy cream cheese frosting. Ideal for celebrations or a sweet treat any day of the week.

If you’re a fan of classic desserts with a twist, you’re going to love this carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. Carrot cake is one of those timeless recipes that never goes out of style. Its moist texture, the combination of warm spices, and the crunch of pecans make it a hit at any gathering. Plus, the addition of a luscious cream cheese frosting takes it to a whole new level of deliciousness.

You might think that carrot cake is the ultimate autumn or winter recipe. However, my Fussy Eater decided that this dessert is not seasonal. He asked me to make this cake just a week ago saying that he had a massive craving for it. And apparently… even if it’s +25 degrees outside this carrot cake with cream cheese frosting can be a wonderful summer treat.

What makes this carrot cake stand out is its balance of flavours. The sweetness of the carrots pairs beautifully with the earthy notes of cinnamon and nutmeg, while the pecans add a delightful crunch. The cream cheese frosting adds a tangy, creamy layer that complements the cake perfectly. Whether you’re baking for a special occasion or just craving a comforting slice of cake, this recipe is sure to impress.

Tips for Making the Best Carrot Cake

Making a perfect carrot cake involves a few key tips and tricks that can take your cake from good to amazing. Here are some helpful tips to ensure your carrot cake turns out perfectly every time:

  • Use Fresh Carrots: Grate your carrots fresh for the best flavour and texture.
  • Measure Accurately: Baking is a science, so be sure to measure your ingredients accurately. Use a kitchen scale for the most precise measurements, especially for the flour and sugars.
  • Don’t Overmix: Once you add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, mix until just combined. Overmixing can lead to a dense cake.
  • Room Temperature Ingredients: Ensure your eggs are at room temperature before mixing. This helps them incorporate more smoothly into the batter.
  • Oil for Moisture: Using oil instead of butter keeps the cake moist. Vegetable oil works well, but you can experiment with other oils like canola or coconut oil (however don’t use olive oil because it has very strong taste).
  • Cool Completely: Make sure your cakes are completely cool before frosting. A warm cake can cause the frosting to melt and slide off.
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting: Ingredients

To ensure the best possible result, each ingredient has a special place in this recipe. Here is the full ingredients list:

  • Brown sugar adds a deep, molasses-like sweetness that complements the spices.
  • Caster sugar provides balanced sweetness and helps achieve a light texture.
  • Vanilla sugar enhances the overall flavour with a hint of vanilla.
  • Vegetable oil keeps the cake moist and tender.
  • Eggs provide structure and richness to the cake.
  • Plain flour forms the base of the cake’s structure.
  • Baking powder helps the cake rise and become fluffy.
  • Cinnamon adds warmth and depth of flavour.
  • Nutmeg enhances the spiciness with its sweet, nutty aroma.
  • Carrots add moisture, sweetness, and a subtle earthy flavour.
  • Pecans contribute a delightful crunch and a nutty taste.
  • Cream cheese provides a rich, tangy base for the frosting.
  • Icing sugar sweetens the frosting and gives it a smooth texture.
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting: Recipe Substitutions

If you need to adjust the recipe based on what you have available or personal preferences, don’t worry! Here are some simple substitutions that will keep the flavours vibrant and delicious while accommodating your pantry and taste.

  • Sugar: If you don’t have brown sugar, you can use all caster sugar, but the depth of flavour will be slightly different.
  • Oil: Substitute vegetable oil with melted coconut oil or canola oil for a slightly different flavour profile.
  • Nuts: If pecans aren’t available, walnuts make an excellent alternative, providing a similar texture and taste.
  • Spices: Feel free to adjust the spice levels to your taste. If you like a spicier cake, add a pinch of ground ginger or cloves.
  • Cream Cheese: For a lighter frosting, you can use low-fat cream cheese, though the texture will be less rich.

If you’re looking for delicious cakes, give these recipes a go:

Burnt Basque Cheesecake
Apple Cake with Custard Frosting
Chocolate Cake with Coffee Cream
No-Bake Mango Cheesecake
Pear Cake with Custard Layer



100g brown sugar
100g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
250ml vegetable oil
4 eggs
250g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
250g carrots
200g pecans

Cream Cheese Frosting:
500g cream cheese
80g icing sugar


Make the sponge:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Line two cake forms with baking paper (I used these tins).
  2. Mix together brown sugar, caster sugar, vanilla sugar, vegetable oil and eggs.
  3. In a new bowl mix the dry ingredients: plain flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  4. Finely grate the carrots and chop the pecans.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Fold the ingredients together until combined.
  6. Add the carrots and pecans. Mix everything until the ingredients are combined.
  7. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes.

Make the cream cheese frosting:

  1. Whisk the cream cheese until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add the sugar and beat until smooth.

Assemble the cake:

  1. Make sure that your sponges are complexly cooled down before assembling.
  2. Place the first cake layer on a cake stand.  Add half of your frosting on top.
  3. Top the second sponge layer and top it up with the remaining frosting. Spread the frosting evenly on top and the sides.
  4. Decorate the cake with chopped pecans or mint leaves.
  5. Leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving it.