Learn how to make the world’s best carrot cake! This recipe is so simple but has the absolute best flavor and perfectly moist texture, piled high with the most heavenly, fluffy and rich cream cheese frosting.
This is IT. Remember how I told you I’d be sharing a full-on totally from scratch yet super simple carrot cake to end your quest for carrot cake perfection? Yeah this is that cake.
This cake is absolute perfection. Three moist layers of the best carrot cake you’ve ever tasted and the best part is that this cake is pretty much foolproof. Very forgiving with no crazy ingredients or tricks, just straightforward easy-to-follow steps and basic ingredients in the perfect balance.
I took this cake to my parents house for a big pre-Easter get together last weekend and it was devoured except for two little slices I snuck away at the beginning of the party to save for my in laws. On the way home we dropped off the cake for my husband’s parents and before I even got the kids in bed, I had a text from my mother in law – the connoisseur of carrot cakes – thanking us for the cake and swearing it was the best she’d ever had (even better than her trusty old recipe she’s been making for years!). I’m pretty obsessed with this cake myself and I am positive you will be too!
What people are saying about the World’s Best Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
“Thank you for this recipe. I made this for a birthday and everyone loved it! So much so, that I have been asked to bake it again and take it on our Caribbean vacation.” – Jean
“Seriously the best carrot cake ever. I made this for Mother’s Day and everyone loved it. I did omit a lot of sugar. I promise the cake was sweet but not overly sweet. Highly recommend this for all your special occasions.” – Nina
“Definitely world’s best carrot cake ever! This is so delicious. I can have it all day long.” – Martin
“Hi, I am stuffing my face with this delicious carrot cake as we speak and just had to pass by to thank you for it in between the bites. 🙂 It’s heavenly light and moist.” – Edward
World's Best Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Learn how to make the world's best carrot cake! This recipe is so simple but has the absolute best flavor and perfectly moist texture, piled high with the most heavenly, fluffy and rich cream cheese frosting.
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/4 cups vegetable or canola oil
- 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 3/4 cups brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 6 large eggs
- 3 cups shredded carrot
- optional: 1/2 cup raisins and/or 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 16 ounces cream cheese (2 8-ounce bricks), softened
- 1 cup butter
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract OR 1 teaspoons vanilla + 2 teaspoons maple extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 cups powdered sugar, or as needed
- chopped pecans for topping, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 9-inch cake pans.
In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In a large bowl cream together oil, applesauce, sugar, and brown sugar. Mix in eggs, one at a time, then stir in carrots. (If adding raisins and/or nuts stir in now).
Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients until there are no more streaks of flour in the batter. Divide between prepared cake pans.
Bake for 35 minutes or until an inserted toothpick into the center comes out clean.
Turn cakes out onto cooling racks and allow to cool.
Prepare the frosting while your cakes cool. In a sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Once completely melted, continue to cook 2-4 minutes longer until the color goes from pale yellow to a dark amber color. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl cream together cream cheese and butter. Mix in vanilla and salt. Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time mixing after each, until frosting is smooth and fluffy.
Assemble cake by spreading frosting on top of all three layers, then spreading around the sides of the cake. Top with chopped pecans if desired and store in airtight container until ready to serve.