This family carrot cake recipe is without a doubt the best carrot cake I’ve ever had. It’s moist, slightly spiced, loaded with carrots, and topped with a tangy cream cheese frosting. Basically, it’s the best thing you’ll ever eat.

Do you love carrot cake as much as I do? Check out my Carrot Cake Banana Bread or my Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies!

slice of the best carrot cake

Carrot Cake

If I could put money on a cake, it would be this one. The Triple Crown of cakes. Many claim that their carrot cake recipe is the best, but I guarantee that with one bite of this one you’ll never look at another carrot cake the same way again.

My mom has been making this cake for years. I’ve quite literally grown up on this cake. It NOURISHED me. My sister requests it every year for her birthday, and we make it about once every season because we just can’t get enough. 

the best carrot cake recipe with thick cream cheese frosting

What makes this carrot cake so special?

It’s no ordinary carrot cake by anyone’s standards. It is loaded with shredded carrots, pineapple, raisins, coconut, and cinnamon; an orchestra of flavors that explode in your mouth. It’s light and fluffy, but dense at the same time. And it’s paired with the most magnificent cream cheese frosting that brings out each and every flavor even more so.

One thing that most carrot cake recipes miss out on is the balance between the warmer spice flavors like cinnamon with more acidic flavors like pineapple. But when you mix them altogether? It’s pure bliss.

homemade carrot cake with a slice taken out

What makes this carrot cake THE BEST?

A few things make this carrot cake recipe the best of all time, and we’ll break them down right here so you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into before you make this crazy good layer cake:

  • Sweetened coconut flakes: The addition of coconut flakes really helps to bring out the tropical flavors in the pineapple. It’s not overwhelming at all, and adds a wonderful layer of complexity to the flavor of this cake
  • Sugar: The high sugar content makes this cake supremely soft and fluffy. Because let’s face it: if you’re going to eat a cake, this isn’t the time to skimp on sugar. It’s worth it to have a little more when it means it creates the most tender crumb ever
  • Vegetable oil: Using vegetable oil instead of butter keeps the carrot cake EXTRA moist. So moist that it keeps for 5 days in the fridge without getting dry. Amazing, right?
  • Keeping the carrots, moisture and all: do NOT squeeze the moisture out of your shredded carrots. Lots of recipes call for draining excess moisture from your carrot cake, but that instantly takes away the moistness of this cake. Carrots do have a lot of moisture, but you want those in your cake to keep it the moistest it can be!
  • It’s easy as pie… or, erm, cake: Seriously, it’s the easiest cake I know. Mix together the wet ingredients, fold in the dry, and you’re donezo. No creaming butter, no back and forth folding of flour and milk, just mix it all together and plop it into the oven at 350°F

the best carrot cake

Tips for making this carrot cake recipe

As I’ve already established, this is the best carrot cake recipe because it’s, 1) super easy to make and, 2) mega delicious. However, there are a few things you have to do to ensure that your cake is the best ever.

  1. Make sure you’re using crushed pineapple in 100% pineapple juice: Not chunks, rings, or pineapples in heavy syrup. You want crushed pineapple, and you want to drain it WELL before you add it to the cake batter. I usually separate the lid from the can, then press the lid against the pineapples still inside the can. Flip it over in a sink and allow the juices to drain while you squeeze hard. Just be careful with the metal lid!
  2. Sweetened coconut is a must. This carrot cake recipe is not the time or place to be healthy. The sweetened coconut really rounds out this cake, plus it’s usually easier to find the grocery store!  That being said, if you’re watching your sugar intake, this cake is still delicious with less sugar!
  3. Your eggs need to be at room temperature before you make this cake. This will help your carrot cake bake evenly in the oven and make it—as I’ve said before—the best ever. If you’re looking to make your eggs room temperature right away, place them in a bowl with hot water and let them sit for 5 minutes. Easy peasy!
  4. Allow the cake layers to cool completely before adding the cream cheese frosting: If you frost the cake while it’s still warm, the frosting will run all over the place (which would be a crying shame). I know it’s hard to be patient, but you’ve GOTTA

carrot cake frosted with cream cheese frosting

How to store the best carrot cake ever?

This carrot cake should be refrigerated after making because of the cream cheese frosting. If you have a sealed cake dome or cake carrier use that to keep it as fresh as possible. Otherwise, just tightly wrap it in tinfoil or plastic wrap and pop it in the fridge. This cake will keep well in the fridge for up to 7 days (although I guarantee it would NEVER last that long).

Looking to prep ahead?

You can make the cake layer in advance, turn them out of the pan and allow the carrot cake to cool completely. Once the carrot cake is cooled, wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. Next time you want carrot cake, simply whip up the cream cheese frosting and use the frozen cakes as you would a fresh cake!

the best carrot cake recipe

Argh I’m so excited for you all to try this ridiculously good cake too! I just KNOW you’re going to love this recipe for the best carrot cake ever just as much as I do!

Happy baking!

XX

Print

The Best Carrot Cake Recipe

slice of the best carrot cake

Loaded with carrots, pineapple, coconut, raisins, and cinnamon, one bite and you’ll agree: this is the best carrot cake recipe in the world!

  • Author: Sarah Fennel & Katharine Canfield
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 16 servings 1x
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: baked
  • Cuisine: american
Scale

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 8 oz crushed pineapple, drained
  • 3/4 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the frosting

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 5 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour three 8 inch cake pans and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the carrots, pineapple, coconut, raisins, sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet, stirring until well combined.
  3. Evenly pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 25 minutes, then allow to cool completely before frosting.
  4. To make the frosting, whip the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add in the vanilla extract, salt, and powdered sugar and whip to combine, about 2 minutes more.
  5. Place the first cake on a plate, then top with 1/3 of the frosting. Layer the second and third layers, frosting in between each. Be freeform with it, using a flat knife to even the top of each layer. If you’d like, decorate the top with edible flowers! Then make sure you have friends with you when you eat it, or else you’ll go nuts. 🙂

Keywords: carrot cake recipe, the best carrot cake, carrot cake

More easy cake recipes from Broma Bakery:

Giant Pull Apart Strawberry Shortcake Cake

Strawberry Almond Tea Cake

Super Fudgy Chocolate Mocha Cake

One-Bowl Lemon Cake with Coconut Cream Icing

30-Minute Red Velvet Cake for Two

best carrot cake recipe

96 comments

Bridget
Reply

I’ve searched several recipes for carrot cake. I found this one and thought it sounded the best, so I’m making it for Easter/Dad’s 75th!! The only thing is I did add black walnuts and used two 9″ pans. I also toasted some coconut and walnuts to sprinkle on top. Can’t wait to try it tomorrow ???

Charlotte
Reply

Hello from the Philippines! I was just wondering if shredded also meant dessicated coconut? or is it fresh coconut? Thank you! I’m an absolute fan of yours 🙂

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Hi Charlotte! Thank you so much for being a fan!! As long as your dessicated coconut is in fine, thin shreds, that will work! If it’s thicker, you can put it in a food processor to thin it out 🙂

Veronica
Reply

Hi Sarah,
I am super excited to make this cake for a baby shower next week. Would the cake be okay if I froze it for about week? Also, I need to make it for about 35 people. Should I double the recipe or would this be enough for that size? Thank you!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

I wouldn’t freeze it for a week. Yes, for 35 people I would most definitely double it– make two cakes!

Frank Vincent
Reply

Believe this or not,,,this was the first Cake i have ever baked !!!! I am a 65 year old male. Retired Firefighter, so i am at ease in a kitchen, I eat NO deserts of any kind, Except,,,Carrot Cake, which i consider myself to be a connoisseur. I have had the “Best” of everyones. This cake is the Best !! I made this cake, which i considered very easy,,follow the directions, i added one cup of crushed pecans, and it turned out fabulous,,the taste was incredibely good. I shared the cake at a dinner party last night of 10 people and the decision was more than unanimous,,,greatest they had ever had. Everyone thought i was the biggest liar in town, doubting me as to ME baking it. I had to swear on my apron.

Vienna
Reply

How many muffins will you get from this recipe??

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

I’m not sure, but I would think about 12 huge muffins or 16 regular.

Jeannine
Reply

This looks amazing, as do all of your recipes! I’m hoping to make it for my friend’s birthday next weekend, but she isn’t a big fan of raisins. Do you think omitting them will affect the taste/texture too much, or should something be added to substitute them? Thanks! 🙂

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

No, you can omit them entirely with no issues 🙂

Maralyn Jenkins
Reply

I made this tonight and added walnuts. It was a hit. Loved it a d it was not hard to fix

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Happy to hear you liked it 🙂

Jose L. Marzan
Reply

Look no further, this is the best carrot cake recipe. I’ve been craving for a cake like this as it reminds me of a cake my mom’s Aunt made when I was little and this is the only recipe I can compare. Love it and I’m sure you will!

Angelina
Reply

Can I bake this in a bundt pan? If so, for how long should I bake it? Sounds incredibly delicious!

Sofi | Broma Bakery
Reply

I’ve never tried too but I would definitely make sure you butter and flour your pan because this recipe has a tendency to stick to pans as it’s super moist! It would probably need at least 30 minutes in the oven, but I would check on it every ten minutes and take it out when a knife inserted comes out clean!

Suzanne
Reply

This looks like my own mother’s recipies for carrot cake. It tastes amazing and I’m getting ready to make it again.

Sofi | Broma Bakery
Reply

How do all mom’s have the best recipes? Hope you enjoy this carrot cake!

Jess K
Reply

I’ve made a similar carrot cake (called Hummingbird) with pineapple and it’s easily one of my favorite cakes EVER. Can’t wait to try this, may have to whip it out for Easter. Pinned!

Sofi | Broma Bakery
Reply

Hope you enjoy this tasty cake this Easter. Might I recommend taste testing it before Easter…? hehehe

Kelly
Reply

Hi Sarah,

My dad is a fan of carrot cake and I wanted to make it for his 80th. However he is finicky with things getting stuck into his teeth. If I took out the coconut will it need to be substituted with more flour or just left out?
Thanks heaps

Sofi | Broma Bakery
Reply

Hey Kelly! You can just omit the coconut 🙂

Joan
Reply

ok I am in
did not know Rebecca and I and your mom share the favorite cake!

Ash
Reply

I’m considering halving the recipe and making it using something along the lines of a 5 inch pan. Do you reckon that would work? Maybe settle with only 15 minutes of baking time?

Sofi | Broma Bakery
Reply

Hey Ash! We’ve never tried it but i think it would! I’m not positive what the bake time would be, but probably close to 15 minutes like you suggested. Just keep an eye on it and take it out when it’s golden brown and a toothpick comes out mostly clean!

Katherine
Reply

Yum making again Friday for my birthday!
Why does recipe call for 3 cake pans but photos only show 2 layers??

Sofi | Broma Bakery
Reply

Hi Katherine! Totally your preference on how you divide out your batter. We used two for two thick layers, but you could always do three slightly thinner layers!

janet wappel
Reply

Just wondered if I could omit the pineapple & substitute something else for it? I love it but I have a lot of picky eaters here who don’t like it. Thank you!

Sofi | Broma Bakery
Reply

Totally understand! You could sub it out for more carrots!

Val
Reply

Could I sub grated apple for the pineapple. We allergies to pineapple

Sofi | Broma Bakery
Reply

Yes definitely!

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