This classic, no-nonsense carrot cake recipe is The BEST! Perfectly light and moist with a light, whipped cream cheese frosting.
Carrot cake whipped cream cheese frosting on a white plate.
Carrot cake is my favorite cake!  Years ago I shared my “birthday” version carrot cake that includes all of the add-ins, like raisins, pineapple and nuts. It makes a great three-layer “fancy” cake for a special occasion.
A 9x13 cake pan with carrot cake covered in cream cheese frosting and a few pieces missing.
But this year, especially for the Easter season, I wanted to share a classic, no-nonsense carrot cake recipe. I LOVE this super simple, delicious version. It’s made in a 9×13” pan (can’t get easier than that!) and has all of the delicious spice and sweetness you love from a carrot cake, without the raisins and nuts. (But feel free to garnish the top of the cake with chopped pecans, if you’re into that kind of thing!)
Whipped cream frosting being spread on a carrot cake.
This cake is just PERFECT. It’s light and moist, thanks in part to the addition of crushed pineapple–YUM. Whether you think you like carrot cake or not, this recipe is impossible not to love.
 This classic, no-nonsense carrot cake recipe is The BEST! Perfectly light and moist with a light, whipped cream cheese frosting. | Tastes Better From Scratch
Everything about it is light and dreamy, including the soft whipped cream cheese frosting that basically melts in your mouth.


Prep 20 mins
Cook 25 mins
Total 45 mins
Add to Meal Plan


For the cake:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple
  • 1/3 cup oil (vegetable or canola oil)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 large carrots ,washed, ends trimmed, shredded (about ¾ lb carrots)

For the Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1/4 cup butter , room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese , softened
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13'' baking pan and set aside.
  • Shred carrots. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the eggs, crushed pineapple, oil, water, vanilla, and sugar and stir well to combine. 
  • In another small mixing bowl combine the flour, spices, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients and carrots to the wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Don't over-mix. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 22-27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs. 
  • Cool cake completely before frosting.
  • For the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until smooth. In a separate bowl beat the whipped cream until stiff peaks. Spoon the whipped cream into the frosting and gently fold in to combine. Frost cake and refrigerate until ready to serve.


Adapted from here


Calories: 414kcalCarbohydrates: 63gProtein: 4gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 381mgPotassium: 188mgFiber: 1gSugar: 47gVitamin A: 4410IUVitamin C: 3.6mgCalcium: 52mgIron: 1.2mg

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This classic, no-nonsense carrot cake recipe is The BEST! Perfectly light and moist with a light, whipped cream cheese frosting. |

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Espero que cuando la haga, sea tan húmeda que cuando la comí por primera vez, no he encontrado una receta que sea muy húmeda. Gracias

    1. Yes, you can definitely make cupcakes, they will just cook much faster.
      Check them around 15 minutes. Be sure to fill cupcakes tins 3/4 full.

  2. 5 stars
    Made this for my Sons birthday he loved it!
    My husband said it was phenomenal. The frosting is one of the best I have ever had and the heavy cream made it so light and fluffy. Thanks for a great recipe.

  3. 5 stars
    Wow! This cake was so moist and flavorful; it’s one of the best carrot cakes I have ever had. I did not have cream, but the frosting still came out perfectly light and sweet. I did scale back the sugar a bit because I used pineapple juice as the water component. I was worried it might tweak with the texture a bit, but the cake has the perfect texure. It’s about 1 1/2 inches tall in my 9 x 13 pan. Thanks, Lauren; my family loves your recipes!

  4. Want to give this recipe a try since you got such great reviews. Any suggestions on how to incorporate nuts into the recipe?

  5. My kids don’t really like all the extras in carrot cake, if I leave out the pineapple with it mess up the texture of the cake?

    1. I’d replace it with applesauce (although you really wont be able to notice the pineapple in the texture at all, other than it making the cake moist.).

  6. I just baked your Banana Bread Brownies recipe, fresh out of the oven and they smell & look amazing! Can’t wait to try them. I also made your whipped cream cheese frosting & only used 1 1/3 c powdered sugar & this recipe is equally amazing and simple. I plan to use this frosting recipe as a side for the brownies for those who wish to frost their portion. The frosting is very light and fluffy and just sweet enough. Thank you so much for sharing your amazing recipes from scratch . . . the best way to go in my opinion.