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.

Recipe

Prep 20 mins
Cook 25 mins
Total 45 mins
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Ingredients
 
 

For the cake:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup crushed pineapple
  • 1/2 cup oil (vegetable or canola oil)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large carrots , washed and peeled

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

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13'' baking pan and set aside.
  • Shred carrots on large holes of box grater. Gather the shredded carrot into paper towels and squeeze over the sink, to remove excess moisture. Set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl combine the flour, spices, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
  • In a separate large mixing bowl combine the eggs, crushed pineapple, oil, milk, vanilla, and sugar and stir well to combine. Stir in carrots.
  • Stir in the dry ingredients, mixing just until combined. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 40-50 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.

Notes

Adapted from here
Make Ahead Instructions: This cake can be made a few hours ahead of time and kept in the fridge until ready to serve.
Freezing Instructions: This simple carrot cake can be frozen after baking, before frosting. Simply wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then tinfoil and freeze for up to 2 months. Let thaw in the refrigerator before serving.
Variations:
  • Layered Carrot Cake
  • Cupcakes: Line muffin pans with cupcake lines and fill ¾ full with batter. Bake cupcakes for about 18-25 minutes. Makes about 30 cupcakes cupcakes.
  • Pineapple Substitute: The Crushed Pineapple adds a lot of moistness and sweet flavor to the cake, but you could use applesauce as a substitute. 

Nutrition

Calories: 483kcalCarbohydrates: 75gProtein: 5gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 530mgPotassium: 225mgFiber: 2gSugar: 55gVitamin A: 4356IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 76mgIron: 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. | tastesbetterfromscratch.com

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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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  1. This is my new “go-to” cake for taking to potlucks. I can make it the day before. Refrigerate and go. We think it’s better when it’s been in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Then I bring out and leave at room temp for an hour before serving. LOVE it. EASY and DELICIOUS!

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