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Cake server removing a slice of triple-layer carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, with a green plaid cloth below and fresh carrots in the background.
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Prep Time
40 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr 25 mins
Best ever recipe for carrot cake with cream cheese frosting! Moist and light, with just the right amount of spice. Filled and iced with a sweet and tangy frosting, for a classic combination that's perfect for spring!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: carrot cake
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 979 kcal
For the carrot cake layers:
For the cream cheese frosting:
To make the carrot cake layers:
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, mist three 6-inch diameter cake pans* with non-stick spray, and line with circles cut from parchment.

  2. Place the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer, and whip on medium-high speed (scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula occasionally) until pale and very fluffy ( a FULL 5 to 8 minutes).

  3. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, stopping to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula after each addition.
  4. Stir in the vanilla until well-blended.
  5. Stir in the all-purpose flour, cake flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cloves on medium-low speed, until just barely combined (there should still be streaks of flour).

  6. Fold in the carrots, pineapple, and walnuts, and transfer the batter to the prepared pans.
  7. Bake until the cakes feel springy and a toothpick inserted in the thickest part comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs (about 42 to 48 minutes).

  8. Cool for 20 minutes in the pans, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. When completely cool, fill and ice with cream cheese frosting.
To make the cream cheese frosting:
  1. Place the butter, cream cheese, lemon juice, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.

  2. Whip on medium-low speed until smooth.

  3. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula, then add about half the powdered sugar.

  4. Stir in the powdered sugar until combined, then scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl again, and add the remaining powdered sugar and the salt.

  5. Stir together until combined, then turn the mixer up to medium-high speed and whip until the frosting is fluffy and stiff.  (Be careful not to over-whip the cream cheese frosting, or it could become runny.  As soon as the frosting looks stiff, turn off the mixer and use the frosting immediately.)

Recipe Notes

*Can also be made in two 8-inch diameter cake pans, two 9-inch diameter cake pans, one 9x13 rectangular baking dish, or DOUBLE the recipe to make it in a 10- cup bundt pan.  Adjust bake time as needed.

For the cupcake version of this layer cake, click here: Carrot Cake Cupcakes.

For more info on the frosting, click here: The Best Way to Make Cream Cheese Frosting.

Nutrition Facts
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Amount Per Serving
Calories 979 Calories from Fat 459
% Daily Value*
Fat 51g78%
Saturated Fat 28g175%
Cholesterol 184mg61%
Sodium 619mg27%
Potassium 390mg11%
Carbohydrates 127g42%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 104g116%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 6895IU138%
Vitamin C 15.4mg19%
Calcium 144mg14%
Iron 1.4mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.