Ultimate Carrot Cake

Carrot cake, like other desserts can draw some strong opinions. Some people won’t even try it because there is a vegetable inside. Some prefer raisins in their carrot cake (not me), while others like nuts. This is my version of an ultimate carrot cake. It has pecans (my personal favorite), cream cheese frosting and shredded, not grated, carrots.

I much prefer to hang grate the carrots, then picking up some shredded carrots in the store. Taking a few moments to do this, will lend to a more delicate crumb.

I typically make this recipe once a year, on my dads birthday. It is his favorite. And every time I make it, I wonder, why I do not make it more often.

Carrot cake has a rich history that dates back centuries. During the Middle Ages, sugar and sweeteners were scarce, so carrots were used. Carrots provided a natural source of sweetness. Over time, carrots became a staple ingredient in cakes, especially during times of sugar rationing, such as during World War II.

A key characteristic of carrot cake is its moist texture. Grated or shredded carrots add moisture resulting in a soft and tender crumb. The carrots complement the cinnamon, and nutmeg. These warm spices are the perfect compliment to the tangy, cream cheese frosting.

In this recipe, I used a combination of chopped walnuts and pecans! Feel free to omit, although I believe the nutty flavor and additional texture make this the Ultimate Carrot Cake.

The Ultimate Carrot Cake

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 + 1/2 cups coursely chopped pecans or walnuts reserve 1/2 cup for garnish

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz cream cheese room temperature
  • 4 oz unsalted butter room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar sifted
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla extract


For the Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray and line three 6'' cake pans with non stick spray and parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, using a mixer (or stand mixer on medium speed) cream together oil and sugars. Add in the eggs one at a time, until combined. Add in the and vanilla.
  • Add the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix until combined.
    Fold in the carrots and pecans. Divide batter evenly into the three pans and bake for about 40 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • While the cake is baking, mix together butter, cream cheese and powdered sugar. Add in the vanilla and mix on medium speed until light and fluffy. Set aside.
  • Cool cake completly before assembly. Layer the frosting inbetween layers of cake. Garnish with additional pecans or walnuts. Enjoy 🙂
shredded carrots make all the difference 🙂

Make this recipe? I would love to see! Tag me @ Amandas Plate.


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