This Classic Carrot Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Icing is simply the best carrot cake I’ve ever had. Incredibly moist, full of sweet carrot flavor, topped with a smooth and creamy, luscious frosting, and garnished with a candied pecan crunch, it is inarguably a show stopper!
This completely scratch made cake might be the oldest recipe in my repertoire as I’ve been making it since I was eleven with the help of my Dad.
We have made this cake literally DOZENS of times. It has made appearances at birthday parties, holidays, family gatherings, dinner parties, work events, and more. It can even be made as a Carrot Sheet Cake and is as well loved as my German Chocolate Sheet Cake.
This incredibly easy, fail proof, Carrot Cake is a perfect example of simplicity at it’s finest.
It is also a perfect choice for a make ahead dessert as it’s even better the next day!
How to make this Classic Carrot Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Icing
After stirring the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, add the grated/shredded carrots, oil, and eggs.
Beat the mixture with a hand mixer or stand mixer for two minutes.
Pour into greased, round 9″ or 10″ cake pans and bake until a toothpick pulls clean.
How to make Cream Cheese Icing
Cream together softened cream cheese with room temperature butter until it’s smooth.
Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract.
Beat until creamy and spread on the cooled cake layers.
The candied pecans are made by melting sugar and stirring with pecans.
After they cool, they have a delightful caramel, crunchy crackle.
Garnish the cake as desired.
If you love Carrot Cake as much as I do, make sure to try:
- EASY CARROT SHEET CAKE RECIPE FROM SCRATCH
- CHERRY SWIRL CHEESECAKE WITH GRAHAM CRUST
- APPLE CINNAMON SWIRL LOAF
- GERMAN CHOCOLATE SHEET CAKE RECIPE
- BLUEBERRY LEMON SOUR CREAM POUND CAKE
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Classic Carrot Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Icing
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 cups carrots, peeled and shredded approx a pound
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
Cream Cheese Icing
- 16 ounces cream cheese – softened slightly
- 8 ounces butter – room temperature
- 3/4 cup powdered confectioners sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 3/4 cup pecan halves or pieces
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Grease two (2) 9" or 10" round cake pans.
- Stir or whisk the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the carrots, oil, and eggs to the dry ingredients.
- Beat on medium-high for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl upon occasion.
- Pour equal amounts of the batter into the round cake pans and bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Cream Cheese Icing
- Cream together the softened cream cheese and the room temperature butter until it is smooth and creamy.
- Add the powdered sugar in several batches and continue to beat until it is well combined.
- Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts.
- Spread the Icing as desired on the cakes after they are completely cooled.
- Place a small skillet or small sauce pan on medium heat with 2 tablespoons of regular granulated sugar in the bottom and let it sit. Wait until you see the sugar granules melt and begin to turn caramel color.
- When all of the sugar granules have turned to liquid, stir in the pecans.
- Immediately remove the sugar coated pecans from the heat and pour them onto a piece of foil sprayed with non-stick spray.
- The pecans burn easily. Make sure they are taken off the heat and poured out immediately after being stirred into the liquified sugar.
- After the pecans harden, break or chop into pieces before using to garnish the Icing on the cake.
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