Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Our apartment flood disaster is nowhere near over. But they did remove the fans and dehumidifiers on Thursday, so we were able to start using a few rooms again. The kitchen was one of them!

To celebrate, I volunteered to bake a birthday cake for one of our friends. The partygoers devoured most of it before I thought to take photos. So this morning-after snapshot will have to do. Can you see the dense, rich texture? Can you taste the cream-cheesy goodness?


Dan and I shared the final piece for breakfast Sunday morning. Let me tell you, it’s just as awesome with coffee and eggs as it is with vanilla ice cream.


My family always saved this cake for special occasions because grating the carrots was such an arduous task. The last time I made it was for Dan’s birthday in November. But now that I have a food processor, it only took a few minutes!

It’s a very simple carrot cake — no nuts, pineapple, coconut, or multiple spices. It gets all of its lush flavor from the freshly grated carrots, cinnamon, and tangy-sweet frosting. Like magic, it tastes even better the second and third day as the flavors mingle. But if you can let it sit that long, you have a stronger will than I.

Carrot Cake Recipe


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2-3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 3/4 cup applesauce (preferably unsweetened)
  • 3 cups grated carrots (about 4 very large carrots)
  • 4 eggs

Preheat oven to 350F. Prep a 9×13″ pan (see notes for other size options) with grease & flour or baking spray. In mixing bowl, add all ingredients together except eggs. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour batter into pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Ice when cool.


  • 1 lb. powdered sugar
  • 1 8-oz. package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 stick (4 Tbsp) butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Combine ingredients & beat until of spreading consistency.

Recipe Notes

  • The applesauce is my substitution to make it a bit healthier — the original recipe calls for a whopping 1.5 cups oil.
  • For a layer cake, use three 8″ round cake pans and bake approx. 35 minutes.
  • For cupcakes, bake 20-25 minutes.
  • The frosting recipe makes enough to ice a layer cake, so it’s too much for a 9×13 pan (even for a frosting fanatic like me). My family likes to spread the leftover frosting on graham crackers and eat right away or freeze for a later treat.

2 thoughts on “Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. aw, nuts. only you can make me want to eat my vegetables. carrot cake is a vegetable, right? grandma and I used to make freezer icing graham sandwiches too :)

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