This Carrot Cake recipe starts with a spice cake mix and ends in pure delight. We use real carrots in our carrot cake and finish with a delicious cream cheese icing!
Carrot cake is so delicious and just screams “Spring is here! Hurrah!” This ridiculously simple carrot cake recipe uses a box of spice cake mix and fresh carrots to create magic. It was inspired by our super yummy and super popular Orange Cake!
Are carrots really in carrot cake?
Yes, carrots are really in carrot cake! We use a whole two cups of shredded carrot in our yummy carrot cake recipe. The carrots add a delicious sweetness and tons of moisture. No, it doesn’t make the cake taste like roasted carrots. I promise.
Is carrot cake good for you?
Carrot cake is better for you than cake without carrots. But, I don’t know that I would call it a diet plan. Carrot cake is after all cake – made with flour, sugar, butter, and all that other yummy stuff. But you could definitely argue that it’s high in beta carotene and full of fiber!
How do you grate carrots for carrot cake?
We used our blender to grate the carrots for our carrot cake – you could also use a food processor or a hand grater. It’s important though, if you use a hand grater, to make sure you’re grating on the finest setting.
The goal with the carrot is to impart sweetness, a little bit of texture, and lots of moisture. What we don’t want to do is find big chunks of carrot in our cake. I do like to do a few long ribbons to decorate the top of the cake. A potato peeler works great for this.
Carrot Cake Variations
This carrot cake recipe is easy and perfectly delicious as-is, but some folks like extras in there. If you try some of these add-ins, make sure to let us know in the comments!
- Extra cinnamon – What’s better than one teaspoon of cinnamon – how about two!
- Crushed pineapple – I didn’t even know carrot cake with pineapple was a thing until we did the show and a bunch of folks mentioned it. But I’m sure it’s super delicious and makes for an uber moist cake! If I added a can of crushed pineapple, I would skip the milk.
- Raisins – We have definitely added raisins to our carrot cake before. What is it about the combination of carrots and raisins that is so delicious? Mmmmmm.
- Chopped walnuts – I am personally a big fan of walnuts in my carrot cake, but my kids don’t like it, so we skip the walnuts. If I was making these as a cupcake though, I might add them to half the batter!
More Like Carrot Cake
- Easy Cinnamon Mug Cake – For when you want cake, but just for yourself. And super quick. Make a mug of this cinnamon cake, and a mug of coffee, and you’re all set.
- Simple Pumpkin Spice Cake – My cake hating husband can’t help but love this one. It’s dense and moist and spiced and super fantastic. I like to put a layer of powdered sugar glaze over top.
- Apple Cider Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting – The secret to this cake is apple cider drink packets! You guys, it’s really good. And that frosting. Mmmm. Mmmmm. Mmmmm.
- Hummingbird Cake – Hummingbird Cake is a dense and moist southern cake flavored with bananas, pineapple, and cinnamon and covered in a rich cream cheese frosting topped with toasted pecans.
- Sweet Potato Cake – A delicious classic!
- How to Make a Cookie Cake – Hands down, my husband’s favorite cake. It’s what he requests for his birthday every single year. (And we’ve been together a whole lot of years). It kills me when I see folks spending so much money on cookie cakes from the mall when they’re so easy to make at home!
Tools for making Carrot Cake
- Twin Pack Round Cake Pan, 8-Inch – Standard fare for making a two layer cake! Also good for small batch casseroles and cinnamon buns!
- 1M Open Star Piping Tip – This is my favorite piping tip and the one we use to make the rosettes on the side of our orange cake.
- Porcelain Round Cake Stand – What does a beautiful cake need? Well a pretty white cake stand to show off on!
- Tall Cake Dome – There’s nothing worse than finishing a gorgeous layered cake and then having to way to protect it. This tall cake dome fixes all that. And I love that it’s clear so you can still see your cake.
How to Make Carrot Cake
- 1 box spice cake mix
- 1 stick of butter softened
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 2 cups finely shredded carrot we used the blender/food processor
- cream cheese icing
- Combine all ingredients except icing in a large bowl, beat with an electric mixer about 2 minutes until fully incorporated and batter has lightened in color about one shade.
- Pour into greased cake pans (we used two 9 inch rounds), and bake at 350 degrees until done (25 minutes for us). Check by inserting a toothpick in the middle, it’s done if the toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow to cool completely, then ice. We used this cream cheese icing recipe.