Carrot cake

Carrot Cake Recipe With Cream Cheese Frosting

This delicious homemade cake, very easy to make, will surprise you with its spongy texture and its sweet cream cheese frosting.

The homemade elaboration of cakes and desserts is much healthier, as we can choose fresh and natural ingredients, and get by without additives, preservatives and high levels of sugar that processed alternatives contain. An easy recipe that is always a success because of its sponginess and sweetness is carrot cake. In this article, we show you how to make a carrot cake with a delicious cream cheese frosting.  

Carrot cake history

It is said that modern carrot cake dates back to the Middle Ages. Specifically, they are said to come from the carrot puddings that wealthy people had at their banquets. During the Middle Ages, both sugar and other sweeteners were difficult to obtain, or they were extremely expensive, so as carrots have a sweet taste, they began to use carrots as an ingredient that sweetened recipes. 


Throughout history,  the recipe for carrot cake has been modified and adjusted to the tastes and products available at each time, until we get to the current recipe. One of the advantages of this cake is that it is very adaptable and can be made either plain or with flavor frostings or toppings of fruit or nuts.




The following ingredients are used to make a ten portions cake. As we are going to show you how to elaborate the cake and the frosting, the ingredients that you need to make a homemade carrot cake are:


  • 250 gr of all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda

  • 1 ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon of ground ginger

  • ¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg

  • ½ teaspoon of salt

  • ¾ cup of vegetable oil

  • 4 ambient temperature eggs

  • 300 gr of brown sugar

  • 100 gr of white sugar

  • 100 gr of sugar-free apple puree

  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

  • 300 gr of grated carrots


On the other hand, to make the cream cheese frosting  that will cover our cake you need:


  • 250 gr (a packet) of cream cheese, beaten and softened at an ambient temperature

  • 115 gr unsalted butter, softened at an ambient temperature

  • 240 gr of white sugar powder

  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract


Easy carrot cake recipe

One of the main advantages of this cake is that it's straightforward to make and you can have it ready to eat in a few hours (the estimated preparation time is 2 hours). 


1. Preheat the oven

The first step before starting to cook consists in preheating the oven at 180ºC. Spray two round molds of about 20 cm diameter with non-stick cooking spray. As alternatives to this spray, you can also impregnate the mold with butter or cover the bottom of it with waxed baking paper.


2. Mix the dry ingredients

In a large bowl, mix the flour, the baking soda, the cinnamon, the ginger, the nutmeg, and the salt. Stir it all up until it's well mixed and save it for later.


3. Mix the wet ingredients

In a second big bowl, mix the oil, the eggs, the brown sugar, the white sugar, the apple puree, and the vanilla extract until it becomes a uniform paste. Then, add the grated carrots and mix it all up until they are well combined.


4. Beat all the ingredients

Put the wet mixture together with the ingredients from the first bowl and beat it with a beater or a rubber spatula until they are well mixed. It is recommended not to beat the mixture excessively.


5. Bake

Finally, pour the batter evenly into the two molds. Bake it at 180º C for 30-35 minutes. You will know that the cake is ready when you insert a toothpick or the end of a knife into it and it comes out completely clean.


6. Remove from the mold

After this time, remove from the oven and let it cool in the molds for 20-25 minutes. Once the cakes have cooled down, take them out of the mold and place them on a grid so that they finish cooling down.

Cream cheese
Cream cheese frosting goes perfectly with carrot cake | Getty Images

How to make the frosting

As we previously said, the carrot cake can be cooked plain or with some frosting or nuts on top of it. In this case, we have chosen a homemade cream cheese frosting, which goes perfectly with this spongy cake. Also, when you realize how easy it is to make a carrot cake, you won't be able to stop making it. In a big bowl, beat the cream cheese until it has a smooth texture. Then, add the butter and mix it until it becomes a uniform dough and without lumps.


Add the white sugar powder and the pure vanilla extract and continue mixing until it is thoroughly combined. The cream cheese frosting is ready for your cake! Finally, cover one of the cakes with a little more than half a cup of frosting and smooth it with a spatula until you get a single layer. Place the other cake on top and use the remaining glaze to cover the top and sides of the cake. If you feel like it, you can decorate the glaze with orange zest and nuts to give it a final touch.


Final tips

To improve even more your homemade cake, add walnuts, almonds or chopped raisins to the cake dough to increase the consistency and sweetness of the cake. We suggest using ¾ -1 cup of nuts for the mixture.  Also, when measuring flour, we recommend not taking it out of the container with the measuring cup. Instead, stir the flour, cover the measuring cup and level with the back of a knife.


  • This article about "Carrot Cake" was originally published in Spanish in Viviendo La Salud