carrot cake with maple-cream cheese frosting

After months and months and months of the kind studying, stressing and panicked all-nighters I only vaguely remember from college in part because I am very, very old and in part because, no, I did not graduate with a 4.0, my friend Alice finally took her very big exam this past weekend. In an effort to compensate for the dozens of parties and outings and merriment she’s missed since the summer, her fiance had a surprise party (and a clean loft, swoon) waiting for her when she got home.

grating carrotssoft bed of grated carrotsdry ingredientsso very very orange batter

Me? I made cupcakes, carrot cupcakes to be specific because carrot cake is Alice’s favorite. But do you know what I have come to realize about people who say their favorite cake is carrot cake? It’s really the cream cheese frosting (and perhaps the orange and green carrots eloquently piped on top) that they love. Or at least that’s the case with Alex.

freshly bakedcarrot cupcakes

Nevertheless, I actually have a killer recipe for carrot cake and hadn’t used it in years, which means that you haven’t been privy to it yet, and that’s not fair, is it? So without further ado, here’s the carrot cake I always fall back on. It’s incredibly moist and light and forgiving whether you make it with or without nuts and raisins or extra spices, and a great little recipe to tuck away in your files come January when the entire world is on a diet but somehow thinks that three cups of grated carrots makes these babies “health” food. I won’t tell them if you don’t.

carrot cupcakes, superstars

One year ago: Pear Crisps with Vanilla Brown Butter, Chocolate Pretzel Cookies
Two years ago: Dukkah-Crusted Chicken Skewers, Pecan Squares

Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

I like to grate the carrots by hand — actually, that’s a lie, I don’t enjoy it one bit — because I want it very finely grated for a soft batter. The food processor works, too, but the pieces are a bit thicker.

Makes 24 cupcakes (or one two-layer cake, instructions at end)

2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups canola oil
4 large eggs
3 cups grated peeled carrots
1 cups coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Line 24 cupcake molds with papers, or butter and flour them.

Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in medium bowl to blend. Whisk sugar and oil in large bowl until well blended. Whisk in eggs 1 at a time. Add flour mixture and stir until blended. Stir in carrots, walnuts and raisins, if using them. Divide batter among cupcake molds, filling 3/4 of each.

Bake cupcakes 14 to 18 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of one comes out clean. Let cool in pans for five minutes or so, then transfer cakes to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before icing them.

To make a carrot layer cake: Butter two 9-inch-diameter cake pans instead of cupcake molds. Line bottom of pans with waxed parchment paper. Butter and flour paper; tap out excess flour. Divide the batter between the prepared pans, and bake the layers for about 40 minutes each, or until a tester inserted into center comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans 15 minutes. Turn out onto racks. Peel off paper; cool cakes completely.

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup

In a stand mixer beat all the ingredients on medium until fluffy. Chill the frosting for 10 to 20 minutes, until it has set up enough to spread smoothly.

The spazzy star decorations were created by putting the maple cream cheese frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip and dolloping away. An extra layer of dollops were piped nearer to the center, to create a domed effect.

To assemble a carrot layer cake, frost the top of one cake, place the other cake on top. Frost the sides and top, swirling decoratively. Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes to set up frosting.

For the layer cake scenario, you will probably have a bit of leftover frosting, which you can tint and use for decorating, or save to smear on gingersnaps. What, you don’t do that too?

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689 comments on carrot cake with maple-cream cheese frosting

  1. Erin

    Those look totally lovely! And my favorite part of carrot cake really is the cream cheese frosting. Whenever I make it there is always extra that ends up hidden in the fridge, away from my husbands eyes and suggestions for use. Oh, and the piped dollops are wicked cute!

  2. alphie

    For those of us who are decoration challenged, can you do a post on how to frost/decorate beautifully, including tips on useful implements? BTW, I make your pumpkin muffins all the time – they are great.

  3. My husband is going to love me in a couple of weeks when I make this for his birthday! And you’re dead on about the frosting observation–he said straight up the other day that he’d go with a pumpkin spice cake, a regular spice cake, a carrot cake, or any kind of cake, really, just as long as it had cream cheese frosting on it. This also gives me an excuse to top up our supply of the fancy maple syrup…

  4. Matt

    Whenever I get married, my groom’s cake (yeah… in Texas, we have a cake for the guy) will be a carrot cake. And it’s because of the cream cheese frosting. Been on a baking bender lately, so this will be filed away for Christmas, probably. Can’t wait to try them out, though.

  5. Sara M

    Oh man! Carrot cake is my favorite! Zucchini bread right after :) I guess I’m just a fan of vegetables baked in bread products! Can’t wait to try these out.

    I need to figure out if I can make Zucchini bread cupcakes….there’s a nice idea :)

  6. I have a question and this post seems as good a place as any to ask it. What do you think about all the healthy folks saying things like “replace your oil in baked goods with plain yogurt. No one will know the difference!” Is that true or will I totally absolutely one hundred percent notice the difference?

  7. deb

    Hi Janssen — First, I would be wary of assuming that yogurt can always replace oil seamlessly, as it may play out differently in different recipes. It does work in general, but the cake dries out much more quickly than it would with oil.

    Nevertheless, taking some of the fat out of a cake isn’t necessarily a *bad* thing, but it is more about an approach to dieting that follows a low-fat formula. Personally, I’m more in the “eat a smaller slice” or “eat a half a slice” camp than the “make cake healthier” camp, but I’m also not in the practice of making diet recommendations. Everyone has to do what works best for them.

    Joelle — Some people add 1 (8 ounce) can crushed of pineapple, drained to their cakes. I haven’t tested it with this recipe but see no reason it wouldn’t work.

    1. Eve

      I have added pineapple to the recipe- it adds a bit of sweetness, texture and moisture – delicious! Great recipe. I use a 9X13 inch pan and it works too.

  8. Ok, more questions.
    Can vegetable oil be substituted for the canola since that’s what I have (for another cake recipe) and I want to make this Right Now?
    If I don’t have a stand mixer will a hand mixer do? or is there that big a difference?
    And I’m enchanted with the pineapple idea. Would you just add the pineapple without tweaking anything else?
    Thank you and yum! What an excellent use for the CSA carrots that have taken up residency in my fridge!

  9. Mmmmmm … maple cream cheese … curse working for a company that doesn’t have a kitchen stocked with the ingredients and equipment I need to satisfy an immediate craving while on the clock. (And we just had a bake sale today, too – what is my thing about sweets today….)

  10. super thin and tiny carrot bits. i’m totally digging it deb! i made carrot pancakes a while back and i found my grated carrots were just too much. now i know that i can use the tiny side of the cheese grater. DUH! and thanks for the maple cream cheese recipe too… you’re a dream boat!

  11. courtney

    I love carrot cake, not just because of the cream cheese frosting. I do have a couple of caveats 1) the cake MUST have nuts, walnuts are HIGHLY preffered and 2) NO raisins. I like raisins, but the do not belong in carrot cake.

  12. Sarah

    Mmm, carrot cake is one of my faves, thanks for sharing the recipe ;) I like to soak my carrots for about 20 minutes in 1 cup sugar before adding the mixture into the batter. It makes for a super moist carrot and I like to think it adds more carrot flavor. I wonder if anyone else does this?

  13. Oh my-I think I just stumbled upon something great! My mother’s birthday in on Christmas and my aunt and I have been struggling with thinking of a birthday cake to make her. She loves carrot cake and I think cupcakes would be such a cute alternative-definitely bookmarking this recipe!

  14. Love the update on a retro favorite. I’ve added maple syrup to cream cheese frosting before and had trouble keeping the frosting pipable (is that even a word?) so I think I’ll have to try your recipe and see what I can learn.

  15. Yuuuum! Have you tried this with mascarpone frosting? I recently made a carrot cake with a lemon zest-flavored mascarpone frosting it was untraditionally divine. Maple cream cheese sounds like it could be dangerously good.

  16. Janssen/Deb – first I was laughing at Deb’s health food reference and then I noticed the question about substituting for oil. I usually sub half the oil with unsweetened applesauce and have learned from experience that it’s worth straining out the measured amount to get rid of extra liquid. While I agree with Deb that I’d rather be restrained and eat the real thing, if cutting fat is important to you, don’t take it ALL away. Even Cooking Light recipes retain some butter or oil.

    Yogurt (again either strained or Greek style) is a better substitute for sour cream in my experience.

  17. Yum! I would LOVE those! What grabbed me though, was how you did the frosting. That looks very attractive and so much better than the usual smear-the-icing-on-with-a-spatula look! I’ll have to remember that! I think you also had done some cupcakes with the frosting piped on as roses. So beautiful! Amazing how something as simple as a cupcake can be turned into a WOW!

  18. Susan

    Damn! A week late and a carrot cake short! My son’s birthday was just last week and carrot cake is his favorite…so I made him a chocolate cake. What a Mom, huh? My carrot cake recipe is just okay, and I didn’t want to have to eat the rest of it (forever) because he would only eat one piece or two under duress. If I had had this recipe then..his hearts desire would have been fulfilled, mine too. Damn!

  19. Is there really such a thing as eloquent piping? :)

    I love carrot cake – the cake and the frosting! This version with maple sounds divine. I actually think my recipe sounds better, though – it has pineapple in it and a few other secrets – from the Fiddlehead Cookbook.

  20. brista

    Nomnomnom. I am totally going to try baking something for the first time since…um…that bake sale three years ago? (In my defense, the whole deal WAS homemade, so I was very proud.)

    But I’m thinking, I really love carrot cake frosting. And while Smitten Kitchen’s samples are lovely, I think they need more frosting.

    Can you layer them like a cake?

    I mean, could you cut the cupcake part in half and putting a layer of frosting in between? I bet you could, though the cupcake wrapper would get messed up.

    Whatever, I’m going to try. Family Christmas dinner, here I come!!

  21. Sunshine

    I like the cake, but I don’t think I would like it as much without the frosting. Same goes fro zucchini bread/cake. However, I do eat red velvet only for the frosting. Because, you know, cream cheese icing rocks! I had 2 cakes at my wedding because I couldn’t make up my mind. Want to know what they were? Carrot cake torte (more frosting) and red velvet.

  22. I’m in college right now, so you’re describing EXACTLY what I’m going through right now, with studying and all that – it’s quite stressful!!! :-(

    Gorrrrgeous carrot cake!!

  23. Bella1956

    These look amazing! I make a carrot cake with coconut and pineapple that adds an additional depth and texture. I’m going to try this recipe because of the maple syrup. We love maple syrup here in Canada!

  24. Carrot cake is one of my favorites as well and the creme cheese frosting definitely ads to the liking! I love the idea of making muffins out of the mixture. Great for parties.

  25. deb

    Funny that you mention it. It will depend a bit on how coarsely you grate the carrots. Thicker gratings from bigger holes, you might only need three large ones. Thinner gratings like mine, I needed 5 big carrots.

  26. Nadia

    It would be great to see more recipes for cakes which rely on vegetables as a source of moisture and texture, e.g., courgettes (zucchini), etc. Carrot cake is no longer considered counter-intuitive but there must be lots of other exciting possibilities out there.

  27. akila

    This is very similar to my carrot cake recipe. Like many of the other commenters, I also add pineapples and sub some of the oil for applesauce.

    On an unrelated note, Deb, at some point, would you please put up a list of your top five places to eat in the city? People who cook well generally eat well, whether at restaurants or at home, and I am sure that you and Alex find great restaurants. We’re going up to visit my brother during Christmas and he isn’t much of a gourmand, so I’m trying to seek out yummy places to eat while we’re there. :)

  28. Lisa

    I love carrot cake and I have found that if you process the carrots with the steel blade in the food processor it works out really well. I used to grate them by hand, then in the processor but one day I thought I would try to cut them into chunks and grind them up and it worked really well. Sometimes lazy is a good thing.

  29. deb

    Hi Akila — I really don’t get into restaurant recommendations because what I like and what other people like may not be the same. I am also not an avid restaurant-goer. We check out great places from time to time, but in no way make a science of getting to them and I don’t really analyze the meals–I just enjoy them.

  30. Ember

    I read that as “carrot cake with nipple-cream frosting.” And then I saw the pictures, and I thought, “Well, they do kinda look like nipples…” then I reread the title. >_<

  31. Dancer who eats

    You are KillingMe/TotallyAwesome!

    I know we don’t know each other, but I have to ask, did you read my mind?

    And yes, I LOVE carrot cake and it is mostly due to the frosting. And did I mention I love maple. Just bought some Vermont maple syrup from Formaggio.

  32. Kris0218

    Re: pineapple. One Christmas break during college I worked at my town’s country club working all the holiday banquets – ugh – but the perk was that I got to pick the pastry chef’s brain and write down some of her recipes. She put crushed pineapple in EVERYTHING where oil would be – specifically a 1/4 cup of it in her amazing carrot cake and German chocolate cake. I was stunned. I don’t even like pineapple on its own that much, but it adds a ton of moistness without the flavor becoming overbearing. One of the previous posters mentioned it giving extra texture as well – so true. If you hear it from a pastry chef, you know it’s a good tip.

  33. WOW!! I just discovered your blog via Digg. The photos are gorgeous. I love those little spiffs of maple cream cheese on top of your cupcakes. Can’t wait to try the recipe, thank you for sharing it.

  34. Dana

    RE: pineapple – There is a great cake that I make for my daughter’s birthday called Hummingbird Cake. Originally out of Southern Living (I think) it is similar to a Carrot Cake, but made with bananas and pineapple – perfect for a toddler. And of course, the cream cheese frosting makes it even more delicious.

  35. Those cupcakes look so tasty … I covet them. I truly do. I like the idea of a maple cream cheese frosting. I had never, I am ashamed to admit, considered it. Now I am antsy to taste it.

  36. deb

    You can actually just skip the maple syrup or you can replace it with a quarter-cup of powdered sugar. Miraculously, all methods work. If you skip the maple syrup, you shouldn’t need to chill the frosting to make it spreadable.

  37. I love your frosting techniques on the cupcakes, Deb! Gorgeous! Oh, and thanks for not including the walnuts and raisins in the cupcakes. I’ve never understood why people feel the need to mess with a good thing like silky carrot cake batter by throwing in all that other junk. About the only add-ins I ever like in my baked goods are chocolate ones. :)

  38. Melanie

    LOVE your Blog! The recipes & photos are equally amazing! How do you do that? Make food look so EXCITING?! Wow! Just WOW!

    One little thing for you to try….my mom used to cater weddings and people would call her all the time to make carrot cake for them. We used to laugh when they’d add: “I *HATED* Carrot Cake until I had yours….how do you make it so moist!” Well, she’s now telling her secret so I figure I can too…..

    THE SECRET IS: Boiling/steaming the carrots until they are cooked BEFORE adding them to the cake mixture (drain them first of course). The reason this is important is that it doesn’t pull the moisture from the other ingredients to cook them. I swear it makes a HUGE difference! Try it & tell me what you think!

    Keep up the great work!!

  39. What perfect timing! There was a work potluck today so we made these last night. For some reason, cakes made with oil instead of butter never turn out right for me. It’s like the oil never gets absorbed and they look very shiny and greasy and leave a heavy taste in my mouth. I made the Ina Garten Lemon-Blueberry cake from a while back and had to toss it because it was such an oily mess, which made me so sad because of all the fantastic reviews. Therefore, I was nervous to try these and used only 3/4 cup of oil with 1/2 cup of applesauce. They were still very shiny, but after frosting and some time in the refrigerator they turned out quite delicious. Co-workers loved them. Thank you!

  40. Tina

    These look fabulous. Would you be able to upload a photo of carrots to smug mug for me? I found it in your flickr account. It is called “Nugget Carrots”, in the greenmarkets section of the eats collection. Thanks!

  41. Melody C.

    Lecia – thank you for the reference to a cookbook in my cupboard that I rarely use! I immediately found the recipe and think the frosting looks inviting! I have both maple syrup and orange marmalade – Oh, what’s a poor woman to do? MAKE BOTH! And try them on pumpkin muffins too!

  42. Oh my goodness, I am drooling! Carrot cake is absolutely my favorite, and with carrot cupcakes you do get even more cream-cheese-frosting-goodness (Maple nonetheless!) with every bite. I do have one question: I would love to post about these cupcakes on my parenting blog (with a link to the recipe here, naturally) – could I possibly use a photo or two to tempt my readers? Regardless, I can’t wait to make them myself. Thank you so much.

  43. kathy

    I have been following this website daily for several months and have printed off certain recipes that have created a pile 3′ tall in my office corner. Yesterday, being snow bound, I took the plunge and made your carrot cake cupcakes. Beyond wonderful. I am now even more addicted to your site and vow to start in on testing recipes from that 3′ pile. Do you have any suggestions for Christmas dessert? Something chocolate. Something with mousse? Thank You!

  44. HAH

    I made this as an 8-inch layer cake this weekend, and it was a big hit at a party. Very moist and a lovely texture. I particularly like the addition of the maple syrup to the cream cheese frosting. I did find that I had to bake it longer than specified, but that’s probably because I used smaller pans. It did take about 5 large carrots to get 3 cups using the small holes on my grater (and a lot of elbow grease) :-) I will definitely make this one again. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  45. Claudia

    Wonderful recipe! I’m going to make them as Christmas presents for my friends :D

    I’d love to ask just a couple of things, if you don’t mind, as I’m not American and get all confused with the US measurements. In the frosting recipe, you quoted “Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened”. Is 8 ounce the total weight of the 2 packages, or the weight of one package so total = 16 oz?
    And how much is 1 1/4 cups of canola oil? I can easily convert from volume measurements of all kinds to milliliters, but when it comes to cups I’m at a total loss. I don’t even know what a US measure cup looks like ;__;
    Thanks for your attention!

  46. Marnie

    Kudos! I made this as the 9″ layer cake this past weekend and it was amazing. I can’t believe the texture – so light. The best carrot cake ever.

  47. Gail

    When I saw these I knew I had to try them! They were DELICIOUS! I took them into work at my school and they all gone by morning recess – they received rave reviews! Thanks for sharing!

  48. Rachelle

    these look delicious! I can’t wait to try them.

    Claudia- it is 16 ounces total of cream cheese. For the canola oil 1 cup equals 8 ounces- I’m not sure what that is in milliliters though. Hope that helps.

  49. Susan

    Hi Deb! I made a layer cake out of this recipe late last night. I didn’t have enough carrots so I bulked it up with shredded zucchini. Used half dark brown sugar, half melted butter (but only 1 cup total fat) and I toasted and finely chopped (almost ground) the nuts. Okay, so I didn’t really make this recipe, but mine is adapted from this one, so I thought I’d report it because the spices really are what is so good about your recipe and they made mine all the better.

    I only had the lighter cream cheese and it is way too soft for a frosting..short story: I added some butterscotch fudge to fix it and it didn’t really work as well as I had hoped but it was outstanding in flavor. I will use it next time instead of my grade A maple which was indistinguishable. So..thanks for sharing your recipe.

  50. Bec.

    Just made these tasty cupcakes today and they were fabulous. Of course the frosting stole the show, but that’s to be expected, I think. Especially from me! Great recipe – thanks so much for sharing. Oh, and I was doing great with the hand-grating of the carrots until I got to about 1 1/2 cups and then I was so ready to be done!

  51. Dwilah

    I made this as a 9×13 sheet cake. Wow! The cake was so moist and flavorful. The last time I had carrot cake was like, when I was really little. That cake was chunky and what I would term “weird.” I grated the carrots by hand though and had almost a carrot puree. I think it really made a difference (though I cut my finger really badly on the grater). My boyfriend is also really impressed.

    My only complaint is that I can’t really taste the maple in the frosting. I added 1/2 cup because I couldn’t taste it, and I still can’t really. I think the cream cheese just overpowers it or something. Still, very very good!

  52. Made this yesterday; fabulous! I poured the batter into our bundt pan, then we just cut off slices and spooned frosting over. Me, my husband, and our 16-month-old all loved it! (We also couldn’t really taste the maple, so next time we’ll just go without, but that didn’t stop us from having seconds!)

  53. Colleen

    Could be the best carrot cake recipe I’ve tried Cupcakes are moist and delicious without being oily. Be sure to finely grate the carrots as recommended; it makes a huge difference in texture and evenly distributed flavor. I had extra maple cream cheese frosting, so saved and used a week later on vanilla cupcakes – excellent!

  54. Gracie B

    I made these for my office for Valentine’s Day (by request). I made a maple buttercream a few weeks ago for my boyfriend’s birthday that I like a little better – but these are quite good.

  55. Carrie

    I made these for Valentine’s Day and they were a hit! Shredded the carrots in the blender and used evoo instead of canola oil but otherwise, followed the recipe to a T. I ended up with A LOT of cake though; 24 cupcakes plus half a loaf! Thanks for the great recipe!

  56. Britany

    Does anyone have a suggestion for substiting eggs? I HAVE to make this recipe – it looks fabulous – but I’m allergic to eggs. Thanks!

  57. I just have a quick question about the icing… did you use a cookie press? The packaging of my cookie press say it can be used for icing, but nowhere on the package or in the instructions does it elaborate at all!

  58. JanetM

    The cupcakes look mucho bueno..
    I like to add crushed pineapple to my carrot cake though..
    makes for a really moist cake..

  59. sher

    I made these cupcakes a month ago and they are light and delicious. Today I doubled the recipe to make cupcakes for my daughter’s classroom birthday celebration tomorrow, and they came out like hockey pucks! What went wrong??? I’m not giving up on the recipe, but I’m totally puzzled…

  60. Haley

    These cupcakes were so yummy- and the frosting was perfect, although the cupcakes sunk- should I have altered the recipe for high altitude? It was easily covered with more frosting (which nobody was complaining about!!) but is there anything I can tweak? Thank you!

  61. deb

    Yes, baking recipes always have to be adjusted for high-altitude. However, I live at sea level and have little advice to offer! If you have the Joy of Cooking, I do remember that they have a nifty little section on how to adapt recipes for high altitudes. I used their suggestions when I was staying in the mountains and was successful in both baking endeavors.

  62. Elana

    I made these cupcakes (minus walnuts and raisins) for my daughter’s 1st birthday and they were amazing!!! And of course I doubled the frosting so I could put big ice cream scoop sizes on top of the cupcakes, and have some left over to dip animal crackers in, to spread on cantaloupe, and then when I ran out of dippers- I just used my finger- mmmmm!

  63. Laura

    I made these muffins today and was a little disappointed because they weren’t that vibrant orange!!
    They tasted divine, just didn’t look as gorgeous as the ones shown!
    The recipe made 12 3/4c muffins and one 15cm x 8cm loaf. Which was fab because it meant I could try the recipe (the muffins were for my boyfriends mum) :)
    I will definitely be making these again.

  64. I made these for my Easter brunch yesterday and they were a hit. Its true that they are pretty foolproof. I shredded the carrots in the food processer because I dont have the patience for grating and it was fine. I omitted the nuts and used golden raisins. I made mini cupcakes so I halved the recipe and ended up with 24 little ones. They were a huge hit and I will keep this one tucked up my sleeve!

  65. i just made these for the second time and they are so delicious! it made about 3 dozen cupcakes. the first set of 12 sunk in the middle, but the next two dozen turned out better. i think i overfilled the first round? not sure, but they all tasted great, even if they weren’t as pretty as yours ;-)

  66. Kawa

    I made an eggless/vegan version of this cake (I’m allergic to eggs) recently for a birthday – used two 9″ round pans and four tablespoons of milled flax seed + 3/4 cup (12 tbsp) water as a binding substitute for the eggs. I skipped on the nuts since the birthday boy isn’t a big fan of nuts but loves carrot cake, and used a different cream cheese frosting recipe since I wasn’t sure people would love the maple (and real maple syrup’s not easy to find in Florida.) I don’t think anyone could tell the difference, and it was universally loved.

  67. I have made these DELICIOUS cupcakes twice now and plan to make them again this weekend for my son’s first birthday party. They are healthy and not too sweet…perfect for a one year old. My husbands favorite cake is carrot cake, our wedding cake was an organic carrot cake from worldsbestcarrotcake(dot)com and these are right up there with that one! So moist and yummy. Just make them, you will be happy!

  68. Just stumbled upon your website looking for some cake recipe. Looks like I’ll be around for a long while going through and trying the cake recipes here. ThankQ for sharing.

  69. Kristy

    I made your carrot cake recipe this past weekend and it was fantastic! It was also very easy. I’m not an experienced baker, having only recently started baking cakes from scratch, so my results have been someone hit-or-miss. And, I’ve never made a carrot cake before. However, this cake was a huge hit. Thanks!

  70. Christa

    I made these little gems for a party at work. Everyone loved them. Even the vegan could not stay away from them and decided certain things have to be made an exception for!

    1. Cathy

      Due to Covid-19, there are no carrots at my store and my husband’s birthday is tomorrow. Can I substitute baby food carrots?

  71. madfelice

    I just made these minus raisins and with walnuts that I ground finely to avoid the lumps that mean that the kiddies wont eat the cakes I have so lovingly made. They think that they are fantastic! I didn’t ice them though, but the frosting sounds great! I find if I frost them my 3 year old only eats the frosting and not the cake! I’m just not telling them that they are carrot cakes though cos they probably wont eat them if I do, LOL!

  72. kcsnedah

    Hm, I just made these and something didn’t work. They taste fine, but they’re not really very good looking (without the frosting).

    For some reason, they’re oily, which means that the top got a weird hardness to it while baking. And they puffed up quite a bit during baking, so they sunk in the middle too. The paper cups are oily too. I’ve never ever had to adjust baking for altitude, because I’m in northern Colorado and we’re under a mile above sea level. I’m wondering if I would have to do that if I made these again. And they kind of look like spice cake with carrot shreds. The shreds are fairly big (I used the tiny side of the grater) and the orange color just didn’t get into the cupcake. They’re pretty brown.

    One good thing is that upon the surprise “You’re out of nutmeg!” moment, I just substituted half allspice, half cloves. It’s a little more autumney than traditional carrot cake, but still good.

    I might try these one more time to see if I can fix what happened, but I’m a little sad.

  73. Randi Lynne

    I made this for my husband’s birthday today (cake version). I am new to making cakes and the wax paper tip was worth learning now! You’re right that there is quite a bit of leftover frosting. I will find something to do with it for sure! Thanks.

  74. Did a half recipe and made a loaf (with walnut, no raisins). Nice and moist, wonderful spicy taste, plus I got to use up the rest of a bag of carrots that had been hanging around.

    Am resisting to ice it though. So far I am. For now…

  75. LBR

    I tried this recipe this week for my friend’s birthday and everybody liked it! I have one question though, how is it that the picture shows the cupcakes to have a vivid orange color while mine was brown? Did you happen to add an orange food coloring?

    Thank you very much for posting this recipe. By the way, do you have a good recipe for french bread?


  76. Rhea

    I made a double recipe to share with my neighbor who just popped out her fourth child, my husband’s admins, and my kids (please read myself). I usually use Sheila Lukin’s recipe for carrot cake as I am a big fan of all things pineapple. The vivid orange color convinced me to give yours a whirl. Alas, mine came out brown as well. I sprinkled cinnamon sugar over the top of my piped cupcakes and hid my stash in the back of the fridge behind olive jars and the applesauce. They found them :( Thank you for the recipe! Long live carrot cake!

  77. Just curious, can this be made without the maple syrup? My very first job was waiting tables at IHOP, and after 6 months of smelling like maple syrup mixed with bleach water, I can’t stand the stuff.

    1. deb

      I can assure you that the stuff at IHOP bears no resemblance to pure maple syrup — it’s corn syrup with artificial flavoring. Nevertheless, you can use any old cream cheese frosting, such as this one, no need to use a maple-infused one.

  78. Love This Place

    Hi Deb! I’m absolutely in love with your site. I’m new at baking and cooking and I’m happy to say that Smitten Kitchen has held my hand through it all! I’m making my first layer cake for a birthday girl who loves carrot cake, and just wanted to know if there is any part of the recipe that can be done ahead of time. Would it be OK to make the cake a day early and refrigerate it, for example? I’m sure this is a “duh” question but just want to make sure I do everything right…Thanks, you’re truly the best!

  79. Marla

    I am making a friend’s wedding cake and plan on using this recipe. Do you have any advice on the frosting sitting out for a few hours, from the time of delivering the cake to the time it gets eaten. I would hate for it to start slipping or not look nice when it comes time to cut it. It’s a casual wedding so I’m not making any elaborate decorations, just some real flowers that will be place on the cake once it gets to the venue.

    Is there an ingredient I could add to make it more stable? I’ve made a cream cheese frosting before for a cake that sat around for a few hours and it was fine. I was just wondering if there was something I could do to guarantee (at least a bit) that it will still look beautiful.

    1. deb

      The only way to see if something is suitable to hold up for a wedding cake is to make a small version of it and leave it out in similarly warm conditions for at least as long, but safely longer and see what happens. From there, you can take note of what needs to be adjusted. As for advice on stabilizing cream cheese frosting, a wedding baking forum ( has great boards) would be the best place to look. Good luck.

  80. WindupBird

    Delicious! I subbed a half the white sugar for brown, since my family likes the flavour more, and used a regular cream cheese frosting. Turned out perfect!

  81. Mrs

    Oh, just what I have been looking for! Enjoy this site so much! Love to bake, family loves to eat. Son has been known to go at a fresh pan of bars with a soup spoon. Very satisfying.

  82. Laurie H.

    I made this carrot cake for my sister’s birthday and it invited favorable comparisons to the carrot cake at Cafe Latte. In the Twin Cities, that is a BIG DEAL! I used 1/4 c. finely chopped crystallized ginger instead of the powdered ginger and used the fine grating drum on my Kitchen Aid rotary grater attachment for the carrots. It grated them very finely with fairly minimal effort. Great recipe – it’s going in the file for sure.

  83. Rose

    Just (finally) made this and OMG I hate myself for delaying it. But then again, I always hate myself when I don’t cook what Deb tells me to the very minute she posts it because everything is always phenomenal.

    I never manage to follow recipes perfectly, but I can’t imagine this tasting any better than it does, so I’m beyond happy with it.

  84. Jackie

    This was the best carrot cake I’ve ever eaten. I put a cream cheese frosting with cinnamon on it(Joy the Baker) and it was awesome. My brother asked me to make his birthday cake every year.

  85. Emerald

    This carrot cake changed my life. I have never had my own birthday cake that someone lovingly made for me each year. I could never settle on just one thing and switched it up every year looking in vain for the perfect birthday cake. Husband (who is NOT a baker) made this for my last birthday and I went to some sort of carrot cake nirvana. I don’t even like carrot cake that much. I’m a chocolate girl. But this is it. The Official Birthday Cake.

  86. Hi Deb,

    I made these the other day and they were awesome! I did get scared with the amount of canola oil but at least it is a “good” fat and considering that you are only going to eat one cupcake at a time, it is not a big deal. I am with you on eating the good stuff but in moderation.

    Here are my results:


  87. Marla

    I made this as a cake for my friend’s wedding and it was soooooooo delicious. I needed three times as much batter but was afraid of tripling everything (way too much at once and didn’t want to chance srewing up the proportions of ingredients). I made one double batch for the base and one single batch for the smaller top layer. I was patient and thorough. The cake is super moist. I used the smallest size on my box grater and it was worth the clenched hand at the end. The pieces of carrot were so fine they practically melted into the cake. No carrot “hairs” sticking out of the slices.

    I had an insane amount of compliments on it. Seriosly delicious. The frosting totally makes it. Not too sweet with a subtle maple flavor. I did up the maple syrup a bit (and added some extra powdered sugar to keep the consistency right). The groom is a huge maple syrup fan and there was homebrewed maple stout at the reception.

  88. Aprongirl

    I am so bummed! I made these last night and they don’t look like yours at all – it looks like a 5 year old made mine! I was out of canola oil and substituted coconut oil, which seemed like a good idea at the time – but I think it definitely wreaked havoc on the beauty factor of my cupcakes. They are sunken in the middle, bubbly, flat, crunchy on top, and took 20 minutes to cook through, but I must admit they still taste fantastic :) Maybe if I put enough frosting on them no one will notice?!

  89. Megan

    Hello! I absolutely LOVE this blog. Thanks to your recipes, a no-talent cook/baker such as myself can occasionally pass as “half decent” for company. :) Speaking of which… I made this cake a few day ago and froze it (hope that was OK!) and I plan to serve it to my in-laws this Wednesday when they arrive for Thanksgiving. How should I go about defrosting/icing it? (PS: I have a 4 month old baby myself – first one! I can’t believe you’re still cooking! You’re totally inspiring!)

  90. Susan

    I made this carrot cake yesterday for my son’s birthday today. Wow! This is truly the most delicious carrot cake I’ve ever eaten. I made it as an 8inch layer cake baking the layers for 34 minutes. I used half brown and half white sugar and replaced 1/4 cup of the oil with applesauce, It was a nice rich brown once baked. My frosting was a little soft even after chilling. I could fix it with more powdered sugar, but I like it’s sweetness level as the recipe instructed. It spread nicely though and didn’t run off the cake, I just would have had to add some powdered sugar to what remained if I had wanted to pipe decorations. Not a problem! I would use this recipe again. Thanks, Deb.

  91. hi deb! my husband loveslovesloves the whole banana bread, zuchini bread, carrot cake genre of desserts. especially when they are covered with vanilla ice cream or cream cheese frosting! i have tried so many recipes of all three over the four years we have been together and all, every single one of them, have been mediocre at best. i’m a really good cook and this seriously frustrated me. so finally, for his 39th this weekend, i tried this one. and it was sooooo very very delicious. so i guess this whole little post is just to tell you thank you. thank you for this recipe. finally i can make my husband a birthday cake he enjoys.

    xo and happy holidays.

    oh! i did mine in two loaf pans b/c they were more handy than my cake pans. i cooked them for nearly a hour to get a good set. and the parchment paper suggestion i ignored and consequently left a good size hunk of each in the bottom of the pan. the frosting was delicious. so very very yummy and perfect for kick starting my new years dieting plans. ha!

  92. Della

    Delicious! When I was growing up, each member of the family got to choose their birthday cake recipe. My brother always chose carrot cake, and I’m so old that this predated food processors. I always had to grate the carrots by hand, and usually some of my knuckles, too!

    The maple frosting is a great addition!

  93. Jess

    I made this tonight and it was a kick ass, amazing cupcake. I was introduced to smittenkitchen just this week and am a woman obsesseed, and this is the first of many recipes I will try. Thank you!

  94. Rocio

    Hi, first of all, I love your blog!!! next, I have a question on this recipe. I’ve already made the cupcakes and they are delicious, now I’m wishing to make this a bigger cake for an office going away party. I need it to feed 50 people. I was thinking of doing a sheet cake. I was just wondering how you might adjust the recipe and baking times. So far I’m thinking of doubling the recipe and using two 17X12 sheet pans. Would that work? I’m just not sure on the baking time. Thank you! any suggestions will be great :)

  95. Abby

    It’s my husband’s birthday today and carrot cake is his favorite (no raisins, no nuts), so I made this last night. While it turned out beautifully and tastes fantastic, I’m surprised that mine looks so very different in color. I was expecting it to be that amazing light orange color as in the pictures above, but it’s golden brown. Not a problem for me, as it will be covered by frosting anyway, but it seems to be the consensus after reading the other comments. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this frosting recipe, though. It will be my new go-to frosting… the maple in it is just fantastic!

  96. sugarashley

    I just made these cupcakes and they tasted fabulous! The only problem was that the batter in the middle was a tad undercooked (not cake-like and a little wet), eventhough I had them in the oven for 20minutes… I still don’t know what went wrong coz I followed the recipe exactly.. Sighs. Now i’m not sure what to do with them. Should I cook them more at a lower temperature to firm up the inside? Or should I just eat them this way? It still tastes awesome though.. =)

    1. deb

      sugarashley — Most ovens are not perfectly calibrated and will not match estimated cooking times; the only reliable method is to always make sure a toothpick or tester comes out clean. You might try to re-bake yours…

  97. I had a last-minute request to make a carrot cake for someone’s birthday, so I used your recipe and baked it in a 9×13 pan. It turned out fabulously, and I had more than enough frosting to do all the decorations. Here it is.

  98. JessicaO

    I made the carrot cake for my husband’s 30th birthday yesterday (Valentine’s Day!) – it was so awesome! I baked it in 2 8-inch round pans for about 34 min, and they turned out perfectly. It was my first time to cut out wax paper for the bottom of a cake pan, but I did it surprisingly well I must say – thanks to the fool-proof instructions. Thanks for this recipe – it will not be the last time I make this one, for sure.

  99. keely

    i made these cupcakes for my dad’s 60th birthday dinner party and people were crying, they were so good. can’t wait to try some of your other recipes. everything on here looks beautiful and delicious!

  100. Brooke

    This recipe is so great! I’ve used it twice and they taste so good! Just one little problem I’ve been having both times… The batter keeps exploding out of the cupcake pan about half way into the cooking. The cupcakes come out with tops that are stuck to the pan and then the middle sinks. I don’t understand why this keeps happening, I filled them less the 2nd time and it still happened. Any pointers?!

  101. Nikki

    I’m so glad these are the first of your recipes that I’ve tried! Everything came out perfectly. Now I can never wait to open my e-mail to see what you have in store next. :)

  102. Yen

    I made the two layer cake version last night. I admit that the cake is good. However, I cannot help but think it tastes like a spice cake. I cannot get a carrot flavor out of the cake. I grated 4.5 carrots but it still tastes so much like the spices I added in (ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg). I will try it another time… I made the frosting with honey, which is delicious! Thank you for the recipe! (:

  103. Sandra B

    I very much want to try this recipe. I also have sever cans of carrots that need to get used up. Am going to experiment with pureeing said canned carrots to make 3C and see what happens. Was reading through posts to see if anyone else had tried it, but no, I’m the first one. Not that carrots are expensive or anything, but they simply need to get USED UP and this seems like it might work okay… The hub loves carrot cake so I’m sure he’ll be stunned by the results no matter WHAT happens. Will return to post results just in case anyone else ever wants to do such a thing….

    I AM ADDICTED TO YOUR SITE! The recipes are soooOOOoooo good and the photography makes it all so “I-have-got-to-make-this” compelling. Good work, Smitten!!

  104. Elise

    This is my first-ever try at carrot cake. I’m making it for a friend’s birthday party. I am particularly looking forward to the maple cream cheese frosting. I did not have a lot of luck grating the carrots by hand so I ended up with very chunky food-processed pieces. I did spread them out on a big board and chop them by hand a bit more but they still ended up bigger than I wanted. Also I used 9″ pans but I think the batter would fit better in 2 8″ pans instead. Oh well! I hope it rises somewhat so it’s not a small 2-layer cake. The layers are in the oven right now. Thanks for the recipe!

  105. Michelle

    I made these last night using my new Wilton SQUARE cupcake pan that I’m in love with! The cakes are so darn cute. Then I made little carrots out of some pre-made orange icing in a tube I had from a meringue snowman project that I never got around to. Cute!

    Oh and they are very tasty too. LOL

  106. PG

    Yummy, and perfect for Easter! Just made this last night as a Good Friday treat for my husband’s co-workers.

    My notes on this recipe:
    My oven is fairly new (less than 2 years old) and pretty precise, so I would recommend bumping the baking time up to 20 minutes before you worry about putting a toothpick in, as that was the time it took for my cupcakes to reach even a mushy state of done.
    After making cream cheese frosting for this and for another cupcake recipe on this website, I have concluded that I need to stop bothering until I have an electric mixer. It is *impossible* to get the little lumps of cream cheese to smooth out simply by hand-beating with a whisk, even if you beat for the entire course of “The Daily Show,” and those lumps really do negatively affect the final product in both taste and mouth-feel.
    Grating the carrots by hand doesn’t seem worthwhile, because as another commenter noted, with this method the taste is somewhat dominated by the spices. The bigger pieces of carrot produced by a food processor might actually create a more carroty taste.

  107. NCcook

    these are sooo good! the only thing i would change is that i would NOT split the recipe in half next time. and i might even double it!!

  108. martina

    Hi Deb,
    I’ve made your carrot cupcakes in form of a bund cake: Awesome!! It tasted delicious and I’m quite happy about that. Only one question: any idea about the brown color the cake takes? Your cupcakes look brigh orangish in the picture, mine was brown with little orange shadow. Can the different vegetable oil I used (sunflower) make such a big difference in term of colour? Everything else in the recipe was the same than yours.
    thanks for the recipe anyway, it’s a keeper for me!

  109. Shannon O’Connell

    I made this cake for my mommom’s birthday (which happened to be Easter Sunday), it was AWESOME!!! Everyone loved it. My husband didn’t even have to listen to me cuss at the cake, because it was so darn easy to make. Although, my poor steaming hot little kitchen wasn’t very helpful while frosting (Delaware is HOT this Spring) and there were a few choice words. I practically paid my hubby to turn the air in our apartment on a bit early (a big no-no). Other than that, it was perfect – – even if I was lazy and chopped my carrots in the food processor. I also soaked my raisins in about a 1/4 cup of bourbon for a bit and poured the whole thing in. Amazing! And yes, I had a ton of frosting left over which saved the freakishly spicy Trader Joes ginger cookies I’ve been debating over what to do with. Best snack ever!!! Thanks so much! You’re site is my favorite place to go. : )

  110. Tess

    I’m thinking of baking this a day in advance of my husband’s birthday party. Should I freeze them after taking out of oven? Or would just keeping them in the fridge be just fine?

  111. Lauren

    I think the fact that people are still commenting on this recipe, two years after you have posted is a testament to how FANTASTIC this recipe is. I just made it (my first cake!) for my co-workers and received so many compliments my ears hurt. Pretty much, to sum the compliments up… “This was the BEST carrot cake I’ve ever had”.

    And indeed, it was.

  112. Lou

    Wonderful recipe! I made it with 9″ rounds, it was so so moist and flavorful. It was for a kid’s birthday, and I took the leftover frosting, added food coloring, and piped out a big carrot on top. FYI – I made the cakes the night before and was worried they would dry out in the fridge, so after cooling, I froze them. It took a couple of hours to thaw, but i think it was worth it. Thanks Deb!

  113. sarahb

    I made this last night, the BEST carrot cake I have ever had! The only “tweaking” I did was to use 2.5 c. carrots and .5 c. of applesauce in place of the 3 c. carrots.I thought I had plenty when I started the recipe, but lo and behold, myy brand new, very over priced fridge keeps freezing the things in the back of my veg drawer, and most of my carrots were squishy from freezing and thawing.

  114. dani

    My sister and I made this last night for mom’s 60th birthday cake. As well as the black bean soup. Both were delicious, but the cake especially so. We were trying to surprise her , and told her that we were making russian black bread to go with the soup…believe it or not she was totally shocked when we produced the birthday cake, despite hanging out in the kitchen while we were cooking. My mother needless to say is not a cook. Just wanted to say thanks for the recipes that made a great 60th birthday dinner for my mom.

  115. Christine

    THESE ARE AMAZING! I only had one cup exactly of canola oil so used a half can of crushed pineapple for the last quarter cup and it was perfect.

  116. Katie K.

    When you say for the layer cake, “bake the layers for about 40 minutes each”, does that mean bake them separately?

  117. missy

    I love your website and was so excited to see this recipe. I have been making my Great Aunt’s Carrot cake recipe for years, and was looking for a little change. I love your recipe, but the second go around I used 1 1/2 C sugar and 1/2 c brown sugar. Also, I omitted the ginger. Lastly, I used baby carrot food instead of the grated. For the icing,, I added coconut flakes. They were great. Thank you for all of your recipes. Next up to try, Challah bread.

  118. Deidre

    I halved this recipe, and I was so pleased with the result! Grating the carrots was indeed a lot of work, but it really paid off. I will definitely be making these again!

  119. Karen

    Holy crepes, is this not the best carrot cake recipe ever? That’s what my BF’s entire family told me after serving it to them as his birthday cake. The day before, I made three 8″ layers, baked for about 35 minutes, and after cooling, stacked them on the counter wrapped in plastic. There was more than enough frosting, which I made with 2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar and maple and vanilla extracts instead of the syrup.

  120. Moonsugar

    This recipe looks amazing – I’m going to try it this weekend and see how it compares to the recipe I usually use, which is very similar. The maple cream cheese frosting definitely looks better than the frosting recipe I have. One question… no baking powder? Thanks Deb!! I love your site!

  121. susan margaret

    Your photography is always so gorgeous and artful. What else could motivate me to turn the oven on in June? Even my husband was looking at me strange ~ for suddenly wanting to bake something. My ten yr. old iced them and couldn’t get enough of the frosting. Cute little carrot cakes!

    Please pat yourself on your back for me. thanks.

  122. Erica

    This is an awesome recipe! I made it as for my husbands friend as a thank you for a lot of favors. I used my food processor and I liked the bigger chunks of carrot in the final product. When it came out of the oven I thought the cakes were a tad greasy (next time I may use just a bit less oil), but super moist and great flavor! They were even better the second day. The maple cream cheese frosting didn’t taste anything like maple to me, which made me sad. I could probably have added more syrup as it wasn’t too sweet, but I didn’t. I just used the leftover frosting for the red velvet cake, so it for that it was probably good it didn’t taste too much like maple.

  123. Dee

    We love carrot cake too, and I use to hate grating the carrots. Then I discovered the Salad Shooter. It grates my carrots perfectly, and is so fast. I do cut the carrots into strips, but other than that it’s a breeze!

  124. Nicole

    Hey, Deb – do you think the batter would suffer if half of it sat while the first half baked? I think if I increase the recipe to 1.5 times its original volume, I could use it for two 9″ square layers. The problem is that I only have one pan, but I’d rather make the batter all at once. I’m just worried that the second layer won’t rise if I let it sit for most of an hour. Any insight?

  125. Catherine

    Best carrot cake recipe ever. I think the oil makes all the difference – they’re so moist! My new work colleagues are currently chowing down on a batch and they’re going down very well. The icing turned out really maple-y too – thank goodness for Canadian friends!

  126. Liz

    Deb, I LOVE this formula for carrot cake, and I love the maple cream cheese frosting. But in the wonderful heat that NEw England is suffering right now, I struggle with the softness of the frosting! I made a three layer cake with it and after sitting out for 30 minutes, the top layer started sliding off! Any suggestions on what to do to make it a little stiffer? THanks!

  127. Liz

    Oh, and when adding raisins, should I coat them in flour first, to prevent them from sinking to the bottom, or are they find without it?

    1. deb

      Liz — Can you keep it in the fridge until the last minute? Frostings like this are just not very heat stable… I’d coat the raisins with flour first.

  128. Liz

    Thanks Deb! The 13 x 9 sheet cake is in the oven and smelling good! Fingers crossed the frosting will hold up tomorrow :)

  129. Mindy

    Hi deb! Do you think this recipe will work well with three 6-inch round cake pan instead of two 9-inch rounds? I was hoping to make a taller 3 layer cake instead of a 2 layer cake.

  130. Lisa

    I just made these for a birthday party and they were a hit! I made Bourbon cream cheese frosting instead(since I also made a red velvet cake and used the same frosting). Usually people like carrot cake for the cream cheese frosting, but I got a million compliments about the moistness of the cake. I also used my food processor for the carrots and then just chopped them a little on the cutting board to make them less thick. Thanks, great recipe!

  131. Hi Deb!
    First let me say how much I love your site – it’s surely the first place I come to when I’m looking for ideas or recipes, and until yesterday, it never failed to give me some awesome recipe which I fell in love with! I say until yesterday, because I was totally sad when the outcome of this carrot cake was really not what I hoped it would be (and definitely not what yours sounded like!!). Sigh!!!! What went wrong???
    Basically I had the same problem of kcsnedah of comment 131 – an oily cake, with a crunchy putside and a sunken middle. Apart from the oilyness (which is a bit of an issue), the flavour of carrots + spices was pleasant… but definitely the cake didn’t come out as it should have! I hoped to find an answer to my drama here in the comments, but since it is not there, I’ll try bothering you… what could have gone wrong?? :(

  132. Charlotte

    Hi Deb,

    You’re amazing! Made this last night while suffering from insomnia. What to do? defrost the pack of grated carrots and process them till fine in the cuisinart, then I soaked the thompson raisins in 1/2 water 1/2 Grand Marnier.

    It turned out perfect! Not orange, but brown. Who cares, it’s absolutely delictable! Now, I’m debating on adding a bit of the crushed pineapple for zing!

    Thank you for sharing this recipe!!!

  133. My daughter-in-law’s favorite cake= carrot cake. So, since I’ve been smitten by Smitten Kitten, I tried these to celebrate her Sept 11 birthday. I’ve made lots (and I DO mean lots) of Carrot Cakes in my life, dear Maida Heatter taught me SO much via the many cookbooks by her that I own. My favorite Carrot Cake, up until now, has been from dear Maida…this recipe beats it. The process of this recipe threw me, but I followed it with no fear. The result? Unbelievably rich, moist, and flavorful. Thank you, Deb, for this lovely rendition of an all time favorite.

  134. Pooja

    Dear Deb

    Hi again! I am so addicted to your site Deb! My mother-in-law is visiting us next wednesday for about a week sunday before that is her birthday. also, its her first birthday with me (i married her son last march) and she would be with her son (my hubby) after a long long time. so i have decided to celebrate her birthday (its going to be a surprise for her!), even though belated. now, she doesnt like chocolate flavor, and vanilla is just so i thought upon carrot cake and came to your site and u never disappoint me Deb. the recipe looks quite fine, just that i have a query: can i substitute honey for maple syrup? we dont get maple syrup in our part of world. will it blend well with cake flavour? i used honey instead of maple syrup for sweet corn pan cakes and it was fabulous..but its a real cake and i dont want to spoil the frosting. thank you so much :)


  135. rae

    Hi… My question is can I use less sugar, I’m thinking half the recommended amount (as I’m making for my 82 yr old diabetic uncle). I refuse to use any other sweetener substitute. And I am not sure if less sugar affects the chemistry of cake making. I really do appreciate your input. Thanx!

  136. bella_sarda

    I made the 2-layer version for a friend’s birthday and it was “phenomenal,” according to one happy eater, and I would agree. Only changes: I used 1 cup (packed) light brown sugar and 1 cup white instead of 2 cups white. Not sure if this made any difference.

    Also, I processed the carrots based on a tip from Fine Cooking mag: cut carrots into 1-inch chunks and process in the food processor, with the standard blade, not the grating attachment, until very finely chopped (but not to a total puree). This is easier than using the grating attachment (can process all at once rather than feeding the sticks down the tube one by one), and you get the finer carrot pieces which Deb recommends.

    A note on the amount of frosting: I found it to be *just* the right amount to frost a 2-layer cake fairly generously (1/4-inch thick?). For those who want a thicker layer of frosting, or want extra for decorating, I would make 25-50% more frosting.

  137. pooja

    Dear Deb
    I made the cake with honey cream cheese frosting and though it came out fine,i had few issues:
    1. cake was heavy and it didnt rise much. my baking soda is little old, could that be culprit? can i use baking powder instead of that next time?
    2. it took more than 2 hours to bake, and thus turned out brown rather than beautiful carrot color of yours. i grated carrots as Bella suggested :(
    i would love to try it again, if you may help with your inputs.


  138. Sylvie

    I made the cupcakes for my mom’s birthday last night. They were adorable and came out perfect. I wasn’t excited to grate carrots but really it only took like 6 medium sized carrots to fill 3 cups. No biggie.

  139. May

    Hi Deb, i made this and they taste awesome! just a quick question, i made it in the muffin tray like what you did, but ended up with a domed surface. how can i get the surface flat and nice like yours?

  140. Amanda

    I want to make these for tomorrow, do you think I could bake the cakes today and make the frosting and ice them tomorrow? Any ideas on the best way to store them so they will stay fresh overnigh? Thanks!! :)

  141. May

    Hi Amanda, not sure if it’d help… u can bake and keep them in fridge, and ice them the following day. i stored the cake un-iced in fridge for a few days, n add frosting before i wanna eat it. just remember to take the frosting out from the fridge to soften a little before frosting the cake. hope that helps.

  142. Lindsay

    Hi Deb – Any thoughts on the effects of altitude on this recipe? I’d tried making it at least twice and my cupcakes either died (big big center divots) or fell apart each time. Seeing as I am more experienced with cake these days, I am game for giving them another shot, but I am wondering if the altitude up here in Denver was having an effect (I know that altitude/dryness wreaks havoc on cookies that don’t have at least double the butter in them, for example.) Any thoughts?

    1. deb

      Lindsay — Altitude absolutely has an effect. I haven’t tested baking at any altitudes because I live at sea level, but there are resources online. You might start with this or this article.

  143. Deb, just wanted to say that I made this cake today for a co-worker’s birthday tomorrow so I haven’t tasted it yet (although I’ve tasted the components and they are DI-vine!). I made it as a layer cake and instead of adding walnuts I used them on the sides of the cake with your star-tip treatment on the top. It looks wonderful. I’ve always loved how nuts on the side of a cake hide a multitude of sins! Thanks for another great recipe!

  144. Danielle

    Love, love your site!
    I used a friend’s recipe for the carrot cake, but when I got to her frosting recipe, the proportions just didn’t seem right. Thankfully I trusted my instincts and found your amazing frosting recipe instead. Amazing! Thanks for sharing!

  145. catherine

    hi! i m a huge fan of your blog and i had lots of success with several recipes i ve tried! (thx for that:)
    i m wondering, what s the difference between cakes made with oil and cakes made with butter? i m european and i m used to work with butter but i m ready to learn!
    you rock :)

    1. deb

      There are a lot of differences but the main one is that cakes made with oil tend to stay slightly more moist, but they don’t have as much flavor. So butter generally wins.

  146. Loved your recipe and posted it on my blog today since it helped me finally win our little holiday recipe competition. Great recipe! My brother also used your lemon bar recipe. Love your blog!

  147. Wendy

    Best carrot cake ever! I’ve made this many times now, and it’s always brown. I’m also curious about the orange color that you got. Also, I bought a 2mm shredding disc for the food processor and I use that for the carrots. It shreds very fine – I think the food processor comes with a 4mm, so these are twice as thin and it’s a piece of cake.

  148. Yaffa

    This cake was a hit! First I made it as a 9″ double layer, then cupcakes and tonight I’ll be doing a 6″. My husband makes kick ass candied pecans so we throw them in there instead of walnuts, and I use them to decorate the sides of the cake. DELICIOUS.

  149. Daffodil

    You are the best! I had never made carrot cake before, and used this recipe for my husband’s birthday cake today — carrot cake’s his favorite. He was FLOORED, and said it was the best one he’d ever had. I agree — this is the best carrot cake I’ve ever tasted. Thank you!

  150. Hey deb, I made this on a rectangular loaf pan a couple days ago and no frosting, I just was craving carrot cake. It was absolutely delicious and enjoyed in less than a day by many happy eaters. I want to make another one now to keep here at home and enjoy selfishly!!! great recipe.

  151. Kristina

    I’ve been eating up your website for over a year, now, and I hate that my first comment to you is so drole. However, I just made these delicious cupcakes for my son’s birthday (today), and I noticed the marked difference between my brown, spice cake looking color and your bright orange cakes. Did you do anything to retain that color? I did use the small side of my grater. (Love your food, love your pictures)…

  152. deb

    I’ve gotten a bunch of comments that expressed the same about color. I, uh, don’t know how to photoshop so I didn’t alter the colors, however my old kitchen had a skylight and it was SO BRIGHT in there, colors often looked more illuminated than they were. But still, I remember the cake being orange. When I make it again one of these days, I’ll report back about the color in my current, dim kitchen.

  153. Stephanie

    I used this recipe to make a double-layer carrot cake for a cake auction this weekend. It was one of the highest selling cakes, and the buyer loved it! Thanks for posting the great recipe! I should add, for anyone else thinking of trying it, I made this cake using whole wheat flour and turbinado sugar, and the cake still came out great :)

  154. Kim

    omg! Made these yesterday and took some to our neighbors and some to work – EVERYONE wanted the recipe – best compliments were “best carrot cake I have EVER eaten” and then my fav – “This was slap your mamma good” rofl… yum yum yum! We are going to use this as one of our cakes at our wedding in Oct!

  155. Aliza

    I made this cake for Valentines day last weekend. But I subbed a Gluten-Free flour blend, and it worked beautifully! I was worried that it would come out too dense with the gf flour so I sifted the flour and other dry ingredients together twice, and whipped 2 of the egg whites separately and folded them in at the end. I gotta say, I think this was the best carrot cake I have ever had! The cakes were a little crumbly, so if you try this, handle with care, and maybe flash freeze the cake layers before frosting. Thanks Deb!

  156. Sarah

    Deb, this really is THE BEST carrot cake I’ve ever had. I’m so accustomed to dense, heavy carrot cake– this recipe was a humongous surprise! (But how could I expect anything but fantastic recipes from smitten kitchen?!) I split my sugar between granulated and brown (blending your recipe and and Ad Hoc recipe I found), and came out with the kind of dark spice-cake other commenters have mentioned. I also added a healthy dollop of bourbon, to no ill effect. :)
    Anyways, thank you so much for another show stopping recipe!

  157. Rhonda

    I tried this tonight! My family loved it. I made it into a cake and eliminated the mapel syrup in the frosting. It was so easy and so moist. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  158. Kate

    I added fresh ginger (a piece a little larger than my thumb) to the batter, which was divine. Also, I turned out to be out of maple syrup, so I used whisky instead, about a half cup. Both good substitutions!

  159. Daphnie

    These sound & look wonderful! I especially like the Maple syrup addition to the frosting. The only thing is, I don’t add butter to my Cream cheese frosting. I don’t like the way it coats my mouth with that greasy feeling. I simply use 2 packs softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla. But now I’m going to try it with the addition of the maple syrup, yum. Thank you for sharing.

  160. Deb, do you know what size sheet cake this would make? I am going to make it as part of a “spring celebration” lunch with my preschool class (this plus artichokes and asparagus pizza!)

  161. I made these last night and they were *fabulous* I added orange zest and orange juice to the batter and used chopped pecans instead of walnuts… Absolutely moist and delicious. And mine turned out orange too! Maybe it’s the quality of the carrot? Anyway, thanks for the great recipe. This is one I’ll keep for a long time. Recipe made about 28 cupcakes for me

  162. Jen

    My adaptation of this was absolutely delicious! I added toasted coconut and almonds, orange zest and juice, half a banana to replace some of the butter, some fresh ginger, and only about 1 cup of sugar… thanks for providing the inspiration! (:

  163. Heather

    This is by far the best carrot cake I’ve made, and I’ve made quite a few of them. Love how light yet moist the cupcakes are. I can’t wait to try this out as a layer cake as well.
    I had lovely orange cupcakes too…other carrot cakes have come out browner before, but that’s generally when they have called for brown sugar instead of white.

  164. Natasha

    This was absolutely delicious! I’m a new reader and this the second great recipe I’ve used from your blog, and I can’t wait to try more! I made this as a layer cake and it was so easy yet looked and tasted delicious! Thanks so much :-)

  165. Best carrot cake ever–and I didn’t even make the frosting. It’s dark and moist and delicious. And you’ll be happy to know it absolutely works as a bundt cake, which is how I made it. A go-to cake for me for sure. Thanks.

  166. Akitar

    Great success! Came out superbly (I made the frosting from the red velvet cake recipe) and was easy to make. Definitely try it if you’re looking for something easy and delicious.

  167. Marisol Bonilla

    I am so looking forward to making these they look delicious and my hubby likes carrot cake and a great way to sneak veggies to our son…

  168. Donna

    I came across this recipe for my niece’s upcoming wedding. I would like to make this as a 12″ cake (one of them), how can I adapt this recipe for a 12″ cake?

  169. Laura

    Just a short reminder. It seems if you don’t thoroughly mix the dry ingredients the baking soda can actually turn the carrots green while they cook. While still edible and delicious, they do look odd.

  170. Louisa

    This is now my go-to carrot cake recipe. I just made a friple batch for an Easter brunch: one plain; one with raisins and coconut with toasted coconut sprinkled on top of the frosting; and one with pecans topped with chopped, toasted pecans. All three got rave reviews. I love how subtle the maple in the frosting is. It adds complexity but doesn’t overwhelm.

  171. Jennifer

    Not sure who I love more, the author or the cupcakes. I love the personality and creativity of the blog as well as the recipe. Looking forward to trying this recipe.

  172. Rachelle

    So I just made these for the first time, I know where have I been all this time, right?! They were deeelicious! I was a little nervous about the maple in the cream cheese frosting, but I am glad i went with it…just a hint of maple and it was perfect. Why do I ever doubt you?!?

  173. Jen

    I just made this last weekend for Easter. Big Hit! It was moist but not oily and rich with flavor. Beautiful as a cake. I didn’t have 9inch pans so I made it with teo 8inch pans…came out just fine this way!

  174. Maeve

    LOVE carrot cake!!

    Have you heard of Hummingbird Cake, Deb? It’s slowly overtaking carrot cake as my favourite cake! It ALSO uses cream cheese icing :)

  175. Jennifer

    Hi Deb – longtime listener, first time caller. I’m a big fan.

    My boyfriend’s birthday is coming up and this year he gets his favourite – carrot cake. I’m coming to you (again) since everything you’ve sent me has been spot-on. But this time I need to substitute. We don’t eat canola oil. Do you think olive oil would overpower the flavours? Would an equivalent of melted butter be a suitable replacement? Or would melted coconut oil be just too rich? Thanks for your advice!

    1. deb

      Use any oil you’ve successfully used in baking before. All would work, each impart their own flavor. Grapeseed and vegetable oils are the most neutral, I think.

  176. Made this as the second tier (10″)for my niece’s wedding cake. It was a amazing, everybody raved how delicious it was. This will be my standard carrot cake recipe from now on!

  177. This came out perfect – I have literally been on the quest for a good, moist, not-too-sweet carrot cake for my whole adult life. The quest is over Deb, thank you so much for sharing this personal recipe!

  178. Barb

    I just made these last night as a gift for Father’s Day (carrot cake is his favorite!). They. Were. Awesome. Followed both the cupcake and icing recipes exactly and they couldn’t have come out better. And I am brand-new to baking, so thanks so much for posting this. Can’t wait to try out more of your recipes!

  179. Elysa

    I’m thinking about using this recipe for part of a tiered cake (yes, it’s a wedding cake >.>), and I really like raisins in carrot cake, but I’m worried they might make it hard to level or split in half. Should I leave them out?

    1. deb

      With a sharp knife, any cake can be split. Actually, to make it even easier, you can half-freeze the cake layer before cutting it, so you’re cutting something semi-solid that can easily be lifted. You can decorate and fill it while it is still defrosting.

  180. Hannah

    I just made this cake for my boyfriend’s birthday. I was so good! Absolutely the best carrot cake we’ve had. Thanks!

  181. Melissa

    After feeling a deep need for carrot cake I decided to pop on here. I have only once had a recipe fail me from your smitten kitchen and that was more of a preference thing rather than a bade recipe. After changing it a bit to fit my taste better I ended up with the best carrot cake I have ever had. Thank you so much for the great recipe!

  182. julia

    i made these for a friend’s birthday. he blew out the candles, sat and ate 6 cupcakes. when i came home, my sister had eaten one of the cupcakes i’d left behind. i told her i didn’t think she liked carrot cake. she said, “i didn’t think so either.”

  183. Catie

    I never post comments, but these were so good
    I can’t not thank you! Had one for breakfast this morning! Perfect. Your recipes have never let mevd

  184. Marit

    So, I know that this was posted ages ago, but I was looking for a a good carrot cake recipe (my absolute favorite kind of cake, which has to do with the lack of too much processed sugar, the glorious fresh flavor of the carrots, and, yes, the cream cheese frosting) and stumbled across this, and…can I just say you’re my hero? In five or so pages of search results, this is the only recipe that didn’t either use a cake mix or have pineapple or applesauce or something in it. (Yes, it has raisins, but they’re marked “optional” AND it calls for walnuts, which totally make up for the fruit thing.)

    Yeah, I’ll just be going now. Thanks for the recipe!

  185. Similar to Marit, I was looking for a carrot cake recipe, and I knew you would have one! I’ve been following your blog and I truly appreciate all the work you put in your recipes. So back to the cake – for the life of me! You can’t find a recipe in the web that doesn’t have pineapples, which I can’t stand. My husband’s favorite cake is carrot cake and I made it for his birthday which was yesterday and he LOVED it. It was so delicious and moist and perfect. I made the two cakes vs. the cupcakes and layered them. I didn’t have maple syrup so I just did a regular cream cheese frosting. Thank you so much for this lovely recipe!

  186. Molly

    I found myself with a surplus of carrots, and what to do? Carrot cake of course! I knew I could count on smitten kitchen for a killer recipe. These cupcakes were fantastic! I omitted the ginger because I was out of it, but they were still delicious. This will be my new go-to carrot cake recipe! Thanks!

  187. heidi.

    thank you for yet another lovely recipe! i added shredded coconut, a few handfuls of sultanas and about 400g of drained, crushed pineapple to this and it worked a treat! :)

  188. I just made this carrot cake, substituting apple sauce for the canola oil, and frosting with a traditional cream cheese icing. Absolutely delicious! And, perfect for a rainy day. Thanks for the recipe.

  189. Claire

    I teach Culinary Arts and my students love your web page. The first set caved in, so we redid the entire recipe. We measured carefully, even used new baking soda. We filled the muffin cups (with paper) only half full. Please help! These taste divine!

  190. Rosie

    Hi, Deb. Thanks for posting this recipe! I baked half a batch of these cupcakes on the weekend, and they were FABULOUS (even if all my nuts and raisins sank to the bottom). Next time, I’ll probably just stick to regular cream cheese frosting though. I thought the maple was too sweet!

  191. deb

    I’ve never had them cave in before, so it’s hard to say. But the usual culprit in caved-in cakes is too much baking soda. You might try dialing it back, just a hair. Hope that helps.

  192. Jaclyn

    I made a half batch of these today and they were perfect! My husband loves anything with cream cheese and he prefers baked good that aren’t too sweet. He loves these. For those worried about the frosting being too maple-y, You can barely tell its there, I think it just adds a little something different. A little vanilla would probably work just as well.

    Just a warning for those who make a half batch – it makes more like 13-14 cupcakes. I tried just filling 12 with all the batter and they overflowed a bit. Still delicious though! And the frosting amount is perfect. Although I did have to add a few extra tablespoons of powdered sugar to get the right consistency.

  193. Hi Deb, can I make the cake part earlier and freeze? We have a big 1st Bday party coming and I need to pre-bake some things, also please advise if I can freeze chocolate chip cookies – and if it’s better to freeze the batter or cookies already baked. Thank you tones and sorry if somebody already asked that question… with an 11months old walking boy around I am not able to spend more than 15 seconds by the computer and read the comments…thanks again!Paulina

    1. deb

      Paulina — I like to freeze cake layers wrapped three times in plastic. Works great. You can decorate it still frozen; it defrosts in just hours at room temperature. I like to freeze chocolate chip cookies unbaked. Just scoop the batter, freeze it separately on a tray and keep it in a bag in the freezer until needed. You can bake it still frozen, just needs another minute or two baking time.

  194. Elan

    Thank you for creating such a wonderful recipe! This was absolutely delicious! I just made this cake yesterday, and took it to a family function where it was devoured! I had to use your cream cheese frosting from your red velvet cake…I could of just eaten it out of the bowl (well, I did, but only after frosting the cake!). Where I live a jar of pure maple syrup is almost $10! I also put in a 1/2 tsp of all spice…worked wonderful with the other spices especially the ginger! I absolutely love your site, and feel confident every time I make something new from your site that it will come out tasting fabulous!

  195. connie

    I added 8 oz. crushed pineapple and it was so sinfully good.Everyone loved it and I will definitely make it again. The best carrotcake ever!

  196. Cheryl

    I have been reading your blog for the last few weeks and made this recipe tonight. I put the batter in mini-loaf pans and mini-cake pans, it makes it easier for me to give out to my family and friends. I keep one mini-cake for myself and give the rest away. My cakes were a beautiful deep brown. I added chopped pecans and just a small amount of raisins. The cakes rose nicely and they taste really good. Mine have a little crispness to the edges which I find nice.

    I always cut the frosting recipes in half, if not quarters. I added just a little bit of maple syrup. What a nice addition! The recipe made 6 mini-loafs and 3 mini cakes.

  197. Melissa

    First off thank you so much for this recipe, the cupcakes are sooo good. Moist and delicious. I had six people say that I don’t like carrot cake but I love this. I found that I really packed my measuring cup, I used 9 carrots grated really small with a box grater. I had orange cupcakes. I had trouble with the frosting never setting, but i just put it on like icing. I made candy carrot sprinkles and mixed them with chopped candied ginger and sprinkled it on the top. Thank you again for a recipe I will use and pass down to my kids.

  198. I have used many of your recipes and love them all…I am NOT a baker and you have saved me hours and hours of research by doing all the experiments for me and giving me the perfect final recipe!! Thanks a Bunch my Internet friend!!


  199. Liz

    I am a long-time lurker but have tried many of your recipes already! I love the combination of wit, humor, story-telling and practical advice that you weave together in every recipe. My question is more general: Is there any benefit to bringing cold items, in particular eggs, to room temperature prior to mixing? I hesitate to do this becuase it sounds like a case of food poisoning waiting to happen, but thought I’d ask a foodie for input! Thanks!

    1. deb

      Room temperature ingredients mix better and create cakes with better lift and texture. It would probably take more than a day for an egg to go bad at room temperature, and even longer if it was farm fresh, so there’s nothing to worry about there.

  200. Samantha


    This recipe is amazing. I thought I hated carrot cake, but I love it with this recipe!

    Your blog is my dessert bible! This recipe will become a staple.

  201. Silvia D

    I use 3/4 cup of melted brown butter and 1/4 cup of oil…the rest the same. Gives this recipe an unbelieveable nutty taste. Thank you Deb for this awesome recipe!!

  202. Anna

    How do you think this would do with grated apples in place of the carrots? I want an apple cake that is lighter and worthy of frosting, not dense or heavy like a muffin or quickbread. Any suggestions?

  203. Ashley

    Hey Deb,
    I made this cake and tried the cupcake way twice but even filling the papes 1/2 of the way the batter rises over the papers and spills all over the place! :( Maybe I’m overbeating the batter? How would I know if I’m doing that? This is the second time I tried it.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. deb

      Hi Ashely — Are you at a higher altitude? If so, the amount of baking soda/baking powder in cakes might need to be adjusted to avoid this. If not, I have no idea why it would happen unless there had been an ingredient measured incorrectly.

  204. Hi Deb, I know this is a way, way, way old post but I felt compelled to say that this recipe is one of my all-time favorites now. In fact, I’ll be making it today for my husband-the-cake-hater on his birthday, at his request. Unlike so many food blogs out there, your posts and recipes are always so edited, so good, and they always work. In fact, they do better than work. I’ven ever made anything from your site that hasn’t made it into my permanent cooking/baking rotation. That’s kind of astounding, when I think about it. Looking forward to your cookbook! Enjoy the holiday season!

  205. Joanne

    Here I am again, and again, and again. My go-to Carrot Cake Recipe. I just wanted to let you know that I work for a General Contractor in MA and these cupcakes have been our “good luck charm” over the past two years since the day you published this recipe. Seems that 90% of the time I make them and bring them in to work, we win the bid that day. HUGE bid tomorrow – wish the cupcakes and the company luck!

  206. Mary

    Just to get one legitimate comment here (referencing the RSS- not those for the cake!)… I made this for my husband’s birthday and it was delicious! I ran out of time so we enjoyed warm cake with whipped cream. It was also delicious days after without any fussy toppings (obviously I never did get around to the frosting!). I wonder what it might be like with a bit less oil- still tasty with good shape? It’s tough to weed through over 300 comments. Hats off to the folks who have tried applesauce; I’ve never been brave enough to completely substitute it for oil.

  207. Marcia

    If you want a way to lighten the recipe, instead of using applesauce or yogurt, both of which impart a flavor panel that may not be welcome, do as I do and simply replace the oil and the eggs with equal amounts of egg whites (eggbeaters, etc). I cut back on the moisture by 1/4 cup, but since this recipe wants a moist recipe, you might not have to.

    In any case, you could use 1 to 1 1/4 cups of egg whites as a substitute for the oil.

    If you also want to eliminate the eggs, each egg equals 1/4 cup. So you’d add another 1/4 x 4 eggs or 1 cup of eggs whites in place of the eggs.

    You’ll want to beat the egg whites to a good froth before adding the dry ingredients. You’ll also need to bake only to the shortest time, as it will dry out faster without the fat in it. I simply bake until I can smell them. So if the time is 28-35 minutes, I pull them at between 25 and 28 minutes. A tester inserted into the center should still have crumbs and be moist. It will continue to cook after you pull it from the oven.

    This way you can save the calories for the really important part…the cream cheese frosting!

  208. I made this as a cake for my parent’s 40th anniversary. We had a dinner party of 12. It was a HUGE hit, even for the non-carrot cake lovers. I added a bit extra of the spices, and used vanilla instead of maple for the frosting (per my usually non-picky mother’s request). Thank you for sharing!

    I took some pictures of the cake and it is on my Facebook page (giving you props of course)! Thank you!

  209. Trisha

    I tried this recipe after reading the preceding comments and made some adjustments accordingly. I’ll list mine in case they are useful to anyone. I used the food processor trick to chop the carrot into teensy pieces, and it worked. The carrots mostly melted into the batter. I used less cinnamon (11/2 tsp), heeding some comments that theirs was more like a spice cake. I didn’t especially taste the spices, which I suppose was what I was going for. For flour I used 8 1/2 ounces, about 6 of which were all purpose and the rest were white whole wheat. I thought that might get me closer to the orange color but it was still more of a yellow-orange-brown. I made cupcakes and two tiny loaves (using some pans I have for fruitcake). I sliced and frosted the loaves like a cake. The frosting was tasty. I used 8 oz of confectioner’s sugar. Everything was beautiful and delicious!! Thanks!!!

  210. Susan

    I used this recipe as my inspiration tonight. My son is having a birthday tomorrow and wanted carrot cupcakes to take to work to share with his crew. We have this little restaurant nearby that makes a carrot bread that’s dark and spicy that we all just love and your recipe is the only one I found online that included ginger as one of the spices, so I chose your recipe to riff (as I do often!).

    I used half dark brown sugar and half white. I browned 3/4 cup of butter and added oil to make the 1 1/4 cups in the recipe (no disernable flavor imparted, darn it). I also added a big pinch of cloves. I used the raisins and added finely chopped toasted pecans. It was just what I was hoping it would be, so thank you, Deb! Birthday boy dropped by and taste tested one and said it was the best he’d had and snagged another!

  211. Jamie

    Thanks for the great recipe, Deb! My mom requested carrot cake for her birthday today and loved it! The cake is so moist and I loaded it up with raisins and walnuts. I was lazy and didn’t use parchment in the pan, just butter so the cake stuck a little. Serves me right, but it was nothing some extra frosting couldn’t hide. The cake was a nice change from the Christmas cookie explosion going on.

  212. Barb

    Another winner! No surprise there. Turned these into mini muffins/cupcakes for bite size fun. Thank you AGAIN! You never fail me. The hint of pure maple is just genius and separates this from the rest. Cannot wait for your cookbook!

  213. Janice

    I have made these twice this morning and both times they raised up over the liners and pan and were hard to get out of the muffin pan. Also not the nice orange look of yours. And they also sunk in the middle. What am I doing wrong?

  214. Elisa

    Janice-this is bizarre-this is exactly what happened to mine. I thought when using baking powder you always need to use with either vinegar or buttermilk or lemon juice.

    any advice, anyone?

  215. Kristi

    1/2 this recipe and they spread out and stuck to the pan, otherwise followed to a tee. Can this be mixed in your stand mixer if using slow speeds, or do you need to do it all by hand?

  216. Nina

    Made this 2 layer cake for the first time tonight – its amazing!! Awesome recipe! I don’t even like frosting and i was eating this icing with my fingers!!!

  217. leslie

    Looooveee youuu and this blog! question: would i be able to use the carrot shavings from a juicer in place of grated carrots? or would the cake turn out too dry?

  218. Heather

    So delicious. Thank you for sharing this recipe!
    I’ve made cream cheese frosting in the past but I never thought to put maple syrup in it, it’s incredible!

  219. fazila

    so I made the frosting: really liked the touch of maple syrup in it.
    My frosting was too thin to frost so I added some extra icing sugar in it.

  220. Jamie

    Such a delicious cake! I’ve tried many carrot cake recipes that I’ve tucked away over the years, and this is by far the most moist and flavorful. Thank you for sharing.

  221. Mary

    Made these for a Super Bowl party and people kept asking for more! Amazing how such a simple cake can please. Went with cinnamon cream cheese frosting instead of maple. No syrup on hand. Made them again last night and the tops fell in a bit. Could my baking soda be too fresh? Is that possible?

  222. Jacana

    Thank you. I made this for my guy’s birthday. Carrot cake is his favorite and this was a smash hit (with him and a few other folks)! Your photos are beautiful; your instructions are clear. Excellent and inspiring site. Thank you.

  223. Lowri

    Hi! I’ve made these cupcakes a few times without the frosting, and they are! But now I fancy having a go at them with the frosting – anyone know how long I can expect it to keep at room temperature? Thank you!

  224. Cory

    made these just now and they’re the bestt. but don’t use real ginger as a substitute for the ground ginger. unless you like ginger cake instead of carrot cake. it sounded like a good idea before we ate it:/

  225. allie

    It was a Smitten Kitchen Cupcake Weekend here @ my house. :)
    Made the black bottom ones yesterday, carrot today & put some of each in a pretty box for my sister’s birthday. She said they were the best cupcakes I’ve ever made, so thank you for the delicious recipes! I had leftover filling from the black bottom batch and used it to fill 6 of these carrot cupcakes and it was heavenly. I halved the recipe with no problems to report, although I filled the cupcake liners nearly to the top as not to waste any batter and the 14-18 mins was not enough time to get them fully done. It took me somewhere around 25 min @ 350 and they still turned out very moist and tender. Mine did overflow over the top, but having a nice non stick pan and liners inside they came right out after I put them outdoors to cool for about 10 mins.

  226. just have to say… made these early Friday AM and they were STILL moist and delicious today. im very impressed! they even made it through two nine-hour car rides in the snow. i made them for a friend’s birthday before a trip and somehow ended up with a bunch of people who dont like carrot cake, so they stuck around longer than expected! at least the friend liked them. and it just meant i got a lot more to myself :)

  227. Hilary

    Deb, I just made this cake for probably the 12th or 15th time. This time it was epic in a 20×20 pan and again, came out perfect as always. I am indebted to you and whenever anyone tries to sing my praises for how impressive this one is, I immediately pass all credit on to you. Thank you for making an indefinite number of birthdays and celebrations in my life shine!

  228. Farjad

    Hello! I’ve just made this and they don’t taste much of carrot, but I think it’s because I didn’t grate them fine or thin enough. But my real question is what did you do for them to look so orange and pretty? Mine look brownish and didn’t overbake them or anything :/ Any input will be most helpful!
    I’m eager to try more recipes from your site :) Greetings.

  229. Wanted to bring something to add to my mother-in-law’s spread on Easter weekend and, since I never seem to go wrong with your recipes, I chose this in layer cake form. It was a hit! Thanks for helping me impress the MIL, Deb :)

    For what it’s worth, I used only 1 cup of oil; added half a can of [drained] shredded pineapple; and made the cream cheese frosting w/o maple syrup. Also wish that I’d doubled the cinnamon for some extra spice.

  230. Iris

    Hi, I just made these over the weekend,and didn’t come out as orange as yours and didn’t really rise. Any insights as to why? Thanks a bunch!!

  231. Tina R.


    I just want to say that my husband and I love this Maple Cream Cheese Carrot Cake. I have made it weekly minus one week within a month, thus far. Now I am going to try the cup cakes. Thank you for sharing your recipes.

  232. Jane

    My 7 yr old son loves to bake with me. He was skeptical that a cake with carrots could taste good, but after his first bite he was in love with them. We made these into both mini muffin and regular cupcake sizes. This is the moistest carrot cake that I’ve ever! My family and friends loved them. They are delicious even w/o the frosting (but I can’t resist piping it on) . I can’t wait to make it into a 9″ cake. Thank you for an amazing recipe!

  233. Tanya

    Hi Deb! I wanted to make this as a 2 layer 9″ cake, but slice the layers in half to make 4 thin layers. Will I need to double the maple frosting recipe for 4 thin layers? Or is the quantity of frosting in a single recipe enough? If you could please give me some advice on this ASAP. Many thanks!

  234. Iman J

    I am eating this cake,right now, as I write this. And I have to say, this is one of the best carrot cakes I’ve EVER had! Thanks deb :).
    Oh also, it’s mothers day here, and as my mom sat in front of the TV with cake in hand and coffee in the other, she said
    “This is the best mother’s day ever!”
    Though I think that also has to do with that concert we went to last night. Hehe~

    Although I DID have only 2 1/2 cups of carrots. And after I finished baking I realized that the 1/2 cup was still sitting in the cup! *oops*
    And I added fresh ginger instead, and also used my Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting instead of the maple one. So I guess it turned out more of a spiced cake with cream cheese frosting instead of carrot cake? Oh well~

  235. deb always love your recipes! made your leek mushroom quiche for mothers day and it was a hit. now this cake for the mans birthday cake. my frosting turned out more like icing so I added a bunch more powdered sugar and I could not get it to thicken after hours in the fridge. not sure what I did wrong there. so I just kind of dripped it over the top. going to celebrate with it tonight! thank you for all of your great stories and good eats!

  236. Willa

    I just finished making these! The frosting tastes great (i love the idea of putting maple syrup in it) and making them was fairly easy! The only change I made was that I used 2 1/2 cups of carrots instead of 3, which is great for a less carroty flavor. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

  237. WifeToAnAmazingCook

    This was really fantastic. I made the recipe as a round cake (3 layers as I have 8″ pans, not 9″) for my youngest daughter’s first birthday. I put a little apricot jam between the layers with the frosting, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. It was a huge hit – thanks for making it easy to pull off an awesome cake (we’ll never buy a bakery cake again thanks to your cake recipes and tips!).

  238. Uma Pillai

    This was soo soo good!!! Thank you so much! I halved the quantity, and still got a little more than a dozen cupcakes, and didnt go with the frosting.. (just lazy, no other reason)… and the cupcakes were sooo soft, n moist, and just plain heavenly… I’ve tried other carrot cake recipes and I didn’t even get anywhere close to this.. Thank you so much Deb!!!!

  239. Hi Deb – I’m going to make this cake for my friend’s birthday this weekend. Do you think the frosting would turn out if I substituted agave nectar for the maple syrup? Have you used agave in frostings before? Thanks!

    1. deb

      Ashley — I haven’t tried agave in a frosting before. It could probably work but keep in mind that it is sweeter than sugar (and possibly maple syrup) so you might want less.

  240. Trushna

    I made mini-cupcake versions of this for a friend’s 40th birthday – carrot cake is his favorite, and I suspect because of the frosting! :) We get tiny marzipan carrots in the grocery stores here, so I topped each mini cake with a carrot – all in all, a huge hit! We had people toddling off to the kitchen before dinner to get a peek at dessert. I wish I had taken pictures, but I made these in a rush, between coming home from work and heading to the party. Your instructions were so easy, I was done in under an hour (with help from the husband, who industriously grated all the carrots by hand). Thanks Deb, you made me the talk of the evening. :)

  241. Suzie

    I just made these for my son’s birthday (yes he actually asked for carrot cake) and they were awesomly awesome according to him. They really were though. Thanks!

  242. RayAnne

    Totally random question- My Auntie apparently likes crushed pineapple in her carrot cake and since I’m making it for her birthday, I’d like to try to make it this way. Do you think it would work to replace the raisins with drained, crushed pineapple?

  243. Annie W.

    I knew there was a carrot cake somewhere on you site! Just made it today for my husbands birthday. Yum! Again, Deb, thanks for a wonderful recipe. And, i Too, added pineapple. Hugs

  244. Sharon Bayly

    I made this cake last night and I wondered if there is a mistake in the amount of baking soda. The recipe calls for 2 teaspoons. Is this correct?

  245. anita

    I made these into mini-muffins (cooked then for about 12-14 minutes) and they were amazing. Plan is to make them again and bring them in for snack at my daughter’s school, as they contain carrots and thus can pass as healthy. :)

  246. Anna W

    Made these yesterday. Fan.Tas.Tic. Made 1.5 times the recipe so used a little over 4 cups of carrots. Grated most of them with the smaller side and then did a cup’s worth on the larger side for variety. Added both walnuts and raisins, They were raved about and I’ve been asked to make them again. Once again, Deb, you delivered and blew the door down. Thank you. Now we wait impatiently for Oct 30th! I’ve already given your pre-order several times as a gift!! xx

  247. Nicole I

    I don’t know what went wrong! I can tell the flavor of the cake is really tasty…but they just didn’t rise!! I made the entire recipe as directed, except the grated carrots were on the thicker side, and I poured half the batter into a lined cupcake pan, and the other half into a mini bundt pan. I baked for 18 minutes and after I took them out and they sat in the pan for 5 minutes, the cupcakes totally SUNK in and were not baked all the way through at all! I’m super sad because the recipe looks so good and I was hyping up carrot cake to everyone and I might have to throw it away, which always makes me super sad. I stuck them back in the oven to see if more heat will work…probably a bad idea but I’m at a loss and now sitting on my couch, depressed at this fail! Maybe I’ll just make the frosting and call it a day.

  248. Katy M

    Baking these now. First batch of 12 just came out of the oven about 15 minutes ago. Like Nicole I, I am disappointed. They did not rise and the centers sunk quickly. Inital taste is far too oily and sweet. In the cups where I filled a little more than 3/4, making the batter bake over onto the cupcake pan, the edges taste more like a cookie than cake. For the second batch of 12 (I have only one cupcake pan), I added about 3T. more flour and about a 1/4 t. of baking powder. I will follow through and make the cream cheese frosting – I know I won’t go wrong with that recipe. As for the cupcakes, hoping the second batch is better so I can serve them for my mom’s birthday. Love the site but there are better carrot cake and cupcake recipes out there.

  249. Brooke

    I just made this and it didn’t come out well at all, oily with a bumpy, mottled top and crunchy sides :(
    Normally I have great luck with cakes and Deb’s recipes in particular, so I did some digging around to find out what went wrong. Turns out you have to take care to mix the sugar and oil VERY well, and then give everything a really good mix before turning out the batter into your pans. When the oil and sugar are insufficiently mixed, the sugar leeches out and goes crunchy and the oil doesn’t stay “anchored” in the cake. I let my batter sit while I grated the carrots and toasted my nuts, and then just gently folded things together before baking since I was afraid to overmix. The sugar and oil probably separated during this time and I didn’t mix enough to bring it back together. Looks like I’m not the only one here with this problem, so if you get similar results to mine it’s probably the culprit.

  250. deb

    It’s so strange to me that for 350 comments, just about everyone loved the recipe and the last three have found it terrible. Has something changed? I’m paying attention, but confused too!

  251. Brooke

    I doubt anything has changed… The reason I left the comment above was to explain that people getting results like mine were probably undermixing the oil and sugar or letting the batter sit too long–that it is a “user error” and not a problem with the recipe itself. I never meant to imply that it was bad, I’m sorry! In fact, crispy crust and mottled tops aside, it was really delicious :) Maybe adding a note reminding people to mix things extra well would help?

    1. deb

      Jess — It might work but I can’t give it a full vote of confidence without trying it. Not all layer cakes translate well to loaves as loaves need a little more structure and sometimes leavening to rise as high as they need to in relatively taller pan. If you give it a spin, would love to hear your results and I’m sure others (along with myself) would love to try it one day.

  252. Crystal

    Just made this tonight for my mom’s 54th birthday! She normally isn’t a fan of cakes but she really liked this one–it was moist, rich, and not overly sweet. Absolutely delicious. Just wanted to let you know that the oatmeal raisin cookie recipe I tried a few months ago was also a huge success. I’ll be coming back for more, thanks! :)

  253. I made this cake a few nights ago, ate one layer the next day and froze the second- wrapped in plastic three times. I took it out to defrost this afternoon and when I cut into it tonight the carrots shreds were all bright green and moldy. Did I just not wrap it tightly enough?

    Thanks for your help and your amazing recipes! :)

  254. Nicole I

    OK…Since the first failure, I was determined to get this right since my obsessive craving for carrot cake with cream cheese frosting did not go away the first time. It turned out fantastic the second time around!! I’m so glad I tried again. Deb – it really must be baker’s error. This time, I did make sure to measure my baking soda carefully (most of the time my guestimation turns out well!), mix my ingredients WELL, shredded the carrots more finely (the thickness of them the first round may have weighed the cakes down a bit) and used a regular cupcake pan. They turned out so great people were begging for more so, I would consider this recipe a success!

  255. Annie

    My sister requested a carrot cake for Thanksgiving (she makes the pies, so I questioned her only so far as to hear the explanation, “it’s harvesty”), and they turned out REALLY WELL. I did a practice batch on Sunday, and they turned out well there, too, but I got the cooking time just right the second time around. Thanks for another reliable recipe!

    And, also, while I’m here — THANK YOU for your cookbook. We’ve made the mushroom bourguignon, broccoli raab paninis, slow cooker black beans, the rice casserole, and the raspberry scones so far, and all were a huge success. (To be sure, they’ve made it to our stand-by weeknight dinner list.) The slow cooker beans yielded a lot of extra broth, and we had some extra rice leftover, so we put the rice into the leftover broth, and had a black bean/rice soup without even trying. I wouldn’t be surprised if you planned it that way. Big congratulations — enjoy the success. :)

  256. Jackie

    Deb – I wanted to thank you for this recipe. I made the layer cake (my very first!) for my father and nephew yesterday, who both can’t eat traditional Thanksgiving desserts for various reasons and this was the biggest hit of the night. Not only did everyone love it, but they said it was bakery-quality. It was moist and the frosting was perfect. I will definitely be making this again! Thank you!

    1. deb

      I haven’t made it with less sugar than suggested (nor do I find the original terribly sweet) so I cannot say for sure. If you’re only dialing it back a little (i.e. 1/4 cup) it will almost certainly work. To halve it might make it quite dry (sugar adds moisture).

  257. Kim

    Hi Deb- I have these beauties in the oven as I type. Too bad I didnt say your answer to Q#55 until now. I used the fine grater but used 3 “large” carrots. Do you pack your carrot into the cup? I also substitued 1 cup of “raw” sugar…to make it slightly less sweet.

  258. Kellie

    I just made these, and they turned out awesome! All of my previous tries for carrot cakes have been flops in the past, and I’m a pretty good baker, so it’s been pretty disappointing especially considering my love for cream cheese frosting… i mean carrot cake.
    I only added 1 1/2 cups of sugar, skipped the ginger and nutmeg (due to considerations for the recipient’s taste buds – I live in China and Chinese people seem to not really like warming spices or desserts that are too sweet), added some vanilla, and they’re delicious.

  259. Elena

    I made the cake version of it for my son’s first birthday last week and it was a total success. I highly recommend using brown sugar instead of normal caster sugar and definitely adding the raisins. I also used a bit less butter and icing sugar for the frosting. It was sweet enough though a little less creamy I suppose, but it was well balanced and worked a treat!

  260. Denise

    Carrot cake… Never liked it. Then I made this a few years ago and now it’s a family fave!I always go back to this recipe… Made it for the family for Valentines day. Your recipes NEVER dissapoint…So yummy.

  261. Amy

    Made this as a cake for my dad’s birthday and it’s amazing! I substituted 1/2 the oil with applesauce and included the raisins and walnuts. The frosting was so yummy… Why have I not thought to add maple syrup to cream cheese frosting?! Thank you! I’ve become addicted to your site by the way!

  262. Terese

    Just wrapped up a carrots fest making delicious use of the whoollle 10lb Costco sack! Muffins were perfect with 1.5c sugar thanks to the naughty frosting.
    Also dove into carrot tahini, carrot fennel and carrot miso soups-all delicious!!!

  263. Ena

    The cake was amazing, I reduced the sugar by 1/3 cup and didn’t use maple syrup for the frosting. I had none so used 2 teaspoons vanilla instead. So delicious!

  264. I made it as a cake just as written and it turned out great – moist and tasty! I cut the sugar in the frosting by half because I like my frostings with very very minimal sweetness, and I like the way it turned out; I might even cut it further. I also did half regular cream cheese, half low-fat cream cheese. Not like it really matters when you’re talking dessert anyway, and I doubt the reduction is negligible, but the frosting came out great so if low-fat was all you had I’d say go for it. It did make too much frosting though – maybe make 3/4ths what is called for?

  265. amoeba

    Made this for easter for my family as an 11” layer cake – I just used 1.5 times the amount of batter and frosting and it worked fine. Everybody loved it, especially the spices!
    I used fresh ginger and used the walnuts, but not the raisins… perfect for me!

  266. Aisha L.


    For waxing the bottom of the cake pan:
    I take wax paper (or parchment paper? Are those the same thing?) and cut out a circle the size of the bottom of the cake pan and then just put it on the bottom, butter it, butter the sides and then sprinkle flour all over it?

    Just wanted to make sure I am doing it right! :)

    1. deb

      Waxed paper is coated with with wax and is not heat-safe (the wax will melt into your food; it it’s not poisonous but still hardly something you’d want to ingest). Parchment is coated with silicone and is heatsafe (up to 400 or so degrees). Otherwise, your understanding is correct.

  267. Bri

    I made the carrot cake recipe and it was delicious! I actually halved it though and made 12 cupcakes instead. I added a bit of crushed pineapple (left out the raisins and walnuts) and it was very good. I frosted it with plain cream cheese with just a sprinkle of coconut (and some mini eggs for easter!) and everyone loved it. Thanks for sharing!

  268. JP

    Thank you so much! This is my new favourite carrot cake recipe. I have tried many recipes–some were too greasy/oily for my taste, some were too dense but this is just what I was looking for in a carrot cake!

  269. SK

    Just what I was looking for! I wanted to make a carrot cake and was hunting for a trustworthy recipe; and my search ends here. Only a question: Do you think I can replace a little or all the oil with butter or browned butter?

  270. Steph

    I made this recipe into a layer cake yesterday and it was so good! It was mothers day and I wanted to try a new recipe and my whole family loved it. We’re a family of cake makers so it’s hard to please us but this cake was a big hit! The only thing I might tweak is to add more walnuts to the mix.

  271. Flossie Low


    Do you happen to have the recipe in grams? My granny loves carrot cakes but I find it kinda hard to follow a recipe using “cups”. Thanks so much.

    1. jjjeanie

      I’m not an expert, but I have somewhat recently “converted” to using a scale (which I should’ve done ages ago, as it’s so much more accurate!). So, I just made this (for the 5th or 6th time) and checked my weights as I went. Here’s what I used.
      270 grams AP flour
      approx 300(+) grams carrots (3-4 average size)
      198 grams white sugar (NOTE: this is HALF of what the recipe calls for)
      95 grams brown sugar (to make up for some of the missing white sugar–this addition makes it really moist and gives it an extra something I like. For those still using measuring cups, this is 1/2 cup)
      245 grams oil (I use avocado oil from Trader Joe’s)
      115 grams walnuts
      I use measuring spoons for the salt, soda, and spices. I also bake it only about 30-35 minutes, but ovens differ, so check.

      For the icing (or frosting–I think the choice of word is due to geography!):
      113 grams butter (4 ounces)
      225-240 grams confectioner’s sugar
      approx. 75 grams maple syrup

      OK, that’s my best effort. Other bakers? Please chime in!!

  272. Danielle

    Two quick questions if you’re still checking comments on this recipe. Do you think I can use coconut oil or will the flavor be too strong and can I make in a 9X13 pan? Thanks!

    1. deb

      Coconut oil will definitely give the cake a coconut flavor, so it’s really about how much of one you want. I haven’t made it in a 9×13 pan but commenters #105 and 202 seem to have.

  273. Wendy


    I made these cupcakes tonight but the top of the cakes are mottled (rough with holes). They are also very wet and moist despite baking them for nearly half an hour. I tasted one and the taste is great but I am perplexed as to why the surface is not smooth like yours.

  274. Wendy

    Nope, I am not. The cake was also very wet inside, although they were baked in the oven for more than half an hour at 170C. When I put in a toothpick to test however, it came out clean. Just a tad too wet for my taste…any way to make it less wet and dense?

    1. deb

      Hm, yes, you could probably bake it five minutes longer without harming it. You could also add another 2 tablespoons flour to firm it up a bit. I was thinking about what you said about the texture and honestly, it’s been years since I made these but the tops of my cakes were indeed kind of porous and not terribly smooth. The photos aren’t great, but you can see more detail here. Also, it sometimes takes me a while to get all the cakes into the oven (I have only one cupcake tray) so later ones tend to have more diminished baking soda and have less of a pocked appearance.

  275. Wendy

    Thanks for pointing me to your photo album! I am going to try this recipe again today and see how it goes. It could be because I put in too much baking soda or something.Maybe I should leave the batter for a while before I put them into the oven.

  276. Wendy

    Good news! The second time was a success! The cake was soft and moist and no longer wet. I added in 5g of flour (I only made a quarter of this recipe) and I spent longer time mixing the oil, sugar and egg. Also I coated the carrot shreds and raisins with one tablespoon of flour.

  277. Ella

    This turned out great and yummy but the quantities are not right somehow – I have only one tray so I wanted to bake 12 muffins and not 24, but dividing the quantity exactly in half resulted in 9 muffins and not 12… and they’re not as full and handsome as in you pic… :(

  278. Natalie

    Deb I LOVE this recipe – I have now made this as a carrot layer cake twice and both times it was great! I added a tablespoon fresh ginger, substituted brown sugar, doubled the raisins and held the nuts – and you were right, this recipe takes adjustment very well! the second time I used the same adjustments but also made it gluten free by using Bob’s Redmill AP flour and a tsp xanthum gum and it was fantastic! cooking time was about 10 min less with the gluten free adjustment.

  279. Sara

    Hi there! Is there any chance that you could update this recipe with weight/metric information? I read in your FAQs that you don’t mind requests :o)

  280. Christine

    I’ve made this recipe several times and it never disappoints. I was wondering if I can replace half of the flour with white whole wheat flour? Thanks.

  281. Kari

    I’m shopping for a recipe, so of course I came here first! :) Why use waxed paper instead of parchment for the pan liner?

  282. deb

    Actually, I think the recipe is from the pre-readily available parchment days; it’s just old. I’d use parchment instead. It’s more heat-safe.

  283. Kari

    Thank you deb for the response! I’ve shopped around for other recipes because I really want something fairly traditional and light, rich, and moist all at once, and this is for a friend’s birthday so I really want to choose something well reviewed and that sounds like my end goal. I have settled on this one and can’t wait to go get my ingredients!

  284. Kari

    I made the cakes! Super easy. One 8 inch, one 6 inch, and 2 large cupcakes…I used cake/pastry flour from Bulk Barn and added a couple tablespoons to the 2 cups. Also added vanilla, but I don’t think I can taste it. Instead of layers, I will have two cakes, but no problem there! I sampled a cupcake to test the taste and texture and wish it were fluffier, but it is moist and just sweet enough to know it is a cake, and not dense like my muffins I often make. My only dilemma is do I keep them in the fridge until tomorrow night (after they cool), and do I frost now or later! I will likely make this again, and keep trying to increase the fluffiness. As always, great recipe, Deb.

  285. Kari

    Last comment, I promise. I think that the cupcakes seem a bit drier and less fluffy than the cake. I wrapped my cakes in plastic and had them on the counter for about a day. Then I made the frosting and used some marscapone in place of part of the cream cheese, but think I would have preferred to just stick with the recipe. People LOVED it, and when I had my piece, I realized it was exactly the kind of fluffy cake I wanted. Wonderful recipe.

  286. Marahak

    Hi! Im trying these today and just wanted to ask if using cake flour will make any difference to the timings or texture of the cupcakes?

    1. deb

      Marahak — Cake flour will be fine but make sure you’re using the non-leavened type (no baking powder or baking soda in there) or it will throw off the recipe, which calls for it separately.

  287. Marahak

    Just finished icing the cupcakes and they’re heavenly!!! Light and fragrant and beautiful! I used cake flour instead of ap, and i dont think it made much difference, i did have to increase baking time by a couple of minutes.

  288. MarahaK

    I live in johannesburg and we’re in the middle of winter. These cupcakes are the perfect indulgent winter-time snack!

  289. TaraM

    Hello- my name is Tara and I have a massive cookbook addiction….
    Ever since your book came out, I’ve had it on my Amazon wish list- just waiting for the perfect excuse to add it to my already overflowing bookshelves. I decided to borrow it from the Library with the hopes that I would find the few recipes I wanted to try and be done with it. Hahaha… I laugh now at that ridiculous plan since I wasn’t even through the breakfast section before I had 5 recipes that I absolutely NEEDED to try. So- needless to say, I will be enlarging my collection quite soon. In the meantime I will satisfy myself with your website. I made this carrot cake for my husband’s boss’ birthday today and it was a HUGE hit. Yet another “go to” recipe from SK. Thanks for being fierce and fabulous.

  290. Rachael

    I just baked these tonight, and friends have said – best cupcakes I’ve made so far! We get a regular vegetable box delivery and are suffering from carrot overload and this was perfect to use them up. Thank you for the great and simple recipes, definitely earned some bonus points with friends and colleagues!

  291. Belma

    These are yummy!! A lady brought these to work over the holiday weekend and I couldn’t stop thinking about these until I made my own batch! You can’t go wrong with these!

  292. Sally

    I made this as a birthday cake and it was absolutely delicious! The maple cream cheese frosting is amazing. My friend and all her friends just loved it.

  293. beth

    Bland, greasy and just awful. Don’t know what went wrong but in comparison to a joy of baking recipe this one has twice the amount of sugar and oil.

  294. Carie

    This is the first carrot cake I’ve ever made and probably the best I’ve ever eaten! I am definitely making this again but I might buy a new grater first!

  295. Kerrigan

    Just made these this weekend (bday treat for my bf) and holy wow! Super, fabulous taste! Could eat them without the icing (although, of course we didn’t ;)

    I used the food processor with the blade (not the grater blade) to dice the carrots – worked great!

    Thanks for the amazing recipe! You rock!!

  296. deb

    Hi beth — Sorry this wasn’t to your liking. I’m not sure what Joy of Baking recipe you’re looking at but I just checked the site and there’s only a little more sugar and oil in this one, far short of double, and all of the other ingredients are about the same. This one uses more salt and spices so, if anything, I’d expect it to have more flavor oomph so I’m wondering if there might have been something else that went wrong as you were baking it. I’d be happy to help troubleshoot, as I always do.

  297. Cari

    Deb, I have never made carrot cake before, but these cupcakes came out perfect. This is the best carrot cake I have ever had. I used silicone liners and they popped out like a charm, no flouring or greasing needed. I did have enough extra batter to make 24 bite sized cupcakes in addition to the regular size, so I’m not sure how that happened. Also, this might be useful to people asking how much, I used a pound of carrots to get my 3 cups, fluffy, not packed.

  298. Courtney

    I made this recipe, but wanted to cut down on the oil and add pineapple. So I used 3/4 cup strained chunk pineapple which I ran through a blender in an attempt to crush, but ended up pureeing. I then only used 1/2 cup of oil. So in all it was 1/4 cup less liquid than the recipe calls for, but it was super moist and delicious.

  299. Hi there
    thanks for providing an amazing inspiring blog. I have just started (I think I have two views). I found you through googling for a carrot cake and found this one which was great. I just adapted it a bit because I am doing a blog for headache free food. Anyway you have given me lots of ideas and things to aspire too. If only I had more time.

  300. Midori

    I made this yesterday, using only one cup of sugar, but that is still sweet enough for me and my family. It’s the best carrot cake I’ve ever had! :D Will put this on the menu for my christmas feast.

  301. Jessika Castillo

    I made this last Sunday and added a bit of bourbon. It went so fast I found myself making more (for coworkers this time) by Wednesday. Lovely recipe, thank you!

  302. Sarah

    Hi Deb, I know you are a fan of freezing cakes. Would it work with unfrosted cupcakes do you think? I was thinking it might be too hard to get an air tight wrap. My daughter Ceci is having a bake sale to raise money for the World scouting Jamboree 2013 in Japan. We are having a Smitten kitchen bake sale! with only your recipes and a cookbook as a raffle prize.

    1. deb

      Sarah — Yes. The default sugar in almost all American baking recipes is granulated. But, I try to remember to clarify it these days. They should freeze fine. It will be harder to get them airtight (I use a container) but I would just then freeze them for less time, limit it to a week or so, tops.

  303. Danielle

    Hi! I’m getting ready to make these for thanksgiving, and I was just curious about using fresh ginger. Could you give me some tips?

  304. Ana

    I found these to be not quite carrot-y enough and a little too laden with spices to be my ideal carrot cake…however, taken as something a bit different, they’re just fantastic! Flavorful moist cake and a DELICIOUS cream cheese icing… Even if these weren’t my exact picture of what carrot cake should taste like, I’m not sure I’d change a single thing!

  305. Juliet

    Not sure if anyone will scroll all the way down the comments, but in case anyone was wondering, I used exactly 1 lb of carrots to get 3 c. of finely grated carrots. Danielle, I would think finely grating anywhere from 1 tsp – 1 Tbsp of ginger along with the carrots (depending how much you like ginger) would work fine. I’m a ginger fiend too, so I plant to sprinkle chopped crystallized ginger on top, and press crushed gingersnaps around the outside of my layer cake :)

  306. April

    Hey deb! Since I’ve come across your wesite for years, just want to leave my feedback on these cupcakes. :) These taste awesome! Moist and not so sweet. Actually, carrot-haters gobble this up whenever I bring these to church. I make these at least twice or thrice a month. But recently, I halved the spices so kids can eat them. :)

    Also, I took the liberty of checking in on the other comments and found comments on failed attempts. May I suggest preparing the ingredients, especially the tedious ones ahead? A common mistake I used to do is by measuring ingredients by eye. A little mise en place would greatly help since time is essential in baking. :)

  307. Deanna

    Hi Deb, Thank you for sharing your many delicious recipes.
    I would like to bake this cake tonight, but have a question.
    I’d like to cut the sugar by half if possible or sub it for honey/agave.

    Could that work? I know it might be more dry, but any suggestions would be helpful!
    The person Im making the cake for is sensitive to sugar, but she can eat honey.

    Thank you!

  308. Elisabeth

    Best carrot cake ever! This really hit the mark–one change I made was actually grinding the carrots with a hand mixer, since our grater is pathetic–and it came out fabulous! Moist, beautiful and delicious. Thanks Deb!

  309. Tiffany

    My little boy turned 21 last week and carrot cake was his cake of choice so of course, I had to go to Deb’s recipe. We were so stuffed from dinner but still managed a couple slices a piece. My son’s roommate declined cake at first but said yes to a teeny slice to be polite when I pressed. He sheepishly came back and asked for a larger slice. :) Absolutely wonderful cake. I grated my carrots with larger grater so the color was not as orangey as Deb’s but no matter.. the addictive frosting took care of that. Thank you, Deb!!

  310. APB

    I made this as a layer cake for my daughter’s birthday yesterday and it was easily the best carrot cake I’ve ever tasted! moist, flavorful, perfect. The cream cheese frosting was a big hit too! The frosting I thought had the perfect ratio of cream cheese and butter – some cream cheese frosting recipes I find are too buttery – but I wish I could have made it a little more maple-y. Maybe grade B next time! Thank you for yet another amazing recipe!

  311. Andrea

    Hello..Made this recipe for the first time.. they tasted great.. However, upon looking closely at the cupcake I noticed green pieces of ??? I have no idea where this came from. All my ingredients were fresh. Any idea what this could be or anyone else experience this?!?! I hope they are still good to eat! Or should I throw them out? Help!

    1. deb

      Andrea — That was probably a reaction between an acidic ingredient and the baking soda. I’ve seen it before, but not here. However, I just scrolled back in the comments and it looks like one other person had this problem, Laura #475. She suggests that it can happen if the baking soda/dry ingredients aren’t really well mixed, which makes sense. Fortunately, it’s just a coloration thing and shouldn’t affect the taste. Hope that helps for next time.

  312. annnabelle (mama of 4)


    Your recipe of carrot cake is our FAVORITE! I haven’t bake it in two years because my daughter was diagnosed of having celiac disease. I actually had been discourage of baking anything from scratch. I started baking when I was pregnant with my daughter. It was like a flour craving. Now they told me it’s not celiac but an allergy to gluten. So we have hope that she would grow out of it.

    I still dream about this carrot cake and my kids misses it too…do you have a gluten free recipe that would be as good as this carrot cake???

  313. Carol S

    Hi Deb,

    I have been drooling over these cupcakes for weeks and I am finally making them for my son’s 2-year birthday party. Now that I’ve read every comment more than 400 comments, I think I’m armed and ready to bake! I am making them Friday night for a party on Saturday morning, so hopefully stashing them in the icebox will be OK. I will probably frost them Saturday because if they are in the icebox with frosting Friday night, we might have a few missing before the party…carrot cake and self-control really don’t go together…

    I made your chocolate wafer icebox cupcakes for his birthday last year and everyone raved about them. This time, I’m making a more healthy dessert because he will have his friends over for his first party.


  314. Annie


    I’ve been searching high and low for an grand-slam-out-of-the-park carrot cake recipe for my carrot-cake loving man, and I have to say you DEFINITELY nailed it. Unlike Carol (I am impressed with your dedication to the comments!) I just followed the recipe to the T and I am so happy with the product, I did half cupcakes, half cake and I’m now prepared for the birthday weekend. Thank you thank you thank you!

  315. Carol S

    Hi Deb,

    I wanted to let you know everyone LOVED the cupcakes. In fact, I was told I was being selfish by limiting everyone to just one. Oh well. We can’t teach self-control to our kids if we don’t exercise it ourselves. I guess I just forced the issue because we ate some Friday night! You have to have a quality assurance test cupcake, right? Well, my husband and birthday boy each had 2! I guess you don’t have to worry about what the party guests will say if the birthday boy shoves one down as fast as he can and then says and signs “more” as fast as his little hands will go.

    I used the leftover frosting and made gingersnap cookie sandwiches. I must say, I think I liked the cookie sandwiches better only because I love gingersnaps more than carrot cake (but not by much). Thanks so much for sharing. Can’t wait to try the chocolate banana bread. If only my bananas were ripe enough right now!


  316. Raphaelle

    Looks delish! Is it good without the frosting? (my husband doesn’t like frosting!!!) And can I freeze some of those cupcakes? I LOVE baking but don’t really have a sweet tooth so end up giving away of wasting a good part of my baking…. Also, I’m going to replace the canola oil with some coconut oil. For some reason I like to think it’s healthier

  317. Elaine

    the frosting.. after several hours of refrigeration it is still entirely too thin to pipe :(
    It seems a handful of people have had problems with this, but sifting through the comments I don’t really see a “fix”
    I used Philadelphia cream cheese (bought in Germany). Should I add sugar? butter? The tops look too lovely to give up piping for icing!

  318. Chrissie

    Made this today for Easter dinner as a round layer cake. Took what felt like a lifetime to grate 3 cups worth of carrots on the finest side of the grater box (didn’t help that I used mini-carrots so came terrifyingly close to grating off my fingers at every pass.) Was worth grating them super fine though because the texture of the finished cake was divine.

    For those making the layer cake I would recommend halving the icing recipe because I now have a tempting vat of frozen icing sitting in my freezer…

    Thanks for another stellar recipe deb!

  319. Jessica

    Made the cupcakes for Easter dessert. I had success with the carrots using a microplane box grater. It was pretty tedious, but I think the results were well worth a little elbow grease! The texture came out very moist and lovely. Thanks for another great go-to version of the classics!

  320. Em from Oz

    For anyone interested in making these a bit healthier – I made these last week as lunchbox treats and made the following adjustments:

    Swapped half of the flour for whole wheat
    Reduced the sugar to only 1 cup
    Swapped ¾ of a cup of oil for apple sauce, and used only ½ cup oil
    Ran out of carrots so used about ⅓ sweet potato as well

    They tasted awesome, and were still nice and moist up to a week after they were made.

  321. Cezare

    Help, I’ve made this recipe about three times and essentially I love it, BUT, I always find I want it more “carroty”. Should I be packing the grated carrot down when I measure it or just fill the cup loosely? Has anyone tried upping the carrot quantity? I’m tempted to double it!

  322. Lauren

    Have you ever tried to make any cake recipes vegan? I am throwing a bridal shower for my vegan sister-in-law and would love to include your carrot cake (it is so good!), but I’ve never tried to bake using vegan substitutions. I’ve read about using applesauce in place of eggs and I know they make vegan cream cheese, but I’m not sure how that will change the consistency. Any help/guidance would be appreciated!

  323. Cezare

    My friend makes really good vegan cakes using milk curdled with a little vinegar (1tsp per 2 cups of whole milk and leave to stand for 5minutes I believe). You can barely tell they don’t have dairy. You’d need to play around with quantities I guess though.

    For anyone interested in my comment above re wanting a more “carrotty cake”… I’ve since tried the recipe again using 5cups of loosely packed carrot (it was 450g). I upped the baking powder ever so slightly to compensate. Also, I read somewhere that mixing the sugar and carrot together 20mins before making the cake makes the carrot flavour more prominent – it certainly drew a lot amazing tasting liquid out of the carrot. I can’t say for sure whether it was the increased carrot, sugar soak or both that made for a much more carrotty cake, but more carrotty it was.YUM!

  324. deb

    Lauren — See Comment #125. I haven’t used a flax substitute before but it’s very popular among commenters that mention veganizing cakes. Good luck!

  325. Vinci Au

    Made these cupcakes for a bridal shower just this past weekend and they were an absolute hit! They’re not terribly sweet which was perfect. The frosting was delicious and the cake very moist. I used EVOO instead of canola oil because that was all I had and it turned out fine. Next time I would substitute some oil with applesauce like the other commentors suggested because the cupcake liners were soaked through with oil.

    Would love to make this cake again! Especially as Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas is approaching. Thanks again for another wonderful recipe.

  326. Connor

    Hi Deb

    My family is on a refined sugar free journey and I love your recipes but is there anyway I can adapt them to make them refined sugar free using honey or maple syrup in place or granulated sugar etc? I am very new to this refined sugar free thing we are only 6 weeks in. Or do you have some specific recipes I can try?

  327. Cait

    Deb, Thank you for another great recipe. I made this one as a layer cake for my daughter’s first birthday party. So. Delicious. A hit with everyone.

  328. Deb, I want to make these in mini muffin pans for my annual New Year’s Eve party – will be served with other cookies. Read several comments about spilling over – do you think that’s a problem for mini size? Also, suggestions for cooking time adjustments?

  329. kjb

    I have made this cake every year for the last three years for my bf’s, now fiance’s birthday because carrot cake is his favorite. He loves this cake and says mine is the best carrot cake he has ever had. Thanks for the great recipe!

  330. Love this cake! I needed to throw together a cake for a last minute celebration and just used what I had on hand. I used a mix of coconut oil and vegetable oil, and subbed oatmeal and whole wheat flour for some of the white. And I didn’t have enough carrots, but I had a bunch of leftover carrot shreds from juicing, so I just used those. I was worried there wouldn’t be enough carrot flavor with the missing juice, but it turned out great and super moist. Obviously, this recipe is very flexible. It tasted delicious–and no one noticed that it was really a fairly healthy muffin masquerading as a cake. :) And I can feel pretty good about eating the leftovers for breakfast.

  331. Jenny

    I’m excited to try this recipe and I have a question about the cake version. The description of the cake version says bake “40 minutes each.” Does that mean I should bake each cake pan separately? Just double checking since I do not want an uneven bake. Should I stack them on different levels or place the two pans side by side? Thank you!

  332. deb

    Jenny — There isn’t a right or wrong way in general to put two layers in the oven, it’s more about how evenly your oven bakes. I only have one rack in my current oven, so I put layer side-by-side. It’s more important that they’re rotated during the baking time to ensure evenness.

  333. Lisa

    Hi Deb. Making the frosting now and it’s really thin, even after double the time in refrigerator. I didn’t mess up ingredient amounts, but I used an organic cream cheese. It’s softer and without the stabilizers that you get in, say the Philly brand cream cheese. The stabilizers being the things that allow them to make it into perfect, firm bricks. It’s the only thing that I can figure — the softer cream cheese doesn’t let it thicken the way it should. Does this make sense to you? I’m making the cupcakes for a birthday party, so running to the store now for the Philly brand now. I’m sure you’re busy, but would love your take on this problem when you get a chance. It tastes great on the cupcakes, just need it to spread properly. Thank you.

  334. deb

    Did you try letting it firm up in the fridge once whipped? It might help. I think once you pipe the shape, it will keep, especially because you’re going to keep a cream cheese frosted cake in the fridge, anyway.

  335. Samantha

    I found that the shredding attachment for the KitchenAid stand mixer works really well for shredding the carrots! It was much smaller than in my food processor and safer and easier than the hand grater.

  336. Abby

    I find it hard to locate Baking soda(besides Arm and Hammer and I can’t imagine that should be used lol), so can this be substituted for baking powder? What’s the difference?

    1. deb

      Arm and Hammer is just fine for baking; I use it all of the time. Baking powder contains baking soda; you can make your own powder from it (see here). But, it also contains an acidic ingredient (cream of tartar) which ensures that it will work/proof even in a recipe that doesn’t contain one. None of this matters for your purposes, of course. Just use the A&H stuff. :)

  337. Sara

    This cake is amazing! I decided to make a 1/2 bath (12 cupcakes) and even so ran out of oil and was too lazy to go to the store so I substituted 1/4 cup of olive oil. Super moist cake and the frosting is to die for!

  338. Lisa

    Hi Deb, I want to use the frosting from this recipe on your latest Carrot-Graham Layer Cake recipe because we have fresh homemade maple syrup to use up. It’s a trial, I know.

    However! The cake is for my daughter’s birthday and confectioner’s sugar frosting gives her headaches. Do you have any suggestions for a maple cream cheese frosting that does not include confectioner’s sugar? I did find an Extra Creamy Cooked Cream Cheese recipe on The Splendid Table’s website, but have no idea/am terrified to swap in maple syrup.

    Thank you for all the help you consistently give to your legion of commenters.

    1. deb

      Lisa — Would you use brown sugar? The bigger issue is softness; brown sugar will make a more wet frosting than powdered sugar, which has cornstarch to act somewhat as a thickener. This maple syrup one is softer too. (You can see my brown sugar cream cheese frosting here.) But it still works just fine between layers and on top, as you would for the carrot-graham.

  339. Patryce

    While I’ve never been a carrot cake fan, my son loves it, so I made this as a cake for his birthday a couple months ago, with toasted pecans and without raisins per his specifications. I used half oil and half melted butter but otherwise followed the recipe quite closely. I grated the carrots with the fine disc in the food processor. Made a 9×13 cake ’cause I was lazy and it’s easy to transport. Several grownups at his party said they didn’t like carrot cake usually but this one was great!

    I agree.

    I was a little disappointed that the maple flavor didn’t come through much in the frosting, so I may leave it out next time or see if maple extract helps a little(but I think it tends to be artificial?) Trader Joe’s used to carry granulated maple sugar which might provide more flavor and help with the softness, I’ll see if I have any left and maybe grind it finer in the blender or processor…or maybe I just need darker, stronger maple syrup. But even so, this was a great cake!

    I’ll be making it again for Easter dinner, this time maybe in the form of a large carrot, or with a big orange frosting carrot on top.

  340. Eve

    I was wondering if I could bake the cake in a 9X13 inch pan instead for my daughter’s bon voyage party. What is the timing and will the amount of batter work?
    Many thanks –

  341. Kay

    I’m in the process of moving from France to the US and am trying to use up food in my pantry. I had all the ingredients (sans frosting) to make this but no granulated sugar. I used brown sugar and used all the batter in a 12-muffin tin. Turned out great!

  342. Lisa in Shanghai

    Hi, Deb! I just made this carrot cake for a friend’s birthday yesterday and it was very well received! I followed the recipe to a T (although I slightly drained my carrots after they sat in the fridge, grated, for one day) and I used two 8″ round pans for the layers. Next time I might try it as a three layer 8″ cake, as commenter #347 WifeToAnAmazingCook suggested. This would surely help with the wetness I baked five extra minutes to resolve. I added toasted walnuts and orange zest around the perimeter and used melted chocolate for the “Happy Birthday” script on top. This was my first try at carrot cake, and thanks to you my search for a go-to recipe is over. Cheers!

  343. Charlene


    Love your recipe for the carrot cake with maple cream cheese frosting, and thanks for sharing.
    I’m wondering if the oil can be replaced with Apple sauce? I’ve tried and it tasted better but it became wetter and did not rise quite as much. I’m wondering if it was because, unlike my attempt with Apple sauce, I used cake flour instead of plain flour for the attempt with oil. Thanks!

  344. Kay

    Thanks so much for this recipe! We made it for our wedding cake! The cake was sturdy enough to construct a two tiered cake with two layers each (12″ and 9″), it stayed moist and our guests loved it. We replaced the ground ginger with fresh and added some orange zest but otherwise didn’t mess with this fantastic recipe.

  345. deb

    Charlene — I haven’t done it here, but a bunch of people mention using all or partial swaps of applesauce. It can definitely make things wetter and heavier. See Comments #36, 81, 158, 387.

  346. Jen

    This carrot cake recipe on its own (without frosting) is awesome!!! Have made it twice now. Easy, simple instructions. I have halved the sugar and salt; and used olive oil- cake still tasted great with the right amount of sweetness.Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  347. Claire

    I’ve made this as a layer cake about half a dozen times, and it has quickly become a family favorite. Since they stopped importing the Betty Crocker spice cake mix into Australia we’ve been looking for a suitable replacement. This definitely hits the spot spice-wise, is easy to make, allows me to bring out my Canadian genes with the hint of maple and makes us feel not *quite* as bad about eating a slice with all the carrot! Thank you!

  348. Julie

    I have had great experiences with most of your recipes that I’ve tried (~40 or so at least), but terrible luck with this one (too wet and greasy…. all the cupcakes went straight into the trash when I couldn’t get them out of the paper without them falling apart), the “I want chocolate cake” cake, and the “best birthday cake” (both dry, two attempts each). I have no idea what I’m doing wrong (have a great oven thermometer, did the toothpick test, weighed my flour, all of it). According to the comments I am all alone, though!

    1. deb

      Julie — I think there might be a couple issues here — wet has more to do with this being carrot cake; cakes with shredded vegetables or fresh fruit inside always seem a bit more damp than those that do not. Some people love this; others do not. Sticking to paper is just something that happens with some cakes, usually moist ones. More dry ones stick less; they’re also less enjoyable to eat. You can always skip the paper liners if losing what’s stuck to them is too frustrating, just grease the cups well. As for dry cakes, I am more at a loss since you also said this was wet. The best birthday cake does tend towards the dryer/sturdier end of cakes, as most yellow cakes (not from a box) do but it shouldn’t be too dry. The IWCCC should be quite moist, especially on day two. And this, well, do let me know. Hope to help.

  349. Julie

    Thanks for responding, Deb! But I’m still at mostly a loss. I tried an ATK recipe for carrot cake after this attempt failed, and that turned out beautifully. Here’s one thing I realized, though: I didn’t get my kitchen scale until after the two “dry” cakes, so maybe the problem with those WAS too much flour. I’ll put them back on my list and try again someday! As for this one, I actually had half the cupcakes in liners and half in a sprayed silicon, and neither came out at all. Maybe I just had crazy wet carrots (the ATK cake that went well was from a different batch)? Or…. ahem… perhaps I messed up somewhere else along the line (no clue where though).
    But let me list all the other cakey treats of yours that I’ve tried and LOVED: St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake (the BEST!) and French Chocolate Cake and Blueberry Crumb Cake and Chocolate Yogurt Snack Cakes and Apple Cake! And don’t get me started on the bars and cookies and salads and soups and drinks or the Buttermilk Waffles (last night breakfast for dinner!) or the Miso Sweet Potato Broccoli Bowl which is working right now for dinner tonight! So you see I was unfair bringing up the little bad without all the good! (And I’m super looking forward to your next cookbook!)
    So… thanks again. :)

  350. Melanie

    Your site has long been a favorite resource of mine! I have a large baking project ahead of me. Do you think I can freeze the cupcakes to be frosted later? Will their size lend them to drying out too fast? Thank you, and can i just say that I’m so impressed you keep responding to comments for years and years after the initial recipe! I’m not just saying that in hopes you respond to me :)

    1. deb

      Melanie — Thank you, and yes, these should freeze really well. I check comments from my admin panel which shows all as they come in, regardless of how old the post was, which makes me seem more on top of things than I am. ;)

  351. JuIia

    Success! Moist and good, even without the nuts and raisins. I appreciated the picture showing how finely to grate the carrot. That made a real difference in the texture compared to the larger shreds used in other recipes I have tried. Next time I want to experiment with adding canned pineapple bits to the frosting!

  352. Natalie

    Just made this with hand grated farmers market carrots and the color was SO nice. Had a little bit of a tough time getting it out of the pan bc I didn’t have parchment paper. Otherwise SO GOOD!!! Thank you so much for the recipe Deb !

  353. Kalista

    So I did the cake with some modifications for a church potluck. Used half AP flour and half cake flour as my previous carrot cake recipe called for all cake flour. I also added a bit of baking powder as some commented that the cake didn’t rise but to be honest, I don’t think it made a difference. Mine didn’t rise much too and my baking powder and baking soda are both newly bought and opened today! Used half white and half brown sugar and I reduced oil to 1 cup as some mentioned it was rather oily. Apart from that, I followed the other measurements and method of mixing incl grating carrots finely by hand. Broke off a corner of the cake while it was still hot to test it and it’s delish. It really smells divine here in the kitchen and I hope all goes well. I’m waiting for the cakes to cool before cutting them into small squares. I know I changed alot of the recipe called for but I still want to thank you because your recipe is still the backbone of my inspiration so thank you very much. I appreciate that you take time to answer the queries posted because it formed the reasons for my modifications. You are really a great baker and I’ll continue to pop in to check out your recipes. God bless.

  354. Melissa

    I’ve made this carrot cake many times and it’s been a real crowd pleaser!! I am thinking about making it for my son’s first birthday but I want to cut down on the sugar. Has anyone tried that and did it turn out ok for everyone to enjoy? I don’t recall this being SUPER sweet but if I can cut down the sugar I’d like to :)

  355. Christen

    I just made these yesterday and they are INCREDIBLE. Thank you for sharing this recipe, its amazing!

    Just one question – if I grate the carrots say 3 days ahead, is that bad? Will they remain okay? It is just such a time consuming process and I need to have them ready for a birthday dinner on a week night. Thanks again for posting, its the first carrot cake I have ever eaten and I am sold!

  356. Vivian

    This is the BEST carrot cake/cupcake recipe! I always make them as cupcakes and people go crazy for them. Especially with the walnuts added. I puree my carrots in my blender with a bit of the oil, and it works like a charm. (I think I end up using more carrots than I would be if I grated them – but this makes for even softer, moister cupcakes!)

  357. Heather

    Now I know what to do with the 10lbs of carrots I just bought for $1.97! How will baking time/temp change to use mini muffin tins?

    Any news about a book signing when you’re in Toronto this month? I’m so excited for the chance to meet you!

    Shana tova to you and your family!

  358. sarah smith

    making this again today. Its my husbands go to birthday cake and according to fb memories something I’ve made every Oct 14th since 2009. <3

  359. Susan

    Really. The maple cream cheese frosting is delicious and a bonus too! Yum. Thank you for another winner to add to my go-to pile.
    BTW I used drained pineapple bits instead of raisins. Split the batter in half and added walnuts to one half. Baked each in 9 x 9 inch square glass pans. So good.

  360. Emma

    I made this yesterday as a half recipe (one layer cake).

    Just out of curiosity, how should I level the cake if making it a two layer cake? It rose quite a lot.

  361. iva

    I have made this cake several times while living in USA. My favorite carrot cake. Any suggestions to substitute maple syrup? Where is live is imposible to get maple syrup. I thought agave néctar but it may be to liquid. thanks!

    1. Sarah

      Iva, you asked this years ago but I’ll answer anyway in case someone else is wondering the same! I actually don’t use the maple syrup at all. Instead I use grated orange zest (lots). It’s a very nice flavor combo!

  362. John Dzundza

    Thank you so much, Deb, for all your amazing recipes over the years. I made this cake for my mom’s birthday last year and it was a huge hit. I’m hosting my first thanksgiving this year, and I was hoping to make a pumpkin carrot cake a day ahead– how would you adjust this recipe if you were going to add pumpkin puree and some pumpkin spices to make sure the consistency came out right?
    Thanks again!

  363. Jennie

    Wanted to love this recipe but think I made some mistake somewhere along the line as my version came out a bit oily (I used coconut oil), it didn’t rise well (my Bicarb might be old), and the cream cheese frosting was too runny (I suspect maybe the UK packs of CC I am using might be a different measurement and, in a rush, I just bunged two in assuming they’d be the same at 8-ounces). That all said, the cake still SMELLS divine, the frosting tastes AMAZING. I was planning on on freezing but due to the runnier icing ‘oh well’ will just have to give it to the birthday recipient for them to eat now instead: what a hardship! (; (;

  364. Jane

    Like many others, mine didn’t rise. I made this one after making Brown Eyed Baker’s version, which also didn’t rise! Changed out my baking soda between recipes, so that wasn’t it. Can’t figure out what went wrong.

  365. Mari

    I just made this receipt – without the frosting tho – and it’s delicious! I made half of it and was able to fill 11 cupcake molds – but I was a bit too generous in some of them so they ended up very tall and nice! Also I added a teaspoon of baking powder – it gave them a more muffin look. Just lovely, thank you for sharing!

  366. Malena

    These are perfect. I made 12 cupcakes and an 8″ round cake. I just had one cupcake with tea and oh my word, just delicious. (Will make the frosting later so I haven’t tasted it yet). Not too sweet, so the frosting will not make the whole thing overly sweet. I followed the recipe almost exactly, the only thing I did differently was that I subtracted about 2 T oil from the 1 1/4 cup. I didn’t find the cupcake to be too oily, but yes, there was some oil that seeped through the liners. No biggie, though. Maybe next time I will up the spices just a tad because I love spice cake. But it’s really good as is.

    I didn’t add nuts or raisins to suit the tastes of my family, but if it were up to me I would definitely add walnuts and maybe craisins.

    The cupcakes were done at 18 minutes, and the cake at 38 minutes. I don’t know if it’s of any interest but I used a cheap nonstick cupcake pan that has seen better days (it’s the last nonstick that has survived my recent purge, and only because I always use liners), and a sturdy, professional quality aluminum 8″ round pan.

  367. Irene

    Just halved this recipe for my brother-in-law’s birthday mini cake. We used toasted pecans, and a new food processor for the carrots. Absolutely delicious – amazing with the maple cream cheese frosting – thank you! Another home run!

  368. Jenn

    I need a six layer cake. Would this recipe be enough to split into three 8″ pans and then slice the layers in half? Or should I make more batter?

  369. bageripv

    Hi Deb, I made these and they were a fail. I’m wondering if you might have weight measurements? In general, weight measurements work best for baking (as you prob. know ;-) and I’m thinking this might be my error here? I’m a very experienced baker but when I made these as muffins, they were goopy on inside, crispy on the top and the crumb just didn’t set. They caved in, despite not filling the muffin cup full. The only thing I can think of is my measurements were off; too much moist and not enough dry? Any thoughts? Thanks so much. I love your blog and use it weekly!!!!!

  370. jjjeanie

    Yesterday, I made this for the 3rd or 4th time, but this one was for my Mom’s 100th birthday party. We were expecting around 40 people, so I made the recipe twice, and baked each one in two 8×8 pans. I did that cuz I was afraid if I baked it in a larger pan, it might not bake evenly, and the center would still be raw while the edges got too done. As always, the cake was spectacular. I placed the the two squares side by side, knowing the joint would be invisible under the FABULOUS cream cheese frosting. And it was. I was a little stymied how to write Happy Birthday on it, until I fell on the idea of slicing carrots into very thin sticks (I wish I could send you a picture!).
    So, for future–how can a baker know if a cake designed for smaller pans will work in larger pans??

  371. Kim

    I made it this weekend (as a 2-layer cake) and it was fabulous. The exact classic carrot cake I was looking for, and the maple frosting gave it that hint of something different. I will make this again. Whole family loved it.

  372. Oaklandpat

    I can see I’m very late to the party, but better late than ever! Can these be made a day ahead without drying out? I would wait to frost them till serving day.

  373. Leti

    This is an easy, quick, recipe made by hand. Followed cake recipe as is. Used just about an entire 1 pound bag of organic whole carrots and grated using a box grater- took just a few minutes and did this first. Made two 9 in rounds and they were done at exactly 40 min as Deb instructed.Made the frosting but left out maple syrup. Used a food processor (with plastic blade) to make frosting and it was very quick. I used all the frosting. Cake is beautiful and tastes really good. Thanks!

  374. Pam A.

    Made this for a co-worker’s birthday. They were delicious! Fellow co-worker said it was the best carrot cake she ever had. The only modifications I made was to sub coconut oil for canola, kosher salt for table and I did not add any nuts or raisins to the batter. This is a keeper!

  375. makomp

    H! I’ve tried making these twice now, and something isn’t quite right. They get very bubbly, rise out of the muffin cups, take way longer to set than described in the recipe, and when cooled they collapse. I wonder what I may be doing wrong. It seems like too much baking soda, but it seems to work for most people. Hm. Have I purchased some super-potent baking soda? Love your site, BTW :)

    1. deb

      Thank you. It does seem a little high, but I never had trouble. (I just looked at another carrot cake I’ve made and it, too, uses a lot. I wonder if carrot just needs more?) Regardless, I see little harm in trying them with 1/2 or 3/4 of the baking soda and seeing if it does the trick for you at home. Would love to hear what happens if you do.

    2. katie

      I had the same issue when making muffins and thought I had just done something wrong. When I first made it as a two-layer cake it was absolutely perfect (in fact my husband now wants no other cake for any occasion). I haven’t tested a muffin solution yet, so please post if you adjust the ingredients next time and find a fix!

    3. Lisa Weis

      Same here. I’ve made this before in layer cake form; this was my first try at the cupcakes. Still liquid after 18 mins, then rose all bubbly then collapsed. Gonna hide it with frosting, but next time I’ll try reducing the baking soda.

  376. Hi Deb,
    I am going to make this recipe when I have a few days off, but I am concerned about the amount of sugar in this recipe, none of my family enjoy eating overly-sweet cupcakes. Do you have any suggestions on reducing sugar in this particular recipe? Thanks!

    1. jjjeanie

      Because I eat a lot of sweets, I don’t usually like them too sweet. I *always* cut the amount of sugar in recipes, typically by 1/4 to 1/3. For this recipe, I used 1/2 Cup brown sugar + 1 Cup white sugar, and the results are spectacular. For any guests who like it sweeter, give them more frosting.
      My guess is that you could probably cut the white sugar down even more. Please let us all know what you end(ed) up doing and how it turned out.

  377. alexandriagrown

    I made this as a 9×13 sheet cake (cooked it for 40 minutes) and it turned out perfectly. I toasted some shredded coconut for the top. My mom declared it the best carrot cake she’s ever tasted.

  378. Sarah

    Requested again as THE birthday cake for my daughter (Fudgy Sheet cake is what son always wants). How would our family survive holidays without you? Now you just need to create an easy go-to recipe for ‘cake Fridays’ at school.

  379. Sally G

    Even though carrot cake is not my favorite flavor, I have made this recipe in cake as well as cupcake form to rave reviews from carrot cake aficionados. The first time I simply grated the carrots in the food processor and I didn’t mind the larger pieces of carrot since I made the recipe in two-layer cake form. Yesterday I made the recipe in cupcake form and again grated the carrots in the food processor but then put the grated pieces back in the processor (in batches) and used the metal blade to create smaller pieces. My pre-arthritic hands thanked me AND I didn’t have to purchase another processor blade!

  380. Julie

    Made these last night (cupcake form) for my husband’s birthday. They are absolutely delicious (though my frosting decorating skills look NOTHING like yours!). I had a similar experience to others who have commented, in that the cupcakes took significantly longer to bake than the recipe indicates.

  381. Raina

    My husband made me this as a double-decker birthday cake today and it was divine. Thank you, Deb! <3 I can't wait to incorporate it into future celebrations.

  382. Marian

    I’m making this today. I’ll give a review later. Wish more people would review after making. Most of the reviews are just comments on how good it looks but not helpful in other ways.
    Anybody made this cake besides Deb? How did it turn out?
    Btw Deb I enjoy your website so much and have for years. Got your 1st book and almost saw you in Larkspur in October, I think it was.

    1. jjjeanie

      I hope it turn(s/ed) out well. Actually, if you look at the very top of the comments, they are divided into three sections. You will want to read the second group, “I made this,” and the third group, “questions” both of which have fewer comments, and they’re (mostly) more helpful. Please do post how your version turns out–but post it to “I made this” please!!!

  383. MaggieToo

    I’ve made this cake to great acclaim many, many times in the past 7 years, and it just occurred to me to wonder: Is there any good reason to peel the carrots if you’re just going to grate them up for cake?

  384. Fran

    Hi Deb! I made this as a layer cake for my roommate’s birthday and she was so happy she cried! This recipe broke down my misinformed fear of tricky carrot cake. I subbed brown sugar and added lemon juice to the frosting instead of maple syrup due to what I had on hand. I can’t wait to make this recipe as cupcakes.. Thank you!

  385. Patricia Ewins

    I made a half recipe baked in 8X8 and it was perfect and delicious. I used golden raisins and walnuts and dusted the top with maple sugar. So good.

  386. BakerGirl

    Hi Deb-
    I made this once before as a 2-layer cake, the whole family loved it! This time, I want to sub the canola oil with vegetable oil, but I am worried it will affect the taste. Will it?

    1. bageripv

      I’m an avid baker…I swap oils all the time. You should have no problem subbing a neutral oil for a neutral oil. If you decide to use coconut or olive oils it will have some subtle flavor differences, but most oils should be fine. Good luck!

  387. Maja

    Hi, Deb! Looooong time fan, first time commenter. I’m planning on making this recipe as a layer cake for my husband’s birthday this coming week. I noticed that you mentioned adding extra spices as a possible riff—what other spices would you recommend? Also, have you noticed a difference in baking time when adding nuts? Thinking about throwing some pecans in there.

    1. deb

      I don’t usually add nuts but don’t think it would throw the baking time much; if you’re nervous, you could always check in 5 minutes sooner, there’s no harm. Re, this cake: this is a light-on-the-carrot carrot cake so I kept the spices to a minimum. If you’re looking for something more classic with heavier layers, try this graham carrot cake. You could apply the same spices (and levels) there as here.

  388. Monique

    HI Deb,
    I think this is my hundreth time coming to this page on your blog to make your amazing carrot cake recipe. I just wanted to let you know that I have relied on this recipe for the last 8 years and friends and family have come to expect it for any occasion involving food. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. It continues to bring smiles to all who get to taste it and its my favorite cake recipe.
    Absolutely, hands down, the best carrot cake Ever!

  389. Hi Deb! Thanks for all the awesome recipes!! I’m planning to make this for my son’s birthday today… could you tell me if the 3 cups grated carrots should be tightly packed or not? Thanks!

  390. Alicia

    I made this as the recipe calls for with two exceptions: I had to use about 1/2 cup of turbinado sugar since I ran out of white and I baked in two 8×8 pans. The cake and icing were delicious. I did bake the cakes for close to 40 minutes at 350. Kept one for me and one for a friend with a new babe. It was perfect! No problems with rising or sinking. The icing is not runny after you let it set up in the refrigerator.

  391. Nikole DeZao

    This is my go-to carrot cake recipe, I made it recently for my friends birthday party (2 layer) and people went crazy.

  392. Charlene

    I just made this (as a cake) a few weeks ago. Delicious cake with the perfect crumb. My frosting game out goopy/sticky, not fluffy/creamy. Would more butter make it better? (Duh, of course) Or was it the quality of the cream cheese (used a store brand, not the famous brand.) Just wondering. Thank you so much!

  393. valerie

    Hi Deb, Love your recipes. This looks like a great carrot cupcake recipe but if I halve it for 12 cupcakes or a single layer cake would it really only use 1 cup of flour or should I do 1 1/2 cups just to be safe? Usually that works but this recipe might be an exception. Please advise. Thanks!

    1. Monique

      I always make it the night before I need it. I have no issues with it and leave it at room temps. I personally find it better the next day.

  394. Eliza

    This is the most amazing cake! I finely grated the carrots (I wish the recipe listed carrots in weight instead of cups though) and it was insanely perfect. I did use some coconut oil instead of all veggie oil and a little whole wheat flour too. Perfect birthday cake, thanks!

  395. Dev

    Made these cupcakes last week and I have to say they were delicious!! Even my picky boyfriend LOVED them. I was unsure if the grated carrots should be packed down or just a loose 3 cups, but after combining the dry ingredients and the egg, the amount I used by eyeballing it was perfect to moisten the batter. I mistakenly grabbed jumbo paper cups so I only got 12 out of the deal…needless to say I will be making these again soon. I also used the star tip like you did. So pretty. My new favorite carrot cake recipe. Thank you.

  396. Janet Calderaro

    Heavenly, says my 9 yr kid. This is truly outstanding. I have an old carrot cake recipe from The New Basics cookbook & I always thought that canned pineapple was a necessity but you have proven that false. This is my new go to recipe. I made it with both walnuts and the raisins as specified. The only thing I did was converted all the ingredients to grams.

  397. Rebecca

    I made this as mini muffins for lunches and they were a huge hit. Baked for about 15. Makes about 24. Going to freeze some.

  398. Jessica

    Hi! Trying to plan for 1-year old birthday party and get things done in advance. What do you think about baking and freezing? (Also hoping to do the same thing with the Best Birthday cake!)

  399. offtheshelfeggs

    Just made this, as a layer cake, this weekend for my partners’ birthday. Carrot cake is his favorite, and he said this was his favorite carrot cake ever! So simple and perfect. Super moist, not over spiced. I normally don’t like cream cheese frosting, but this one is so delicious. I’ll happily be making this for many birthdays to come!

  400. Nila

    This – as two 9 inch cakes – was such a hit!
    I had the same issue as one other reader who mentioned that the frosting was super runny – so I couldn’t layer the cakes. I suspect it’s because I used Whole Foods brand cream cheese.
    I used a combination of good olive oil and butter milk in place of the canola oil, and it was so tender and light.
    I also added in some clove, and I think it made it.

  401. Amanda

    I have made this cake several times (successfully!) in a buttered 9×13 glass baking pan. This time, I made it in 2 9-inch metal buttered cake pans. It stuck like you would not believe. Do as I say and not as I do; definitely flour and parchment paper. (of course, people were coming over for dinner/dessert. I made the best of it and turned the layers of crumbled cake bits and frosting into a trifle. It went over well.)

  402. Ajax

    BEST CARROT CAKE RECIPE! Everybody loved it and agreed that it’s the best I have ever made; I’ve made quite a few but none like this. Thank you so much! Chapeau from Athens GR!

  403. Hi Deb, I make this cake every year for my husband’s bday and its his favorite! But I was wondering how to convert the recipe to fit smaller round cake pans? The 2 layer 9inch cake is ALOT for just the two of us, and I was hoping to scale it down to a smaller cake.

  404. Cathy

    Due to Covid-19, there are no carrots at my store and my husband’s birthday is tomorrow. Can I substitute baby food carrots?

  405. Melanie

    Hello! You are my go to for everything edible! Due to shopping very infrequently lately, we have no eggs! Can aquafaba or flax eggs be substituted for the eggs in this recipe? Thanks!

      1. Melanie

        Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. I did look through the comments earlier today, but didn’t come across the information that you so easily provided! I’ll give it a whirl!

  406. Julianna

    Absolutely yummy, made this for myself as a treat for my bday during the time of Covid-19…will definitely make again!

  407. Shari Samuels

    Fantastic recipe and came out perfectly. I ended up with 12 muffins and one 8×8 pan. It took close to 50 minutes for the square pan as it was a bit fuller. ‘Whipped up a small batch of icing for my husband and I to have tonight with a slab of cake. Will freeze the rest of the muffins and cake in snacking squares without icing to make breakfast and anytime a little sweeter. Thanks for never disappointing. (Tomorrow, it’s on to your chicken meatballs).

  408. catherinebeckman58

    For me, this recipe only made 12 cupcakes. So, I may be the only human alive who doesn’t like icing all that much. Should I make half since I definitely don’t want any leftover? And I’m not sure about the maple syrup…if I leave that out will it be ok? I don’t like a super sweet icing, as you’re probably gathering. 😂 thanks!

    1. jjjeanie

      That’s funny, cuz I don’t really like carrot cake! But I love the icing (because of the maple flavor). Still, you’ll probably be happy with just half. And if you don’t mind your icing a bit soft, you can use less 10X (aka confectioners) sugar. Good luck, and report back!

  409. Kate

    Fabulous carrot cake. I’ve made it with and without the nuts and raisins and it was wonderful both ways. I increased the spices by 1/3. Yum!!!

  410. Mandi

    I was very lucky to have everything needed in my cupboards, so I made these this morning. Followed the recipe almost exactly, including dried fruit and walnuts, and came out with 24 muffins exactly (standard muffin tins, filled at 3/4 or just a tiny bit more). They are lovely and delicious. Instead of the frosting, I just spread cream cheese directly on the muffins – I like that mix of slightly savory with the sweet and it made me feel slightly better about making them for breakfast.

  411. Kristina S

    Thank you so much for your recipe!! Have you ever tried your recipe in a bundt cake form? Obviously you would miss out on the middle layer of the frosting by not having 2 separate cakes, but just a general fan of bundt cakes for appearance and decorating. Appreciate your thoughts!

    1. Maraha.K

      Hi, did you try this in a bundt? How did it turn out?
      What changes did you make with the quantity of batter and baking time?

  412. Kelly Brunk

    This is my most requested dessert now! The first time I made them but only needed 12 instead of 24 I halved everything, except I accidentally still used 3 cups of carrots. They were amazing, so that is how I make them all the time now – double carrots! I also process my carrots in a food processor so they retain all of the moisture. And I’m a purist, so no nuts or raisins for me. Thank you for this amazing recipe!

  413. Robin

    Deb, I have a carrot cake in the oven from an internet recipe that was the top hit for carrot cake and used oil (which I usually prefer in terms of texture). But I came to the instructions for only cinnamon and thought, no way, needs more spice, then added a few good shakes of ginger and gratings of nutmeg. I get to the bottom of the recipe and discover it was credited to you, here, and I come to see that your original has, as God intended, ginger and nutmeg as well. I don’t know why I didn’t just come to your site FIRST for a recipe? Maybe because I made THREE of your recipes yesterday!? There’s a reason I trust your palate. Yesterday I made broccoli melts, zucchini with toasted almonds, and whole-lemon bars. They were all fantastic. (I’ve come to associate a certain lemon-garlic-red pepper flake-parmesan flavor profile with you, btw. The only way I want to eat broccoli now.)

  414. Robin

    Also, I should add that the cake I have in the oven is for my own birthday celebration today. Strange birthday in pandemic lockdown, but cake makes everything better, more normal, and more delicious.

  415. Rebekah A Cordova

    I always take your amazing recipes and make them vegan for my husband – but when they call for more than 2 eggs, I run into some problems. Do you have any suggestions for egg substitutes that would work best for this carrot cake recipe?

  416. Susan

    Just in case anyone is wondering if these can be made grain free – they can and are spectacular using 1/2c coconut flour and 1/2c almond flour. They won’t be as fluffy, which I think you’d notice in cake form, but I had great luck making them as cupcakes this way. I also subbed coconut oil for canola so I was able to cut the sugar down a lot. (People may have already been talking about this, I admit to not having read through all of the comments, there are hundreds.) I cut this recipe in half and made it this weird way and also Deb’s way. It was my Dad’s birthday cake, so he got the real deal except for the oil. He’s like 68 or something like that and has earned the right not to do lunatic diets.

  417. Dana Vedier

    Wow. Really really good. Made 1/2 recipe (added raisins & pecans) and baked in a loaf pan. I think it’s even better day 2. Can’t have dairy (so skipped the cream cheese frosting) and made a simple vanilla glaze instead (served on the side – but I actually prefer the cake unadorned). Simple, easy and quick to make. Next time I’m making the whole recipe!

  418. WhereAreMyGlasses

    2nd round comment now that I’ve made these, well, made something like these. I wanted to lighten up the recipe to make healthier. My adaptation is delicious, with a light crumb and less guilt. Changes are:
    —1 cup white whole wheat instead of 2 cups all-purpose flour
    — 3/4 c white sugar AND 1/2 c packed brown sugar (heightened flavor)
    — 3/4 c Canola AND 1/2 c fat-free buttermilk
    For my own preference, used chopped dates instead of raisins.
    Needed a little longer to cook but that could be my oven.

  419. Eliza

    Last time I made them they were so oily so this time, I reduced the oil by half and used 2 little applesauce containers. They are perfect! I actually made them for breakfast as carrot muffins.

  420. Katrina

    I use this recipe each time I make a carrot cake and have been using it for years and years. I am about to make it again today, for probably the fifteenth or so time, for a dear friend’s birthday, so I had to leave a comment to say THANK YOU! not only for this recipe, but your entire wonderful collection of recipes, that I come back to time and time again.

  421. maggie

    I love this carrot cake recipe! It’s the best I’ve found, and everyone I make it for raves about it! I’ve been experimenting with almond flour. Could you sub almond flour 1:1 for this recipe?

  422. Alex

    I’ve made this several times and it’s absolutely amazing!! Have you ever tried making it without eggs? Wondering if a flax egg would work in its place.

    thank you!

  423. Margxx

    I have been making this as a cake for many many years – birthdays, pot lucks, gifts, school events – and it is absolutely the best recipe! A few tips – the finer the grate the better and hand grate instead of cuisinart, I prefer a cream cheese icing vs the above (125gr cream chz 30g melted butter 300g icing sugar is my go-to), pecans nicer than walnuts.

    1. Margxx

      cakes can fit into any vehicle without changing the batter. you just need to watch the time. no idea how big a mini bundt pan is – but assume bigger than a cupcake. maybe check after 20mins?

  424. Jenn

    I’d like to make this in 6″ round pans. How should I change the cooking temp/time? How full should I fill the pans, and how many pans will it make? Thank you!

    1. deb

      You want to halve it for 6″ pans. That will make layers the same height. Baking time, not positive, but my rule is that it’s obviously less than the full time here but more than half of it. I’d check at 15, then 20.

      1. Tara Gutman

        Hi Deb! I have made this and loved it but can’t find my notes on the recipe. Do we toast the nuts? Do we squeeze the carrots after grating? Happy Passover!!

          1. Tara Gutman

            Of course I knew both of those answers…Deb always toasts and would have told us to squeeze…thank you for the reassurance!

  425. Jacki

    It’s January, I’m trying to lose weight, and yes, I did make these cupcakes! 🤣

    It’s such a good recipe. The whole family loved it. My 8yo gave it 5 stars and my 5yo gave it 30 stars!

    1. Jennifer

      I used this trick that I found on another Web site if your frosting comes lumpy. Pop it in the microwave for 10 seconds and whisk. I did this 3 times and no more lumps. I put the frosting back in the fridge to firm up.

      1. Karoline Hurd

        Ugh wish I’d seen this an hour ago! Lumps galore and I left the cream cheese and butter out overnight!