The Best Carrot Cake Recipe

The Best Carrot Cake Recipe – A moist and tender carrot cake with tangy cream cheese frosting. Easy to make and assemble, and always a hit at any gathering!

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Carrot Cake

Making a cake is not as hard as you might think.

Those who are not experienced bakers often look at a photo of a layer cake and immediately determine they cannot achieve such results.

Let me reassure you… You can make this cake.

You can make it, and it will turn out just as eye-catching and delicious as mine.

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Easy Carrot Cake Recipe

That’s part of what makes this recipe so appealing, in my opinion.

It’s easy to bake, easy to frost, and is coated with toasted coconut around the edges to cover any imperfections.

No fussy piping techniques necessary.

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Moist Carrot Cake

Most cakes with fresh fruit or vegetables in them come out super moist, sometimes too moist, if that’s possible. This makes the cake a bit too dense for my taste. 

This is not the case with this carrot cake! It is perfectly tender and oh, so delicious! 

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Why Is This The Best Carrot Cake Recipe?

1) This cake is perfectly moist from the addition of coconut oil and fresh shredded carrots.

2) It has a lovely earthy flavor from the carrots and nuts, mixed with a tropical note from the coconut oil and shredded coconut.

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3) This Carrot Cake Recipe is not overly sweet. Some carrot cakes have additional fruit and sugar. I like to take it easy on the sweetness, to let the natural carrot flavor shine… And to offset the frosting.

4) The frosting is super creamy and tangy. Made with more cream cheese than butter, the tangy-sweet frosting is the perfect complement to the cake layers. You won’t be knocking the frosting off of this carrot cake!

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Carrot Cake Conversion

Just be sure to measure the ingredients accurately and you will end up with a rich moist carrot cake that will have all your friends begging for the recipe.

In fact, I’ve had a couple of carrot cake haters, tell me this is the best carrot cake recipe they’ve ever tasted as well.

Converts are proof of excellence. *wink*

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Toasted Coconut

Finish off this amazing cake with cream cheese frosting and toasted coconut shreds. This makes the carrot cake look effortlessly gorgeous!

If you absolutely hate coconut, the solution is just to omit the coconut from the batter and from outside of the cake.

It won’t look as pretty, but will still taste great!

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Perfect for Easter

The Best Carrot Cake Recipe is a great dessert to serve for Easter… Or pretty much any other day of the year.

Why not give it a go? You can do it!

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See The Recipe Card Below For How To Make The Best Carrot Cake Recipe. Enjoy!

other easter recipes you might like:

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5 from 5 votes

The Best Carrot Cake Recipe

Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
55 mins
The Best Carrot Cake Recipe - A moist and tender carrot cake with tangy cream cheese frosting. Easy to make and assemble, and always a hit at any gathering!
Servings: 18 slices
Nutrition Facts
The Best Carrot Cake Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 slice)
Calories 577 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 32%
Saturated Fat 12g 60%
Cholesterol 66mg 22%
Sodium 450mg 19%
Potassium 221mg 6%
Total Carbohydrates 92g 31%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 72g
Protein 6g 12%
Vitamin A 79.1%
Vitamin C 2%
Calcium 5.6%
Iron 9.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


For the Carrot Cake:
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 6 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • 7-8 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted coconut for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray three 8- to 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick baking spray and set aside. Pour the flour, sugar, cornstarch, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and sea salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix briefly, then turn the mixer on low and pour in the melted coconut oil, eggs, and vanilla. Scrape the bowl and turn on low again. Mix in the shredded carrots, coconut and chopped nuts.

  2. Equally divide the batter between the three cake pans and smooth flat. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the pans, then flip the cakes out onto cooling racks and cool completely before frosting.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
  1. In a clean mixing bowl, beat the softened cream cheese and butter together until very smooth. Scrape the bowl and beat again to be sure there are no clumps. Turn the mixer on low and slowly add 7 cups powdered sugar. Then beat in the vanilla and salt at a higher speed. If the frosting is too loose, beat in one more cup powdered sugar.

  2. To toast the coconut, spread it out flat on a rimmed baking sheet. Place in a hot 350 degree oven and toast for 4-7 minutes. Watch the coconut carefully, it burns fast! Cool completely.

To Assemble:
  1. Spread 1/4 of the frosting evenly over one cake. Top with a second cake layer, then spread 1/4 of the frosting evenly over the second cake. Top with the final cake layer and press gently to even out the layers. Using a long spreader, spread the frosting that comes out from between the layers around the edges to create a "crumb coat" to catch the loose crumbs. Then scoop the rest of the frosting on top of the cake and spread in down over the sides, and then neatly over the top. Press the toasted coconut into the sides.

Recipe Notes

As with most cakes, you can keep this carrot cake out at room temperature for 3-4 days, covered. To prolong its shelf-life refrigerate, but always serve at room temperature. Leave it out on the counter for several hours before serving to warm gently.

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26 comments on “The Best Carrot Cake Recipe

  1. Lizposted April 15, 2019 at 7:21 pm Reply

    Best carrot cake I’ve ever made!

  2. Susanposted August 6, 2018 at 5:40 pm Reply

    My husband absolutely hates coconut. Is there anything that I could use in place of the coconut?

    • Sommer Collierposted August 15, 2018 at 9:31 pm Reply

      Hi Susan,

      You can just omit the coconut. :)

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  4. Patysaysposted March 12, 2018 at 8:16 am Reply

    I absolutely love love your recipes!  You are my go to person when I am looking for something delicious to make.  Your recipes are healthy, innovative, unique and each one comes out great.  Thank you for the time and effort you take to make sure your measurements and directions are correct.  I know that is not an easy task.   Thanks again. 

    • Sommerposted March 13, 2018 at 8:15 am Reply

      Awe, thanks so much Patsays. You just made my day! :)

  5. Dorisposted March 11, 2018 at 9:50 am Reply

    Very nice recipe but may I ask why the addition of the cornstarch? I have never seen this in a carrot cake recipe and been making them for years. Also, I use brown and white sugar plus the addition of 3/4 cup of drained crushed pineapple in my batter. Everything else is pretty much the same with the coconut and pecans. I will try the coconut oil next time rather than vegetable oil. Your frosting recipe is exactly the same as I use. Thanks for sharing.

    • Sommerposted March 13, 2018 at 8:24 am Reply

      Hi Doris,

      The cornstarch is used instead of a small portion of additional flour to mimic cake flour. Anytime I have posted a recipe using cake flour in the past, I get questions about substitutions. It seems many people can’t find it. Therefore here I just listed the best substitution in the recipe, AP flour + cornstarch. You could definitely skip the cornstarch and use just shy of 3 cups cake flour.

  6. Sherrie Harvey-Erfleposted February 21, 2018 at 3:56 pm Reply

    First time making a carrot cake and I must say it  was excellent, our whole family enjoyed it.  The only thing i did was take down the icing sugar to 1 cup and used 1/2 on a chocolate cake.

  7. Nadineposted March 22, 2016 at 10:36 am Reply

    This looks really good and I’m going to try it for our traditional ‘bunny’ cake!  Can you clarify if the coconut used is sweetened coconut or unsweetened coconut?  Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

    • Sommerposted March 22, 2016 at 8:38 pm Reply

      Hi Nadine! Really, you could use either. The sugar on sweetened coconut won’t effect the batter in any way. :)

  8. mollyposted March 15, 2016 at 2:29 pm Reply

    This looks amazin!  can’t wait to try it! I’d like to make it for a party we’re going to this weekend but I’m thinking and 9 x 13 cake pan will be easier to travel with. Any suggestions? Follow the same recipe?

  9. Brian @ A Thought For Foodposted March 2, 2016 at 8:43 am Reply

    Carrot cake is my #1 favorite dessert (ok, it’s tied with cheesecake, but if it were on a menu alongside cheesecake, I’d definitely go for this). This looks absolutely perfect (especially the shredded coconut coating… I just can’t get enough). 

  10. Sylvieposted March 2, 2016 at 4:32 am Reply

    It’s a beauty and a perfect Easter dessert!

  11. Patty Kposted March 1, 2016 at 6:58 pm Reply

    This looks delicious, Sommer! I may just be serving this for Easter!

  12. Lisaposted March 1, 2016 at 4:23 pm Reply

    can’t wait to make this cake but…I have never used coconut oil when baking… only for the wrinkles on my chest…so I am confused…recipe is for 1 1/3 cup coconut oil ,MELTED…so do I measure then melt or do I melt then measure..because if I measure then melt its a lot more than 1 1/3 cup…but If a melt than measure it will be exact…I know your laughing..its okay…but PLEASE confirm…

    • Sommerposted March 3, 2016 at 9:55 am Reply

      Hi Lisa! I usually measure out the congealed coconut oil, warm it until it’s liquified, then stir in a little extra to even out the measurement. Happy Baking!

  13. Abby (@ No Fail Recipes)posted February 29, 2016 at 9:16 pm Reply

    This recipe looks amazing and I love that it uses coconut oil. What do you think about using brown sugar instead of the granulated? Would you use the same amount?

    • Sommerposted February 29, 2016 at 9:53 pm Reply

      Hi Abby! Brown sugar would be great. I would use the same amount. :)

  14. Mariaposted February 29, 2016 at 8:49 pm Reply

    That toasted coconut sends this cake right over the edge!

  15. melodyposted February 29, 2016 at 4:11 pm Reply

    can i use 1 cup applesauce 7 1 cup sugar in place of 2 cups sugar?

    • Sommerposted February 29, 2016 at 9:52 pm Reply

      Hi Melody, No harm in giving it a try! Let me know how it turns out. :)

  16. Lori @ RecipeGirlposted February 29, 2016 at 12:45 pm Reply

    I do love a classic carrot cake, my family would be so happy for me to bake one today!  Thanks for making it look so easy!

  17. Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountainposted February 29, 2016 at 9:46 am Reply

    I adore carrot cake, but always feel like it’s a huge undertaking. I seriously can’t wait to make this! 

  18. Fork on the Roadposted February 29, 2016 at 8:27 am Reply

    Brilliant.  One of my favorites.

    I love that it’s not too cloyingly sweet.  That’s always my problem with carrot cake.

    Love the way you’ve dressed the sides as well.


  19. Karen @ Seasonal Cravingsposted February 29, 2016 at 7:41 am Reply

    I love the addition of coconut oil and coconut inside the cake.  I’ll bet that takes it over the top.  Your photos are lovely!