Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is one of our favorite desserts. The cake is sweet, tender, moist, and incredibly delicious.
The internet is full of recipes that start with The Best. Best is usually in the eye of the beholder, or in this case, the taste buds. I don’t know about everyone’s idea of the perfect carrot cake, but it is certainly our perfect carrot cake.
Hubby feels pretty strongly about including crushed pineapple and raisins, and I wholeheartedly agree they make this cake extra special. By itself, the cake would be wonderful, but add cream cheese frosting and this cake is utter perfection.
Hubby requested this cake for his birthday, and I am making another to bring to dinner with friends this weekend.
Carrots: You gotta have carrots to make carrot cake. You will need approximately 6 medium carrots for three cups of grated carrots.
Brown Sugar: Brown sugar makes carrots sweet and wonderful.
Raisins: Raisins add texture and flavor to the cake. Use regular or golden raisins, both are delicious.
Eggs: Give the cake richness and structure.
White Sugar: Adds sweetness.
Canola Oil: This cake is incredibly moist thanks in part to the canola oil.
Vanilla Extract: Adds great flavor to both the cake and frosting.
Crushed Pineapple: I typically use canned pineapple as it is so convenient. Leftover pineapple can be frozen for future use. I recommend Caribbean rice. 🙂
Flour, Baking Soda, & Salt: The structure and leavening for the cake.
Cinnamon: Gives the cake a wonderful flavor and aroma.
Butter: Makes the frosting rich, creamy, and spreadable.
Cream Cheese: Rich, tangy cream cheese creates the perfect frosting for carrot cake.
Powdered Sugar: Gives the frosting sweetness to create the perfect sweet and tangy frosting.
You will start by shredding the carrots. If you have a food processor, by all means, pull that baby out. Grating carrots by hand is a pain. A food processor will accomplish this task in minimal time.
I also like to take the cream cheese and butter out of the refrigerator as soon as I start making the cake. Soft butter and cream cheese will be much easier to whip into light, fluffy, smooth frosting.
Good news! The carrots are now shredded, and the hard part is over. Place the carrots in a large bowl and add the brown sugar and raisins. Allow the mixture to sit for at least 15 minutes. The carrots will soften, and the raisins will plump up.
Add the remaining wet ingredients. Combine the dry ingredients separately then stir into the carrot mixture until well combined. The batter will be very wet.
Pour the batter into your 9×9 pan and bake until a cake tester comes out clean.
Allow the cake to completely cool before frosting. To a large mixing bowl, add butter, cream cheese, and vanilla. I use my stand mixer with the flat beater, but you could also use a hand mixer. Once combined, slowly add the powdered sugar. Beat until thoroughly combined. I like to finish with the wire whip, so the frosting gets light and super creamy.
Frost the cake. An offset spatula makes it easy.
Refrigerator until ready to serve. I like to pull the cake out for at least a half hour before serving to let the frosting soften a bit.
Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is a total crowd-pleaser. Enjoy!
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 3 cups carrots grated with a medium grater
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup raisins
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cup white sugar
- ½ cup canola oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup crushed pineapple drained
- 1½ cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 5 Tbsp butter softened
- 6 ounces cream cheese softened
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 2½ cups powdered sugar to desired consistency
- Combine grated carrots, brown sugar, and raisins. Set aside for at least 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Preheat oven to 350 F and grease or spray a 9×9 inch baking pan
- Add eggs into the carrot mixture and beat until well combined. Stir in the white sugar, canola oil and vanilla. Stir in the pineapple.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture, stirring until combined. Pour evenly into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until cake tests done with a toothpick. When completely cooled, frost with cream cheese frosting.
- Combine butter, cream cheese and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with K beater until completely combined.
- Add powdered sugar and beat until combined. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the mixer with a spatula a few times through the process.
- Switch to a whisk attachment and beat on high speed until light and fluffy.
- Frost cake; at this point it can remain at room temperature if serving within a few hours or refrigerated if meant for later. I like to pull the cake out for about a half hour before serving to let the frosting soften a bit.