Carrot Cake

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Next to Mud Pie, this is our family’s all-time favorite dessert—especially the frosting. I frost the cake right in the pan and then cut it into squares for serving. If you want to present a whole cake, then turn it out onto a cookie sheet or board, place a flat serving plate on top, and invert the cake. Then frost.

NotesCan be made ahead? Yes. Up to 1 day before. Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature. Frost the day you plan to serve it.

Can be frozen? Yes. Although it’s better to freeze it unfrosted.

Can be doubled? It’s better to make the recipe 2 times than to try to crowd both pans in the oven at the same time.

Good for leftovers? Yes. Will keep 3 to 4 days, well wrapped, in a cool place or up to a week in the refrigerator.

Serves10 servings

Preparation Time30 min

Preparation Time - Text30 minutes

Cooking Time50 min

Cooking MethodBaking


Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party

Recipe CourseDessert

Dietary ConsiderationHalal, Kosher, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Vegetarian

Taste and TextureCheesy, Creamy, Fruity, Nutty, Spiced, Sweet, Tangy, Tart

Type of DishCake


  • 2 cups flour, measured after sifting
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1¼ cups vegetable oil
  • 3 cups grated carrots (approximately 3 very large carrots)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup walnuts; chopped
  • ½ cup raisins
  • Cream cheese frosting


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. with the rack in the center position. Lightly grease a 12 × 9- or 13 × 9-inch baking pan.

  2. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda salt, and cinnamon into a very large mixing bowl or pot. Stir to blend well. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into the prepared pan, smoothing the top, if necessary. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and dry Cool completely in the pan before frosting.

  3. For the Frosting:

  4. Place the cream cheese and butter in a mixing bowl and beat until very smooth. Place the sugar in a sifter or fine-mesh strainer and sift over the cream cheese/butter mixture. Beat by hand or with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla.


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