Homemade Carrot Cake

This Homemade Carrot Cake tastes just like a bakery-made cake, you will have a hard time believing it’s made at home. This cake is especially good when it is topped with cream cheese icing.

slice of carrot cake on a plate with gold fork, the rest of the cake is in the background

Years ago, I created this recipe because it was difficult to find a good recipe for carrot cake that actually tasted like the real thing. Most recipes I came across tasted like they came from a box, which wasn’t what I was looking for. This cake quickly became a family favourite.

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What Kind Of Cake is Carrot Cake?

Carrot Cake can be three types of cake: Sheet, layered, or cupcake.

For this recipe, the batter is made into a layered cake, but it can also be baked into a sheet cake. A layered cake tastes more like a bakery-style cake.

I make this recipe into a sheet cake when I am serving a large number of people. A sheet cake will take longer to bake, but it’s great to serve at a BBQ or get-together.

What Are The Ingredients For Homemade Carrot Cake?

Don’t let a long list of ingredients scare you away from making this recipe. This cake is very easy to make.

  • All-Purpose Flour.
  • Granulated Sugar.
  • Baking Powder.
  • Baking Soda.
  • Large Eggs.
  • Vegetable Oil.
  • Milk.
  • Lemon Juice.
  • Carrots.
  • Pineapple. Adds sweetness and keeps the cake moist.
  • Vanilla.
  • Cinnamon.
  • Nutmeg. (optional)
  • Salt.

What Makes This Carrot Cake Recipe Different?

Typically, carrot cake contains coconut and some kind of nuts, usually walnuts. This recipe does not contain either one, making it nut-free.

Another ingredient that is often found in carrot cake is raisins. Again, we don’t add raisins.

If you prefer a carrot cake with coconut, nuts, and or raisins, those can easily be added to the batter for this cake. 

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Tools For Making This Recipe

Making this recipe is easy but there are a few tools that make it easier.

Stand Mixer: This is not a must but it helps. A hand mixer can also be used.

Spring-Form Pans: this is what the batter is baked in. I like these types of pans because it makes it easier to remove the cakes from the pans. I use two 8-inch pans for this cake. If you don’t have spring-form pans, 8-inch or 9-inch round pans can be used. If using regular cake pans, they are not as deep, so it will take three pans to bake the batter.

Frequently Asked Questions About Homemade Carrot Cake

When it comes to carrot cake, there are many questions I get asked. These are the most asked questions and how I answer them.

What Happens If You Put Too Much Carrot?

It’s important to measure the amount of shredded carrot you put in your batter. If you put too much, your cake batter will be too wet and it will not bake properly.

Do You Have To Use Cream Cheese Icing?

No, it’s not necessary to use cream cheese icing for carrot cake. It is the most popular, but I have used vanilla buttercream instead.

Why Do You Put Pineapple in Carrot Cake?

Adding pineapple is what makes carrot cake moist. Without it, carrot cake would be dry. The enzymes in pineapple break down the proteins resulting in a moist cake.

Pineapple also adds sweetness to the cake without adding more sugar.

How Do You Store Carrot Cake?

The best way to store this cake is in an airtight container. A cake storage container works well for this. If you don’t have one, an upside-down mixing bowl works as well.

Carrot cake slice in front a cut carrot cake

Homemade Carrot Cake

5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Canadian
Servings 12 slices


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • ¾ cups vegetable oil
  • ¾ cups milk
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 2 cups finely grated carrots
  • ½ cup crushed pineapple, drained


  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Line the bottoms of 2 spring-form pans with parchment paper and spray the sides with cooking spray
  • In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, set aside
  • In a mixer, Beat together eggs, sugar, oil, milk, and lemon juice until blended.
  • Add dry ingredients and beat until well blended.
  • Fold in carrots and pineapple.
  • Pour batter evenly into the 2 prepared pans
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until baked through. A toothpick inserted in centre should come out clean.
  • Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely before frosting. (see notes below)


Frost with cream cheese icing:
Beat together 1 package room temperature cream cheese, ¼ cup butter, 1 tsp vanilla and 4-5 cups of confectioners sugar. Beat until creamy and spreadable. 
Spread evenly over the cooled cake.
*If you don't have spring-form pans, 8 or 9 inch round pans can be used. If using regular cake pans, they are not as deep, so it will take three pans to bake the batter. The cake will take 25-30 minutes to bake in three pans.
Keyword cake, carrot cake, carrots, dessert



  1. 5 stars
    You had me at carrot cake! Love carrot cake and plan to make your recipe this weekend for Easter.

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