Perfect Carrot Cake

Today I’m sharing Perfect Carrot Cake! This Carrot Cake Recipe is so easy, made in a 9×13 pan, loaded with essential extras like pineapple, coconut, and raisins that make is THE BEST. AND it’s all topped with an ultra creamy cream cheese frosting!

The Best Carrot Cake is so moist and topped with cream cheese frosting

Today I’m Sharing The BEST Carrot Cake Recipe EVER!

I feel like I have been holding out on you. I’ve had this carrot cake recipe in my back pocket for years and years. I’ve made it countless times…sometimes as a layer cake, but most of the time in a 9×13 as a sheet cake because…well…it’s easier, and I am lazy. #alreadyestablished.

Carrot Cake has always been a favorite of mine…BUT I am a little picky. I am not a fan of “plain” carrot cake…you know the kind without any extras, typically from a boxed mix. The thing is the “extras” are where the magic happens: flavor, texture, moistness. If there aren’t bits of carrot poking out…a raisin here or there…coconut to add sweetness…or (gasp) walnuts to add crunch…well, no thank you, please. So let’s stop talking and start doing!

Perfect Carrot Cake is the best carrot cake recipe ever!

What Makes This Carrot Cake the BEST?

So this perfect carrot cake recipe is all about my personal preferences. SO let’s talk about some of the things that I add INTO my recipe that I think are a must.

  1. Fresh Grated Carrots: Don’t skip this step and buy the pre-grated carrots. The ones you buy in the bag are too thick, and they will be crunchy in your cake. No thanks. Plus they are coated with something to help preserve them. Please if you listen to me at all, make sure this is the one take-away. Grating carrots isn’t hard, I promise.
  2. Pineapple: I use crushed pineapple from the can, and I drain it well. The pineapple will add sweetness and moisture, but make sure you drain it, otherwise it will be too liquidy in your cake and the texture will be mushy. Also make sure that the pineapple is packed in water and not syrup!
  3. Walnuts: Ok, I am a no-nuts-in-desserts kind of gal, but in this cake they are a piece of the puzzle. Chop them up fine, so you don’t have big nut chunks. Trust me.
  4. Coconut: Sweetened Flaked Coconut is so perfect in this recipe. Try it, I swear…even if you “don’t like coconut”.
  5. Raisins: Yes always and forever in carrot cake. Make sure they’re fresh raisins too, old raisins are hard and too chewy. Use regular or golden, just don’t skip them.

Do You Have To Add All Those Ingredients?

Now, I know, I know, I will get questions…Can I leave out the coconut? Can I skip the nuts? Can I CHANGE ALL THE THINGS? Well, the answer is yes. But no. Sure, you can leave out the coconut, or nuts, or raisins…SURE YOU CAN. But I’m just asking…unless you have a life-threatening allergy…try my carrot cake recipe the way God intended. Just this once.

All the Steps on How To Make Carrot Cake

Tips On Making Carrot Cake

I hit on some of the carrot cake tips above, but let’s break down the process…which is seriously easy!

  • I use vegetable oil in this recipe, as opposed to butter. I do this because there are so many flavors in carrot cake, that the butter isn’t essential for flavor. PLUS oil tends to give cakes a slightly lighter texture, and with all the add-ins like pineapple, carrots, etc you don’t need anything that will make the cake more dense.
  • The combo of brown sugar and granulated sugar in equal parts provide a little extra moisture and flavor then if you used all granulated.
  • The addition of cinnamon in the cake adds another layer of flavor, but don’t worry it isn’t overwhelming at all.
  • A whole tablespoon of vanilla might seem like a lot to you, but it is competing with a lot of other flavors, so don’t worry, use a heavy hand!

Perfect Carrot Cake is the best carrot cake recipe ever and it's topped with cream cheese frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting Is A MUST!

Cream Cheese Frosting and Carrot Cake go together like the best of friends. AND I happen to make the actual best cream cheese frosting in all the land. It’s perfectly fluffy, totally pipe-able, and it spread on like a dream if you use an off-set spatula. If you are just completely opposed to cream cheese frosting here are a few other options of frosting you could use:

The Best Carrot Cake recipe is my Perfect Carrot Cake and it's topped with cream cheese frosting!

Can You Make This Into A Layer Cake?

Yes, you can ABSOLUTELY make this into a layer cake. Use 2, 8 or 9- inch round cake pans. Make sure they are greased and line them with parchment rounds.  Bake the cakes for 25 – 30 minutes and check the doneness, add more time if necessary.

Note, if you do decide to make this into a layer cake you will need to increase the amount of frosting by 50% (at least) so you can fill it and cover the whole cake with a generous amount of frosting. If you are looking to pipe pretty swirls on top of the cake for decorations you might need to double the frosting to make sure you have enough!

Looking For More Carrot Cake Inspired Recipes? Try These:


Perfect Carrot Cake

  • Author: Cookies & Cups
  • Prep Time Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time Total Time: 1 hour 5 mins
  • Yield Yield: serves 12 1x
  • Category Category: Cake
  • Method Method: Baking
  • Cuisine Cuisine: Dessert


The Best Carrot Cake Recipe EVER!!



  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 3/4 cups grated carrots, approximately 5
  • 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raisins (regular or golden)
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut


  • 1 (8 ounce) block cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9×13 pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix both sugars, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla together on medium speed until smooth, 1 minute. Add in the cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and continue mixing for 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Mix in the flour until just combined. Add in the carrots, pineapple, walnuts, coconut, and raisins and stir until evenly incorporated.
  3. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted int he center comes out clean.
  4. Allow to cool completely.


  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix the cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until combined. With mixer on low, slowly add in the powdered sugar. Once incorporated, turn the speed up to medium and mix for 1-2 minutes until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  2. Spread the frosting on top of the cooled cake.


store airtight for up to 3 days.

* I don’t ever refrigerate this cake, even with the cream cheese frosting, and it’s fine. But you can absolutely refrigerate this if desired.

Keywords:: Carrot Cake, Best Carrot Cake, Carrot Cake Recipe, Cream Cheese Frosting

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The Best Carrot Cake Recipe Ever


Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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A few questions before I try this delicious looking recipe. Can I make this recipe eggless? If using fresh pineapple, do I drain the juice and how much fresh pineapple to use.


Oops – had wanted to add a couple of questions: is the flour sifted first or after measurement? And same question re the powdered sugar.
Thank you!


Same amount of batter gave me 2x 8″ rounds. However they backed for 50 mins at 350F.
It’s my first carrot cake and it smells delicious – can’t wait for it to cool, but I am…
Thank you!

Vivienne Tranter
Vivienne Tranter

What are the measures in ounces and kg


I just made this cake and noted the conversions for you:
220 gr granulated sugar = 220 gr
142 gr light brown sugar (although I used 113 gr dark brown)
245 gr Canola vegetable oil
127 gr raisins (I mixed yellow and black)
323 gr carrots, grated
227 gr crushed pineapple tinned in own juice (with juice removed)
460 gr flour
96 grams coconut
All other measurements ie teaspoons and tablespoons are the same.
Good luck!


Do i need to drain the juice of carrots?


Thank you Shelly
This was the best carrot cake ever !


Hi Shelly ,

First off thank you for the recipe. I only have Pineapple tidbits in Pineapple juice is that okay or do I need to crush them for the recipe ?


Tried this today, and it turned out fabulous! Not really a fan of carrot cake, but this recipe changed my mind ?. Thank you so much for sharing this with us! I did 1 1/2 of this recipe enough for a 9×13 pan (350F for 40 mins) AND 12 cupcakes (350F for 20 mins). Lessened the granulated sugar by 1/4 cup; used appx 4 cups grated carrots (4pcs) + 1 mashed bananas + 1 cup pineapples (then mashed). I had no coconut and walnuts available, yet even without it – this is a KEEPER! I also did 1 recipe of… Read more »


I’m getting ready to make this a second time in 10 days…it’s that good. The first time I made small loaves for neighbors and now they want more! Yes, of course, I kept a loaf for my own indulgence.. and certainly will again. Carrot cake is my favorite, and this one is really terrific.

ana campos
ana campos

Hello, I loved the carrot cake it’s been the best one I have made! I just would like to make it a little less moist. Would you recommend for me to add ½ or ¾ cup of more flour and use less oil bringing it down to 1 cup of oil or use the 1 ¼ in the recipe increasing the flour as mentioned before? Thank you for the recipe.



Deborah Brown
Deborah Brown

I would love to try this recipe but wasn’t able to get pineapple From my grocery store perhaps due to Covid as many empty shelves. I don’t have applesauce either. Is there anything else I could substitute or will it still be moist if not able to add a substitute? Thx so much!

Ivy Wong
Ivy Wong

Hello Shelly, I love to follow the recipe. Can I have measurement of the ingredients in weight instead of cups please?

Lisa B

This is THE BEST CARROT CAKE RECIPE. I have never made home made carrot cake, but knew in my mind exactly how I wanted it to taste. I followed the directions as written, no substitutions, and it turned out moist, flavorful and tasted exactly as I’d hoped. I made it the day before Easter and frosted it the next day. I did refrigerate it after frosting and kept it in the frig until Tuesday, when we finished it:-). This recipe’s a winner and I will make it again!


I would love to make this but I would like to use butter instead of vegetable oil. Any suggestions?

Shelly Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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