The best ever carrot cake

Make scrumptious carrot cake at home with this easy recipe. Super moist and super flavorful!

Everyone has their own idea about what makes a good cake. Some like theirs light and airy, others like it dense and heavy. Some like chocolate cake, vanilla cake, bundt cake, or funfetti cake. Others don’t care about the cake and it’s all about the frosting. 🙂

My dad’s favorite cake is carrot cake and it has been my mission to make the BEST carrot cake in the entire world for him. And well, for me too.

Confession: I like carrot cake more than I like funfetti!

My personal preference is to have a cake that is as moist as possible. A carrot cake that is full of flavor and will melt in your mouth, without being mushy. And PS: the word “moist” should not send you running for the hills. It’s just a word!

So how can you achieve a moist cake? Baking science ahead. #nerdalert

There are four main ingredients in cake recipes: sugar, flour, eggs, and fat (in the form of oil, shortening, or butter). These four ingredients have different purposes and effects on how your cake will bake, its texture, and how it will taste.

The structure of your cake is held together with the eggs and flour. The flavor of your cake comes from the sugar and the fat. The more sugar and fat you have in your cake, the more moist the cake will be. However, do not go assuming that simply adding more sugar and more fat to your batter will produce a moist cake. You have to maintain an equal amount of structure to hold up to the extra moisture you’re adding in. Adding too much moisture and too little structure and you’ll end up with a cake that won’t set.

Baking a cake surely is a science – and also a mathematical equation of sorts. Thankfully, I’ve found the perfectly balanced ratio of moisture and structure to produce one HECK of a moist carrot cake.

Be warned: you’re going to fall in love with this cake.

You’re going to start with 1 cup of light brown sugar (or dark) and 3/4 cup of vegetable oil. This carrot cake, my friends, is not a health food. Although, sometimes I like to convince myself otherwise since I am eating my veggies.

I tried this carrot cake once before a few weeks ago using white sugar. There was nothing wrong using white sugar, but in my cookie baking experiences, I have learned that brown sugar yields a much softer and more moist product than white sugar does. It provides the baked good with more body of flavor as well. Plus, I love the taste of brown sugar/molasses. Brown sugar is a winner today – light brown or dark brown will do. I used light brown because that is what I had on hand.

The fat used in this recipe is oil, not butter. I have learned that oil produces a much softer, more moist cake crumb than butter would. However, I adore the taste of butter so I still like to use it in my cake/cupcake recipes (depending on the other ingredients in said recipe). With so much flavor from the spices, frosting, brown sugar, and sweet carrots – I knew I wouldn’t miss the taste of butter.

Along with the oil, I added some greek yogurt. Yogurt is a fantastic addition to cakes or cupcakes because it adds even MORE moisture to your finished baked product. You may use regular or greek yogurt here – vanilla or plain – nonfat or lowfat. Whichever is most convenient for you.

So we have 3 moisture-inducing ingredients so far (1) brown sugar, (2) oil, and (3) yogurt. Beat these all together with 3 eggs and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. This cake uses as many eggs as my ultra-fudgy brownies. You can imagine how dense and perfect this cake is!

What’s next? The dry ingredients: 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 2 heaping teaspoons of cinnamon (LOVE the stuff), 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. The first time I made this cake, I used more flour. I decided to try the cake again using as little flour as possible that I could get away with and still have the cake’s structure set in the oven. 2 cups is the magic number. You may use a mixture of whole wheat and all-purpose flour, but the cake’s texture may not be as soft as mine. I suggest using strictly all-purpose.

The cinnamon and nutmeg are crucial to the cake’s taste. Without an overpowering flavor like chocolate or pumpkin, for example, you really need those spices to give the cake that trademark “spice” taste that carrot cake has.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients with a whisk or spatula, trying hard not to overmix the batter. Let’s see, what’s next? Ahhh the carrots. Let’s not forget those babies. Literally. I used baby carrots here. I grated my own baby carrots – I used a little less than one 14 oz package to get the 2 cups of shredded baby carrots. I used baby carrots only because they are more wet than regular carrots. Feel free to use regular carrots since grating such small baby carrots may not be tolerated by many! It wasn’t so bad though, I promise. 🙂

While grating, make sure the carrot shreds/pieces are extra fine. You don’t want huge chunks of carrots in your soft piece of cake. The finely shredded carrots soften inside the batter as the cake bakes, making the cake even more soft and moist. So that is 4 moistening agents so far in this recipe! Have I convinced you yet?

A good thing to know about my recipe: the cake does not taste like carrots. Carrots, a sweeter vegetable, act more as a sweetener in this recipe than a flavoring agent. The brown sugar and spices mask the flavor of an actual carrot.

Fold the carrot shreds into the batter with a large spatula – no electric mixer is needed for this addition. I added pecans to the cake batter because I cannot imagine carrot cake without them! I used 3/4 cup of pecan pieces. You could even add raisins as well, another traditional addition to carrot cake. I was all out of raisins, so I only used pecans. The pecans do not stay crunchy inside the baked cake – they soften up, but still provide a nice texture against the cake’s crumb.

Pour the cake into a round 9 or 10 inch springform pan. I found baking the cake in a springform pan, rather than a regular circle of square baking pan was much easier. I highly recommend a spring form pan for this recipe. Bake the cake at 350F for 32-38 minutes.

Wasn’t that easy? Trust me, this cake is SUCH a breeze to make!

Now what would carrot cake be without the iconic cream cheese frosting swirled on top? I went a little heavy handed on the cream cheese frosting because I love it so much paired with the spice carrot cake. Even though I adore frosting so much, this is the kind of cake that probably wouldn’t even need it. I can’t believe I’m saying that! But honestly, this cake is so flavorful and moist on its own that it doesn’t even need frosting.

But let’s be serious. Frosting and I are two peas in a pod. It’s actually quite easy to make: 8 ounces of softened cream cheese, 1/2 cup of softened butter, 2-2.5 cups of powdered sugar, 2 Tablespoons of heavy cream, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. I strongly urge you to use heavy cream here instead of milk or half-and-half – it will produce the thickest and creamiest frosting ever!

Frosting the cake is a… piece of cake. Just plop it onto the center of the cake and swirl it around. There is a lot of frosting, so don’t be shy about layering it on nice and thick. I opted out of frosting the sides of the cake because it is SO much easier to just frost the top. Save yourself the time! I decorated mine with some pecans, but feel free to use coconut, raisins, or even more shredded carrots. Decorating the cake is almost as fun as eating it. *Almost.

Carrot cake, like banana bread, tastes best the next day after the flavors have settled and have gotten friendly with one another. It is also more moist on the 2nd day as well. Sorry for saying moist so much in this post, but I truly am trying to get a point across!

This is truly the best carrot cake that I’ve ever had. The frosting doesn’t taste fake like I’ve had in bakeries before. The cake doesn’t necessarily taste heavy either; it is just very dense, like the best piece of banana bread you’ve ever had. The sweet spice cake combined with the tangy cream cheese frosting is out of this world. Each bite will melt in your mouth and I was sad to see the cake end!

And again… don’t worry! You will not feel like you’re eating vegetables. Now if someone could make carrots taste like cake, life would be perfect.

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. ♥


Make scrumptious carrot cake at home with this easy recipe. Super moist and super flavorful!


  • 1 cup (200g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) vegetable oil*
  • 1/4 cup (60g) Greek yogurt*
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (260g) very finely grated carrots
  • 3/4 cup pecan pieces

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces (224g) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2–2.5 cups (240-300g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) heavy cream*
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • salt, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray 9 or 10inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. I do not recommend a regular circle or square pan, as the cake may rise above. Set aside.
  2. Set out the cream cheese for the frosting so it may soften as you make the cake batter.
  3. Make the carrot cake: In a large bowl with a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium speed, combine the brown sugar and oil. Beat in the yogurt until fully combined – about 60 seconds. Mixture will be gritty and thick. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla. Set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. With a spatula, manually stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined and all flour pockets are gone – do not overmix. Fold in the finely shredded carrots and pecan pieces. Pour or spoon batter into prepared springform pan.
  5. Bake cake for 32-38 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not overbake, which will dry out cake. Check the cake at 30 minutes, then again at 32. My cake took exactly 34 minutes. Allow cake to cool completely before frosting.
  6. Make the frosting: beat the softened cream cheese and butter together on medium speed for 2-3 minutes until soft, creamy, and combined thoroughly. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and beat until thick and combined. Add 2 Tablespoons heavy cream and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed for 2 more minutes. Add more powdered sugar until desired thickness is reached. Add salt to taste. I used 1/8 teaspoon to cut the sweetness.
  7. Store cake in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 5 days.


  1. Make Ahead Instructions: Carrot cake tastes best the next day after the flavors have settled and have gotten friendly with one another. It is also more moist on the 2nd day as well.
  2. Oil: You can also use melted coconut oil or canola oil.
  3. Yogurt: You can also use regular yogurt– plain or vanilla.
  4. Heavy Cream: I strongly suggest using heavy cream in the cream cheese frosting recipe. Using milk or half-and-half will produce a less creamy and thinner frosting.
  5. Raisins: If you’d like to add raisins to the batter, I suggest using 2/3 cup of raisins and 2/3 cup of chopped pecans. If you’d like to only use raisins, I suggest 3/4 cup of raisins.
  6. Cupcakes: This recipe also can be made into 12 cupcakes. Bake time is 17-18 minutes.
  7. Layer Cake: Try my Favorite (Layer) Carrot Cake recipe.

Keywords: carrot cake

This To Die For Carrot Cake recipe receives rave reviews for it’s unbelievable moistness and delicious flavor! Truly the BEST Carrot Cake you’ll ever try! So easy to make and as an added bonus, there’s no oil or butter. I know this cake will quickly become a family favorite! Looking for a layered cake alternative? Check out these Carrot Cake Bars!

Carrot Cake

There is nothing like a cake to transform an ordinary party into a celebration. There’s something so festive about cakes that scream it’s time to PARTY! Today I’m sharing a cake recipe with you all that’s a family heirloom. I can’t believe I’ve waited this long to share this recipe with you!

This is my Nana’s recipe – slightly modified – and it is sooo amazing! I get requests several times a year for this To Die For Carrot Cake and made it just last week for my sister’s birthday. I love this recipe because it’s a one-two-three recipe and that makes it so easy! It also is a one-bowl wonder which I love.

I have made this recipe hundreds of times and all my friends and family love this cake so much so that I get asked to bring it to parties, holidays, potlucks, and BBQs all year long. I just love that it’s SO easy to make and completely foolproof!

Best Carrot Cake Recipe

This carrot cake with pineapple makes it so moist and the addition of coconut adds a sweet, delicate flavor that you’re going to love!

I have many carrot cake recipes on my site – like these Carrot Cake Bars – but they are all variations of this one. There isn’t another recipe that I’ve ever tried that even comes close to this carrot cake recipe for flavor, moistness, and texture. It’s hands down the best carrot cake I’ve ever had. Period.

What’s In Carrot Cake

This easy carrot cake recipe with cream cheese frosting stands out from the rest for two important reasons: I use both applesauce (instead of oil) and pineapple for extra moistness. The rest of the ingredients are typical cake ingredients that you most likely already have on hand,.

  • unsweetened applesauce or oil (my Nana used oil, I use applesauce)
  • granulated sugar
  • eggs
  • all-purpose flour
  • baking soda
  • baking powder
  • salt
  • cinnamon
  • carrots
  • shredded sweetened coconut
  • chopped nuts optional
  • vanilla
  • crushed pineapple

Does Carrot Cake Have Raisins?

This is totally up to you. I don’t include it in my recipe because so many in my family don’t like raisins. If you’d like to add raisins to this recipe, add half a cup of raisins in with the shredded carrot in Step 3. Golden raisins are especially delicious in this recipe!

Carrot Cake Frosting

My Nana’s recipe is super simple (as easy as 1-2-3) and tastes incredible but what’s a carrot cake without cream cheese frosting??

Cream cheese frosting is the standard when it comes to carrot cake and with good reason. Soft and gooey with a hint of tang from the cream cheese – it’s the perfect complement!

How To Decorate!

You can decorate the cake however you want and I do it differently every time. You really can’t do this wrong!

  • After the cakes have finished cooling, invert one of the cakes onto a cake plate or stand. Apply a generous dollop of frosting and spread to cover. An offset spatula will make quick work of this. Gently place the second cake on top and continue frosting.
  • For this carrot cake recipe, I chose to decorate with the nuts. I chopped up some toasted pecans and then inverted a bowl onto the cake.
  • Gently spread the pecans around the bowl and you’ll end up with a nice clean circle on the center of the cake. Watch the video below to see how I did it!
  • I could have left it like this but my family loves coconut so I filled in the center with shredded coconut. Turned out really pretty!

What a cake!! I’d love for you to give this from scratch carrot cake recipe a try – it really will blow your mind! I like to use light cream cheese frosting and then subbing the applesauce for the oil, well, obviously you can now have two pieces of cake!

Do you have family recipes that the whole family just LOVES like this cake recipe?? I’m so thankful that I was able to get so many fabulous recipes from my Nana. Every time we eat this cake, I think of her and all the yummy times we had together.

Tips for the Best Carrot Cake

  • Toasting the pecans (if you’re using them) adds even more amazing flavor to this recipe.
  • DO NOT use pre-shredded carrots. Buy standard carrots, peel and grate by hand for the best results. You want the fresh flavor in this cake – it’s what makes it so outstanding!
  • I used three 8-inch cake pans in the video. I really like the size of the cake with three layers. These are the pans I used – they’re amazing!
  • These cakes are SUPER moist – amazingly so. Make sure to adequately grease your pans before adding the cake batter. My little brother likes to grease his pans, and line them with a piece of parchment before baking. I’m far too lazy for that. Using the pans above, and some baking spray that has the flour added in (like Baker’s Joy or Pam with flour), I have never, ever had any sticking issues.
  • I’ve had several requests from people wanting to know where I got my cake serving set from… Amazon, of course!

How To Make Carrot Cupcakes

This recipe can easily be converted into a cupcake recipe. I do recommend that you use parchment liners because this cake is very moist and could stick to regular paper liners.

To make carrot cupcakes:

  1. Follow instructions 1 and 2 below.
  2. Place liners in muffin pan and fill two-thirds full.
  3. Bake at 350F for 18 to 22 minutes.
  4. Let carrot cupcakes cool before frosting.

Try these cake recipes!

  1. Orange Creamsicle Cake
  2. Lemon Zucchini Cake
  3. Best Ever Texas Sheet Cake
  4. Strawberry Shortcake Roulade
  5. Zucchini Spice Cake

How To Make Carrot Cake

Pin 5 from 111 votes

To Die For Carrot Cake

This To Die For Carrot Cake receives rave reviews for it’s unbelievable moistness and flavor! Truly the BEST CARROT CAKE you’ll ever try! So easy to make and as an added bonus, there’s no oil or butter! I know this cake will quickly become a family favorite! Course Dessert Cuisine American Keyword carrot cake, carrot cake recipe Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 25 minutes Total Time 35 minutes Servings 16 slices Calories 499kcal Author Trish – Mom On Timeout



  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened applesauce or oil, this is what my Nana used
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs room temperature


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon


  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1 cup chopped nuts optional
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup Dole crushed pineapple not drained! {use the pineapple in JUICE not syrup}

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 lb powdered sugar
  • top with toasted pecans or coconut if desired

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine #1 ingredients. Add #2 ingredients. Stir in #3 ingredients.
  • Pour into a lightly greased 9 x 13 , two 9-inch pans or three 8-inch pans. (The cake is very moist so cutting parchment for the bottom of your pans will ensure they don’t stick. I prefer to use the non-stick baking spray that has the flour in it for easy cake removal.)
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes for the 9×13 and 9-inch pans and 25-30 minutes for the 8-inch pans. You’re looking for an inserted toothpick to come out clean.
  • Let cakes cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then remove to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

For the frosting:

  • Beat the butter and cream cheese until nice and fluffy. Add in the vanilla and powdered sugar and beat until nice and smooth.
  • Invert the cake onto a cake plate or stand.
  • Apply a generous dollop of frosting and spread…
  • Gently place the second cake on top and continue frosting. Repeat with the third cake if you made three.
  • Refrigerate for an hour before serving for best results.


The frosting recipe can be doubled if you are planning on piping a border and adding a lot of frosting decorations to the top of the cake.


Calories: 499kcal | Carbohydrates: 77g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 274mg | Potassium: 267mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 61g | Vitamin A: 3110IU | Vitamin C: 4.6mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 1.6mg

Original post published August 18, 2012. Updated February 27, 2018.

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The Best Moist Carrot Cake Recipe – the only carrot cake recipe you need! Super easy carrot cake with luscious cream cheese frosting!

Easy one layer cakes are my favorite, just like the popular One-Bowl Chocolate Cake and my Apple Crumb Cake.


This is my go-to carrot cake recipe. It’s moist, sweet, delicious and so easy to make. I don’t make layer cakes anymore, instead, I go for easy cakes, like my One-Bowl Chocolate Cake. The fewer dishes I need to use, the better. You only need one bowl, one measuring cup and one baking pan to make this delicious treat! Each piece melts in your mouth, and you can’t help yourself but reach for another one. This recipe can be made into cupcakes as well.


  • Start by greasing and flouring your cake pan or simply line it with parchment paper.
  • Whisk together dry ingredients. Combine wet ingredients in a large measuring cup. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, then fold in carrots. The batter will be thick.
  • Pour batter onto prepared baking pan. Bake until toothpick inserted in a few places comes out clean.
  • Make frosting by beating together cream cheese and butter. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until creamy. Spread over cake. Chill cake until ready to serve. Top with chopped walnuts or pecans before serving.

What do you need to make this cake?

  • one mixing bowl
  • whisk
  • one large measuring cup (for wet ingredients)
  • one square or round 8″ pan

Tips for making the best carrot cake:

  • grate carrots on small hole side of your grater: you won’t have long strings of carrots in your cake.
  • measure out the flour: fluff it with a fork or spoon in the container you store your flour in; then spoon it into the measuring cup, level out the top. Do not dip your measuring cup right into the flour. You will end up with too much of it and the cake won’t be fluffy and moist.
  • add nuts, raisins or shredded coconut.
  • add cinnamon and nutmeg to frosting for added spice!


Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake

One-Bowl Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

One-Bowl Vanilla Cake

If you like this recipe and make it, snap a photo and share it on INSTAGRAM! Tag me @crunchycreamysweet so I can check it out and leave a comment! 😀

5 from 12 votes The Best Moist Carrot Cake Prep Time 15 mins Cook Time 25 mins Total Time 40 mins

The only carrot cake recipe you need! Super easy carrot cake with luscious cream cheese frosting!

Course: Dessert Cuisine: American Keyword: carrot cake, moist carrot cake, the best carrot cake Servings: 9 servings Calories: 443 kcal Author: Anna Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cup shredded carrots see note
  • 4 oz. cream cheese softened
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar sifted


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 8″ square or round cake pan (or line with parchment paper). Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.
  3. In a large measuring cup, whisk oil with eggs. Add vanilla and whisk well.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir in with a wooden spoon.
  5. Add carrots and stir in well.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan, tap it against the counter to release any air bubbles.
  7. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in a few places comes out clean.
  8. Cool completely before frosting.
  9. To make frosting: in a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese for 30 seconds. Add butter and beat for 2 minutes. Add powdered sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Spread frosting on cake.
  10. Chill cake until ready to serve.

Recipe Notes

  • to measure out flour properly: fluff it with a fork or spoon in the container you store your flour in; then spoon it into the measuring cup, level out the top. Do not dip your measuring cup right into the flour. You will end up with too much of it and the cake won’t be fluffy and moist.
  • grate carrots on small hole side of your grater
  • the cream cheese and butter should be very soft, as in you have to scrape it off the wrapper

Nutrition Facts The Best Moist Carrot Cake Amount Per Serving Calories 443 Calories from Fat 198 % Daily Value* Fat 22g34% Saturated Fat 6g38% Cholesterol 63mg21% Sodium 103mg4% Potassium 167mg5% Carbohydrates 57g19% Fiber 1g4% Sugar 44g49% Protein 3g6% Vitamin A 3940IU79% Vitamin C 1.2mg1% Calcium 53mg5% Iron 1mg6% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

David’s Favorite Carrot Cake with Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9-inch cake pans with the butter.
  2. In a large bowl, add the granulated sugar, oil, brown sugar and eggs and mix together. Add the flour, carrots, coconut, walnuts, cinnamon, almond extract, baking powder, salt and pineapple and fold the ingredients together.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and place the pans on a baking sheet. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Place the cakes on a cooling rack until completely cooled, about an hour.
  4. For the frosting: Meanwhile, in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, butter and pineapple juice. Mix until smooth and incorporated.
  5. To frost the cake: Carefully remove the cooled cakes from the pans. Using an offset spatula, place a dollop of the frosting on the cake stand and spread to create a sticky base. Place one layer on the frosting on the cake stand. Thickly frost the entire top of the cake and place the other layer atop the now frosted one. Beginning with the top of the new layer, frost generously. Place a large dollop of frosting on the side of the cake and spin the cake to evenly frost the sides. Garnish with the remaining walnuts.

DIY Tutorial: Sparkling SURPRISE Carrot Cupcakes

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In a few days, Peter Cottontail will be hoppin’ down the bunny trail… so we better have some carrots ready for him! But not just any carrots. Really, how many boring carrots can one bunny eat? I say we go for sparkling carrots with a surprise inside!

Hi, it’s Carrie Sellman from Half Baked, the cake blog for sweet inspiration. I’m happy to be back at HWTM today, sharing a different kind of carrot recipe – just in time for EASTER! Sure to make your little egg-hunters squeal with delight, these carrots are actually cupcakes!! Cake batter is baked inside an ice cream cone, topped with icing and then coated in orange candy and oodles of sprinkles. Edible grass provides the finishing touch on top. Just look inside!



by Carrie Sellman
makes 12 cupcakes


– Ice Cream Cones (12)
– Chocolate Cake Batter (made from mix or from scratch)
– Buttercream Icing (store bought or homemade)
– Orange Candy Melts (2 packs)
– Orange Sprinkles (2 jars)
– Green Edible Candy Grass


1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place an oven-safe wire rack on top. Stand ice cream cones upright in slots of wire rack. Cones must fit snuggly or they will fall over when baking. Some batter may leak out the bottom of cone while baking (but that’s why we’re lining our baking sheet with parchment).

2. Fill each cone 2/3 of the way full with cake batter. Bake approximately 15 minutes at 350 degrees, until toothpick comes out almost clean. Let cool completely.

3. Top each cone with a small mound of icing. Return to wire tray and place in freezer for 15 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, melt orange candy coating in a tall microwave-safe container. Heat in microwave for 30 seconds at 50% power. Stir. Repeat until candy is completely melted.

5. Dip chilled cone into melted orange candy, holding the pointed end of cone with your fingers (icing goes down). Cover as much as possible. Pull up and out of candy coating slowly.

6. Before candy coating hardens, hold cone over a bowl and coat with orange sprinkles. Sprinkle, sprinkle, sprinkle until all areas are covered. Let excess sprinkles fall into bowl so you can reuse.

7. Set cone onto parchment paper, icing side down, until hard. This is a good time to touch up any areas you missed, especially the tip. They firm up quickly and will actually be quite solid once set. Do not worry if they are a little wonky or knobby. Real carrots aren’t perfect either!

8. Using a toothpick, make a small hole in the top center of the carrot. Insert a few pieces of edible grass and trim to desired length.




– Stand carrots upright in a popcorn cone holder. I attached a white wooden fence to my popcorn holder for an extra little touch. Spoon crushed Oreo crumbs around the carrots to look like dirt.
– Bake extra cake batter in a loaf pan. Cover this cake with icing and crushed Oreo crumbs. Use this as your ‘display stand’ by inserting carrots into cake.
– Simply lay carrots on a plate covered with crushed Oreos or extra edible grass.
– Place carrots in individual cellophane bags and tie with a green ribbon to create favor or portable treat.

Happy Easter!

I recently signed up to do The 8 week Cure with many others at Apartment Therapy. I am currently reading Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan’s Book—Apartment Therapy: The eight-step home cure. “The Cure,” to boil it down, is an eight week program meant to help organize and make healthy our living spaces. There are several things you do including declutters, room remedies, and more. My favorite thing is to bring home flowers once a week for my home. I always put my flowers on our table because then I’ll actually clean it up! Dirty dishes and flowers don’t really match, you know?

And, to top it off this week, the cure is all about deep cleaning the kitchen. INTO it! My kitchen really needed it! One of the things you do is a new recipe. While I bought ingredients for a couple of new recipes, today I felt like I wanted to revisit a recipe I haven’t had a chance to make for awhile! I thought I’d share because it’s one of my favorites! It’s The Joy of Cooking’s Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing. I made sure and got it onto one of my recipe cards today so that I wouldn’t have to drag the book out again for it!

CARROT CAKE Serving: 12
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup vegetable oil
3 large egg
1 1/2 peeled and finely grated cup carrot
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 freshly grated or ground teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup crushed pineapple, lightly drained

1. Have all ingredients at room temperature, 68°F to 70°F.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

3. Grease and flour two 9×2-inch round pans or two 8×8-inch pans or one 13×9-inch pan, or line the bottom with wax paper.

5. Add the vegetable oil and eggs, and stir together well with a rubber spatula or beat on low speed.

6. Stir in the carrots, walnuts, raisins and pineapple (if using).

7. Scrape the batter into the pans(s) and spread evenly.

8. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.

For me, I always do the pineapple, but never the raisins or walnuts. I also added coconut and vanilla for my own special twist! CREAM CHEESE FROSTING Beat 8 oz. cold cream cheese (not rock solid, but it means you can use it straight out of the refrigerator) with 5 Tbsp. softened butter and 2 tsp. vanilla until combined. Gradually add 2 c. powdered sugar that has been sifted after measuring. Continue to add more sifted powdered sugar until you reach a consistency and sweetness that fits your taste.

Kitchen Sink Carrot Cake

  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10- or 12-cup Bundt pan or two 9-inch round pans and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, yolk, and sugars. Blend with a whisk until well incorporated and slightly thickened. Add the oil and carefully incorporate. This part could get a little splashy. Add the crushed pineapple and vanilla, and stir until incorporated.
  4. Add the pineapple mixture, all at once, to the flour mixture. Fold together with a spatula. When almost incorporated, fold in the carrots, coconut, and (if desired) raisins or cranberries and nuts. Fold until evenly blended. Pour cake batter into prepared pan(s) and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cake cool in pan for 15 minutes before inverting on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting with Cream Cheese Frosting. Bake cake layers for 28 to 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Bake Bundt for 45 to 55 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  1. Place cream cheese in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat the cream cheese for about 1 minute, ensuring that it is soft and pliable. Stop the mixer and use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the butter to the bowl. Beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed for 1 minute, until thoroughly combined.
  2. If adding any extra ingredients like a scraped vanilla bean, chocolate hazelnut spread, or lemon, do so after the cream cheese and butter have been mixed.
  3. Turn the mixer on low and add the salt and powdered sugar followed by the vanilla extract. Beat until almost incorporated.
  4. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl. Beat on medium speed until all of the powdered sugar has disappeared and mixture is velvety soft.
  5. Use immediately by spreading on a layer cake or cupcakes. If not using immediately, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before spreading on cakes. Frosting will last, in an airtight container, in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Mary Berry’s carrot and walnut cake with cream cheese icing recipe

  • 250 ml sunflower oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 225 g light muscovado sugar
  • 200 g carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 300 g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 75 g walnuts, shelled and chopped, plus 8 halves to decorate
  • 8.8 fl oz sunflower oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 7.9 oz light muscovado sugar
  • 7.1 oz carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 10.6 oz self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2.6 oz walnuts, shelled and chopped, plus 8 halves to decorate
  • 1.1 cups sunflower oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 7.9 oz light muscovado sugar
  • 7.1 oz carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 10.6 oz self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2.6 oz walnuts, shelled and chopped, plus 8 halves to decorate

For the icing

  • 50 g butter (room temperature)
  • 25 g icing sugar
  • 250 g full-fat cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 3 drops of vanilla extract
  • 1.8 oz butter (room temperature)
  • 0.9 oz icing sugar
  • 8.8 oz full-fat cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 3 drops of vanilla extract
  • 1.8 oz butter (room temperature)
  • 0.9 oz icing sugar
  • 8.8 oz full-fat cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 3 drops of vanilla extract