ultimate carrot cake
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5 from 1 vote

Ultimate Carrot Cake

The sweetness of the carrots, the warmth of the cinnamon and ginger wrapped in a cream cheese frosting with pecans makes this ultimate carrot cake!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword carrot cake, Ultimate
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 694kcal
Author David & Debbie Spivey


The Cake

  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 eggs extra-large, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • cups brown sugar firmly packed
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup crushed pineapple drained
  • 1 pound carrots finely grated
  • 1 cup pecans chopped
  • 1 cup golden raisins optional

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 16 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter 1 stick, softened
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar to taste


The Cake

  • ​Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by lightly coating with butter and dusting them with flour.
  • Sieve the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and nutmeg together in a bowl. Set aside.
  • Mix the eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk, brown sugar, vanilla, and pineapple together in a large bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until fully incorporated. By hand, stir in the carrots, pecans (and raisins, if using) just until evenly distributed throughout the batter.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake on the center rack for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool cakes in their pans for at least 30 minutes before attempting to remove them. Continue to cool the cakes completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add extracts and beat just until incorporated. Beat in sugar, one cup at a time, until frosting has the flavor and consistency you want. You may not need to add all of the sugar.

Assemble The Cake

  • Place the bottom layer on a cake plate or flat surface. Scoop about 1 ½ cups of the cream cheese icing onto the top of the bottom cake layer. Using a butter knife or offset spatula, spread the frosting evenly over the surface. Carefully place the second layer on top. Scoop the rest of the frosting on the top of the cake and spread evenly, easing the frosting down the sides. Spread the icing around the sides of the cake. Chill the cake in the refrigerator a little while to firm up the frosting before slicing.


Recipe adapted from Zoe Bakes.


Calories: 694kcal | Carbohydrates: 100g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 117mg | Sodium: 374mg | Potassium: 451mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 75g | Vitamin A: 7170IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 124mg | Iron: 2.2mg
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