This simple, homemade carrot cake recipe is perfectly moist and easy to make, topped with a delicious brown butter cream cheese frosting!
As much as I love a good old vanilla butter cake or delicious red velvet cake, carrot cake is up there for favorite cake recipes.
And as much as I look forward to Italian ricotta and rice pies on Easter, I really, reallyyy look forward to a big slice of homemade carrot cake with that delicious cream cheese frosting.
I mean really, it has carrots in it so leftovers can count as a healthy breakfast too, am I right?
This is my FAVORITE carrot cake recipe from scratch.
I know a lot of recipes out there are labeled as the “world’s best carrot cake”. I won’t say this is or isn’t, but in my eyes it’s the best!
Not only is it simple and easy to make, but it’s loaded with flavor and extremely moist while staying perfectly fluffy.
No fancy techniques required here.
You just need some mixing bowls, a spatula and it can’t hurt to throw in some lunges or jumping jacks while it’s cooking cause I guarantee you you’re gonna want more than just one slice ;).
Homemade Carrot Cake Ingredients:
- freshly grated carrots
- toasted walnuts/pecans
- granulated & brown sugar
- baking soda & powder
- vanilla extract
This carrot cake recipe is without pineapple. I know a lot of recipes call for pineapple, but I enjoy the simple flavors without it.
If you want to use pineapple, you can refer to the recipe notes at the bottom of the post.
What makes this carrot cake moist?
Using oil instead of butter makes this carrot cake recipe extremely moist.
Also, the fresh grated carrots adds moisture along with the 4 eggs we will be using in the recipe.
Again, if you wanted to use pineapple that would also enhance the “moist factor”!
Now, let’s talk cream cheese frosting.
Carrot cake on it’s own is pretty freaking amazing but it’s nothing without it’s cream cheese companion.
It’s tangy, sweet and creamy which is exactly what this spiced cake needs.
This cream cheese frosting recipe uses browned butter and a hint of fresh lemon for an unbelievably good frosting to pair with your unbelievably good cake :).
The browned butter is nutty and rich pairing perfectly with the cinnamon and nuts in the cake, while the lemon and cream cheese add a perfect tang to balance out the richness.
It’s a match made in carrot cake heaven.
How to make homemade carrot cake from scratch:
- Toast your nuts. Set aside to cool.
- Combine dry ingredients (flour, baking soda & powder, cinnamon, and salt). Set aside.
- In a bowl of your stand mixer (or in a large bowl with a hand mixer), beat the eggs for 1 minute until frothy.
- Add in both of the sugars and the vanilla. Turn mixer to medium-high speed and beat for 3-4 minutes or until it’s thickened and a pale yellow color.
- Turn mixer down to low and slowly stream in the oil. Mix until combined.
- Add the flour mixture and mix just until combined.
- Fold in the carrots and nuts.
- Pour evenly into cake pans and bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.