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Carrot-Spice Cake with Caramel Frosting Recipe

Carrot-Spice Cake with Caramel Frosting Recipe

“This cake starts with a mix, but it’s loaded with extras to give it that ‘from-scratch’ flavor. It’s so moist and delicious—everyone asks for the recipe!” Nora Fitzgerald - Sevierville, TN
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 45 min. Bake: 25 min. + cooling YIELD:12 servings


  • 1 package spice cake mix (regular size)
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 can (8 ounces) unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 6 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons 2% milk


  • 1. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, water, sour cream and oil; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Fold in the carrots, pineapple, coconut, pecans and raisins just until blended. Pour into two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans.
  • 2. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • 3. For frosting, in a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Add the confectioners' sugar, ice cream topping and enough milk to achieve desired consistency. Spread frosting between layers and over the top and sides of cake. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 12 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 slice: 846 calories, 40g fat (19g saturated fat), 150mg cholesterol, 701mg sodium, 118g carbohydrate (88g sugars, 2g fiber), 8g protein.

Reviews for Carrot-Spice Cake with Caramel Frosting

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carolynstowers User ID: 4001197 237489
Reviewed Nov. 16, 2015 Edited Nov. 18, 2015

"This is the first time I've made this cake. I made it in a 13 X 9 pan didn't hurt the flavor at all. The cake was sooo good. I gave 1/2 to our neighbor and they raved about the cake, and said it was the best carrot cake they had ever tasted and said the frosting was to die for. In the frosting I did make two small changes I used Maple flavoring instead of Vanilla. I think Maple does taste better with cream cheese frosting. The second change was I added a dash of salt to the frosting to bring out the flavor more. I am adding this recipe to my Thanksgiving dinner menu.( This is a cake that can and should be cooked a day or two before serving )"

skuehn User ID: 3271752 226624
Reviewed May. 20, 2015

"Made this for a cake auction (made as per directions, changed nothing) Cake came out great! Cake sold for $100!!!! The gentleman and wife that bought it said it was the BEST they ever had. Of course I didn't get to taste it, but the frosting was delicious. The combination of caramel with the spice cake blended beautifully. I will save that frosting recipe to use on other baked goods as well. Thanks for sharing a great recipe!!!"

cbachtel User ID: 3618273 188672
Reviewed Apr. 15, 2014

"This cake is really good, so good my husband (who never gives many opinions about food), has gotten seconds every night! He said last night, "I just have to make sure it is still good"! LOL. I did make this a little differently. I used Pillsbury Sugar-free yellow cake and added cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice to it. Used Sugar-free vanilla pudding, low fat sour cream, and 2 1/2 cups splenda powdered sugar (3/4 cup splenda with 2 T. cornstarch) and 3 1/2 cups sugar, along with sugar-free carmamel topping. The icing was too soft, but tastes delicious - we just scrape it off the sides and onto the cake slices. Didn't add the raisins or coconut, as we don't care for those. It was still very, very good, but a heavy cake."

chester15 User ID: 3375758 187597
Reviewed Mar. 20, 2013

"This is requested by my sister every Easter! Wonderful cake and easy to make."

Jill Kennedy User ID: 5648704 189183
Reviewed Mar. 20, 2012

"Best carrot cake I have ever had/made. I have made it on special occasions. It seems like too much work to make it often."

LBurkey User ID: 3719865 145786
Reviewed Oct. 24, 2011

"This is a good cake, but it is very high in calories. Very moist and yummy."

Mellerfly User ID: 1555291 118913
Reviewed Sep. 15, 2011

"Best carrot cake I've ever made. Love the frosting (and the calories : ) )"

TwylahJean User ID: 5706947 102898
Reviewed Sep. 10, 2011

"Five stars all the way! This will be my carrot cake recipe from here on out. The frosting is THE BEST cream cheese icing I've ever tasted."

RJSauer User ID: 5910473 168837
Reviewed May. 23, 2011

"Tasted great! Looked like a mess! I need to learn how to layer cakes. Frosting appeared to be thick enough to spread, but slowly slipped down the sides of the cake. Sure am glad I was only serving my family when I made it."

Pigout! User ID: 5223171 185988
Reviewed May. 4, 2011

"This cake is delicious. The icing was the best I've tasted. I later iced an angel food cake with it. Melts in your mouth."

bellalane User ID: 5842273 211363
Reviewed Apr. 30, 2011

"This cake is to die for!! Made it for Easter and it was a new favorite."

k9kkelley User ID: 5910521 187596
Reviewed Apr. 28, 2011

"I made this for Easter 2011. Everyone loved it even though I made several mistakes(too large of a can of pineapple undrained...had to cook an extra 15 minutes). Will be making again in a few weeks for Mothers Day, minus the mistakes. Hope it will be just as good."

Paula57 User ID: 4993981 102897
Reviewed Apr. 26, 2011

"Made it for Easter and it was a huge hit! Very moist and full of flavor."

Annie1227 User ID: 4334630 185986
Reviewed Apr. 25, 2011

"The second time I made this recipe I used a carrot cake mix (Betty Crocker brand, usually the only brand I prefer) but I have to say that I preferred the spice cake mix from the first time I made it (also Betty Crocker brand). Not sure what really made it better with the spice cake over the carrot cake mix, but it seemed more moist with the spice cake and just a bit more flavor. Next time I use a carrot cake mix (bought two, so gonna have to try it again) I think I will add a little extra cinnamon, nutmeg, and maybe a pinch of ground ginger. I still think it's the best recipe I have personally come across and it is very similar to my friend's top secret carrot cake recipe that she won't give to anyone :o) so that makes me happy that I can at least have one almost as good as hers any time I want now! :o)"

Annie1227 User ID: 4334630 170274
Reviewed Apr. 25, 2011

"SOOOOO GOOOOOOOD!!!!! Delicious carrot cake! The caramel cream cheese frosting was really good too, never thought of that before but was yummy, just a great combination."

lisasclark User ID: 3766005 211362
Reviewed Apr. 25, 2011

"Moist and great flavors! I omitted the pineapple and raisins, baked in 8" pans, and increased cooking time by 15+ minutes. I also used a storebought buttercream frosting."

schrotie User ID: 4898208 168836
Reviewed Apr. 24, 2011

"I used to HATE Carrot cakes of any sort - I made this cake for guests and couldn't believe how absolutely delicious and decadent it is. The guests loved it as well and requested the recipe the recipe."

guillix4 User ID: 2569982 127971
Reviewed Apr. 16, 2011

"loved this cake, so moist and so easy.Using a boxed cake mix made it come together in a snap.5 stars from my family..."

taslas07 User ID: 1800756 117100
Reviewed Apr. 15, 2011

"Not everyone has to count calories. Some people wish they could gain weight. And like others have said if you do it n moderation it will not hurt you. This was a great cake. I did leave out the coconut as I don't like it. Everyone loved it. Will make this over and over."

Annie1227 User ID: 4334630 174492
Reviewed Apr. 14, 2011

"I can't wait to try this recipe!!! Been looking for one like it for years, it sounds similar to a friend's carrot cake recipe, but she won't share her top secret recipe! Can't wait to see if this is like it so I can tell her I cracked the code!"

lean1941 User ID: 2550641 117099
Reviewed Apr. 13, 2011

"This cake was delish. For those of you who decide to screw up the rating because of the fat and calorie content then you shouldnt make it. We can eat anything we want so who are you to sit there a make comments like that. You can eat anything as long as it is in moderation. So then next time dont make it or eat it. if you are watching calories."

graninet User ID: 2610974 174485
Reviewed Apr. 13, 2011

"Why would you make the cake if you are counting calories. Eat Cake be Happy."

Qow User ID: 5290832 168835
Reviewed Apr. 13, 2011

"As a side note: IF you are looking for recipes that are low calorie then Taste of Home is not what you are wanting. Try subscribing to healthy Taste of Home and see if that works for you. Just saying"

grandmajean56 User ID: 162083 185983
Reviewed Apr. 12, 2011

"I realize that a review is for the purpose of commenting on a recipe that I actually made and tasted. However, I was so amazed at the number of calories and fat for one slice, I had to comment on that. With the growing problem of obesity, how can you possibly give us a recipe that is so unhealthy."

ronayne User ID: 2783099 170266
Reviewed Mar. 11, 2011

"My review is for the frosting only. The cake I made was my Mother's two layer carrot cake recipe. However, the frosting was FANTASTIC! I used about 4 1/2 cups icing sugar and kept the other ingredients as listed. Plenty of frosting with some left over. Really, really delicious! Thanks."

schrotie User ID: 4898208 174460
Reviewed Nov. 15, 2010

"Let me start out by saying I HATE(D) CARROT CAKE - well not anymore - this was the most delicious cake I've ever tasted. Moist, great tast and the frosting was fabulous. I baked it in 2 bread loaf pans (2 cakes - BONUS!), sliced it lengthwise down the center slathered that delicious frosting over it and sat back to rave reviews from my guests!"

2tuxedokats User ID: 1498651 117098
Reviewed Oct. 15, 2010

"I teach a couple of deaf/blind individuals with developmental disabilities cooking skills and this was a great cake recipe for them. Easy enough to be quick and yet complicated enough that they really feel like they made a really difficult recipe."

p00dbar User ID: 3094468 108772
Reviewed Sep. 9, 2010

"This is absolutely the BEST carrot cake EVER! I have had many requests to make this again and again, and many people have asked me for the recipe. The frosting is so good, I am glad it makes a lot, because I eat half the bowlful with a spoon before I even frost the cake!"

tiffanypaddock User ID: 2474890 117097
Reviewed Aug. 22, 2010

"This cake was delicious! I would make it again and again!"

s7jones User ID: 4358053 189147
Reviewed Jul. 21, 2010

"OMG!! My mom made this cake for my birthday. This made my eyes roll up into my head. Hands down the best cake I have ever had!!"

flopsyrose5 User ID: 1504631 174458
Reviewed Jul. 9, 2010

"I made this cake for work as a 9 x 13 and everyone loved it. Now it is one of the most often requested for our birthday club. CEM"

TwinMamainMN User ID: 5182695 102894
Reviewed May. 27, 2010

"Delicious, with lots of great added ingredients. I had to add quite a bit of milk (3-4 tablespoons) to get the frosting to spread, but it tastes delicious. I may never make plain cream cheese frosting again!"

1DomesticGoddess User ID: 2778356 108769
Reviewed Apr. 12, 2010

"I made this cake yesterday, and couldn't wait to try it today.  The cake tasted good, but, I did have to bake the cake longer than the directions called for. I baked it exactly 40 minutes in the oven. The frosting was good, but, when it came to making the frosting, I halved the recipe, which I felt was more than enough frosting for a 2-layer cake. Also, when it came to adding the canned crushed pineapple, I now wish I hadn't drained the juice from the can, but added it to the cake.  I would of drained the juice into a glass measuring cup, and then if it didn't reach the 3/4 cup mark, I then would of added water to it, til it reached the 3/4 cup mark. Also, when I added the raisins, I used golden raisins. That was just a preference. One more thing... I don't much care for 2-layer cakes, so I usually place each layer onto 2 seperate glass plates, frost both layers, and will keep one cake for myself, but will share the other cake with someone else. Note: I think the caramel frosting would taste great on other cakes as well, boxed or home-made."

diligentfrog User ID: 569604 118912
Reviewed Mar. 4, 2010

"This is a fantastic recipe! Everyone raves over this cake. I have made it twice in the past month. YUM!!"

weebill User ID: 465044 145785
Reviewed Feb. 23, 2010

"Could someone please post this for me. I can't see it, it says I have to be a subscriber to one of the magazines. I am to 4 of them, GGGGRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!"

mazy day User ID: 735726 170248
Reviewed Feb. 23, 2010

"I made this today for my daughters birthday,and it went over sooooo big they couldn't believe the ingredience,and begged for the recipe.So here I am e-mailing it to them,and writting a raving revue, thanks taste of home we loved it!"

mreilly615 User ID: 2340136 185906
Reviewed Feb. 19, 2010

"This cake is awesome. I made it for my husband's birthday and everyone loved it. It is better than any carrot cake you get in a restaurant. Try it, you won't be disappointed."

greeniis User ID: 4650068 145784
Reviewed Feb. 17, 2010

"I brought this to work and everyone loved it. One of the guys asked for the recipe so his wife can make it for him on his birthday. Lots of ingredients but so easy to make."

jenndi User ID: 1238754 189145
Reviewed Feb. 13, 2010

"So tasty I'll try it with out the raisins next time. My two year old loved it!!"

aread398 User ID: 2798856 185905
Reviewed Jan. 30, 2010

"Absolutely delicious! A lot of ingredients, but so worth it. Everyone raved about it!"

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