Old-Fashioned Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
Old-Fashioned Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Old-Fashioned Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

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A pleasingly moist cake, this treat is the one I requested that my mom make each year for my birthday. It's dotted with sweet carrots and a hint of cinnamon. The fluffy buttery frosting is scrumptious with chopped walnuts stirred in. One piece of this cake is never enough!—Kim Orr, West Grove, Pennsylvania
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 35 min. + cooling
MAKES:16 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 35 min. + cooling
MAKES: 16 servings


  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons 2% milk
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, optional
  • Orange and green food coloring, optional

Nutritional Facts

1 slice: 531 calories, 28g fat (7g saturated fat), 67mg cholesterol, 203mg sodium, 68g carbohydrate (54g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, sugar and oil. Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg; beat into egg mixture. Stir in carrots.
  2. Pour into two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  3. For frosting, in another large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar. Add enough milk to achieve desired spreading consistency. Reserve 1/2 cup frosting for decorating if desired. If desired, stir walnuts into remaining frosting.
  4. Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake. If decorating the cake, tint 1/4 cup reserved frosting orange and 1/4 cup green. Cut a small hole in the corner of pastry or plastic bag; insert #7 round pastry tip. Fill the bag with orange frosting. Pipe twelve carrots on top of cake, so each slice will have a carrot. Using #67 leaf pastry tip and the green frosting, pipe a leaf at the top of each carrot.
  5. Store cake in the refrigerator. Yield: 16 servings.
Originally published as Old-Fashioned Carrot Cake in Taste of Home April/May 2001, p35

Sweet White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a sweet white wine such as Moscato or a sweet Riesling.

Reviews for Old-Fashioned Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Kasha User ID: 179140 264854
Reviewed Apr. 19, 2017

"made this in 2 loaf pans and after an hour they passed the toothpick test... but they collapsed and had to be recooked as runny in the middle. Used exact recipe. However they got rave reviews for taste and looked fine with icing on them. Just a little dense. Will try again and see. Not dry at all."

Paula User ID: 9137865 264532
Reviewed Apr. 10, 2017

"I found this recipe online last week. I followed it exactly as it was listed. It is the driest cake ever! It is not worth keeping. I looked up some other recipes and found they used crushed pineapple with the juice, and one more cup of carrots. I am sure they will not be dry! Very disappointed in this from Taste of Home!

As I was just re-reading the other reviews....I noticed a few ingredients that were not at all listed in the recipes. Like applesauce, and carnation milk. Also Sour cream. I know these were add ins or subsitutes, but should have been mentioned in the recipe."

JMartinelli13 User ID: 92779 263998
Reviewed Mar. 28, 2017

"I left the walnuts out of the frosting, and used an 8oz package of cream cheese. Great cake!"

dmsaari User ID: 1718185 263248
Reviewed Mar. 9, 2017

"So happy to finally find a carrot cake recipe that doesn't have raisins."

MICHELLE User ID: 9038603 263156
Reviewed Mar. 7, 2017

"i made this cake and added 1/4 cup of sour cream to the mix and for the frosting, I replaced carnation can milk for the 2% milk and added raisins"

BethRJarvis User ID: 7697676 246557
Reviewed Apr. 3, 2016

"This recipe makes 24 cupcakes. I skipped the walnuts and goofed and added 3 tablespoons of cinnamon but they were still delish,"

shannondobos User ID: 5115022 246308
Reviewed Mar. 30, 2016

"I made this cake for our Easter dessert and it was delicious! I didn't change a thing other than use 8 inch round pans vs the 9 inch because I like my cakes a little taller. It was moist, had the perfect balance of flavors, and the cream cheese frosting was wonderful. The last of it was eaten just last night (3 days later), and I swear it just got more moist by the day! This is a keeper."

Jimmybuffett User ID: 8560535 234141
Reviewed Oct. 7, 2015

"Haven't made this but, here is a link to answer the substitution of applesauce for oil."

KittieCatt User ID: 6154720 225427
Reviewed Apr. 26, 2015

"A fantastic recipe! I've been looking for a fairly easy carrot cake recipe (from scratch) for quite some time, and I finally found it. I (very finely) ground 1/2 C. of walnuts and added them into the batter for flavor. I use a different recipe for the frosting.... a large block of cream cheese, a stick of butter, confectioners sugar, and vanilla. I don't add walnuts into the frosting, I just lightly sprinkle a bit of the finely ground walnuts on top of the frosting. This cake is a true winner!"

kerrynjames User ID: 5662698 224464
Reviewed Apr. 8, 2015

"This cake is fabulous. It's easy to make and looks like you actually took time and trouble to make it! Next time, I'm probably going to find a different, more cream cheese based frosting, but that's just personal preference. The frosting is really great as well! Try this cake! I did leave out the walnuts."

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