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Carrot Layer Cake

My sister gave me this recipe for what she calls "the ultimate carrot cake," and it really lives up to the name. When people taste it, they're bowled over by the tender, not-too-sweet cake and unexpected pecan filling. —Linda Van Holland, Innisfail, Alberta
  • Total Time
    Prep: 55 min. Bake: 35 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    20 servings


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • CAKE:
  • 1-1/4 cups canola oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 4 cups finely shredded carrots
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350°. In a large heavy saucepan, combine sugar, flour and salt. Stir in cream; add butter. Cook and stir over medium heat until butter is melted; bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in nuts and vanilla. Cool and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat oil and sugar until well blended. In another bowl, whisk cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with eggs, beating well after each addition. Stir in carrots, raisins and nuts.
  • Pour into 3 greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
  • For frosting, in a small bowl, beat butter, cream cheese and vanilla until fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar until smooth. Spread filling between layers. Frost sides and top of cake. Store in the refrigerator. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 641 calories, 41g fat (14g saturated fat), 94mg cholesterol, 405mg sodium, 68g carbohydrate (53g sugars, 3g fiber), 5g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • Diane
    Aug 10, 2020

    so in the middle of making this receipe, it didn't tell me what to do with stuff I was cooking on the stove, so I just added it to the cake batter before baking. It came out fine, just some pieces felt like carmalized pecans (a little crunchy) but still good cake! Next time, I will skip the step of cooking the ingredients on the stove.

  • LORI
    Apr 8, 2020

    No you are not missing anything... the recipe though is missing two items bits of information. The recipe doesn't identify the first 6 ingredients, which are cooked together as the "Filling" which goes between the layers. This makes the rest of the instructions a little nonsensical. Also you need to let folks know that the whisked together items includes the flour.

  • the_medleys
    Mar 20, 2020

    Ok, am I missing something in the directions??? I don't see where the initial mixture with the whipping cream gets used at all. The instructions also don't mention putting the flour into the cake mixture. Someone needs to review and fix these instructions!!

  • dylan's mama
    Dec 29, 2019

    You absolutely cannot go wrong with this recipe. I've been making it for years and I've never met a single person who didn't like it--even those who don't care for carrot cake. I've even made low fat versions of it and its just as good.

  • nonnieleg
    Nov 27, 2019

    This is the best carrot cake ever!! I have made many times and it's always a winner.

  • beck-ann
    Sep 18, 2019

    oops only put 1 star meant 5 yum

  • Jackie7276
    Apr 8, 2019

    No comment left

  • kulzer
    Dec 3, 2018

    A little time consuming but the outcome is definitely worth it. It is so,so good. My friends love this awesome carrot cake.

  • littlemama4two
    Mar 30, 2018

    I've only made this a handful of times but it's loved by all who try it. In fact, my BIL told me I could sell this to a 5 star restaurant, it was that good!

  • weisd
    Apr 21, 2017

    This was really good. The cake is nice and moist. My only impression was that the frosting seemed almost too sweet. If I make it again, I might go ahead and use the whole 8 oz of cream cheese {hate to waste that leftover 2oz anyway} and reduce the butter to 1/2 cup. Just a thought. We all enjoyed every piece though!