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Carrot Layer Cake Recipe

Carrot Layer Cake Recipe

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 YIELD:16-20 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
  • 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


  • 1. In a large heavy saucepan, combine sugar, flour and salt. Stir in cream; add butter. Cook and stir over medium heat until the 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.
  • 2. In a large bowl, beat oil and sugar until well blended. Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with eggs, beating well after each addition. Stir in the carrots, raisins and nuts.
  • 3. Pour into three greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
  • 4. For frosting, in a small bowl, beat the butter, cream cheese and vanilla until fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar until smooth. Spread filling between cake layers. Frost the sides and top of cake. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 16-20 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 piece: 641 calories, 41g fat (14g saturated fat), 94mg cholesterol, 405mg sodium, 68g carbohydrate (53g sugars, 3g fiber), 5g protein.

Reviews for Carrot Layer Cake

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weisd User ID: 6498283 264950
Reviewed 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!"

Juan User ID: 9038261 264214
Reviewed Apr. 2, 2017

"Excelente,gracias por la receta,lo hare."

1914skin User ID: 8300958 241128
Reviewed Jan. 5, 2016 Edited Jan. 6, 2016

"I jumped the gun. Just scraped some icing off and it was the best, most moist delious, carrot cake I ever made! I apolize for my previous review ....."

dschultz01 User ID: 1076910 235580
Reviewed Oct. 25, 2015

"This was excellent! Made it for my wife for her birthday. Everyone loved it!"

rmbarr059 User ID: 4046105 216239
Reviewed Dec. 28, 2014

"Awesome! Made it for Christmas. I even ran out of flour and had to substitute some wheat flour--probably about 1/4 cup. Couldn't tell and the cake was absolutely delicious."

giuffrida User ID: 2582807 10915
Reviewed Jun. 1, 2014

"I made this exact cake 30 years ago for a restaurant where I lived . It was the number one request ."

Michele R User ID: 5948281 10829
Reviewed Apr. 26, 2014


thefamilybaker User ID: 7163214 21347
Reviewed Mar. 23, 2014

"My family LOVES this cake! I only make it for special occasions though because it is time consuming to make. I usually shred the carrots and chop all the nuts before i mix the batter and make the filling while the cake is baking. Stay with the filling and cook on very low temp and stir often or it will burn. I put the filling between the layers then put the cake in the fridge until the next day. Then i make the frosting and finish the cake. This way the layers and filling are cold and set and won't slide when you frost the cake. Also makes it a lot easier to divide the work in two days."

menicki User ID: 87508 3676
Reviewed Feb. 24, 2014

"I cut this recipe in half, and bake it in an 8 x 8 pan sometimes I omit the raisins, and add 1/2 cup of crushed pineapple. but either way, it is delicious."

lindallang User ID: 4226578 11280
Reviewed Jan. 30, 2014


angela32 User ID: 3084463 9050
Reviewed Jan. 8, 2014

"Awesome, love the cake and filling....I left out the raisins though.

Sunday M....I "think" you overcooked the filling and that's why it was hard and crunchy."

lizun User ID: 7466527 10691
Reviewed Nov. 6, 2013

"I collect new for me Carrot cake Recipes, because I like it. I'd want to prepare near time, but I worry I don't good cook. I think it recipe isn't easy. Is it?"

Papa n Me User ID: 3694967 11279
Reviewed Apr. 3, 2013

"My DH just made this cake for my birthday and it was a big hit with everyone! It got 5 stars from the youngest to the oldest at the party. Everyone was asking for the recipe. A keeper for sure and will be added to my personal cookbook of favorite recipes. THANKS"

cookinama User ID: 5947968 21331
Reviewed Nov. 19, 2012

"I've made this cake for several years and everyone goes crazy for it! I've had coworkers tell me I can't quit the job til I give them the recipe ! My daughter and several friends request it for their birthdays. To Sunday M. The filling simmers down to the consistency of honey. Then when it cools it becomes the consistency of peanut butter so it is spreadable between the cake layers. You probably cooked it too long. But don't give up on it this is by far the best carrot cake I have ever made and/or tasted!"

Sunday M User ID: 5042698 21322
Reviewed Aug. 22, 2012

"Please someone explain to me the precan filling. I followed the step exact and it turned out hard and kinda crunchy. Not at all like the picture. However, very tasty, i am going to crumble it and put it on the cream cheese filling/frosting. Any feed back would be so helpful. :)"

mcc1611 User ID: 4414263 10788
Reviewed Jul. 25, 2012

"I have been making this recipe since it appeared however many years ago as a contest winner. My husband loves this for his birthday and now I have another son who loves it as well. It is AWESOME!!!!! ;)"

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa User ID: 5352235 22440
Reviewed May. 9, 2012

"This was my first carrot cake and I thought it was awesome!!! Made for Easter and half the guests liked it with filling and half said it would be better without. It is very rich.."

shirley devasher User ID: 4202109 5910
Reviewed Apr. 18, 2012

"Try this one first"

k11b User ID: 6278664 21319
Reviewed Apr. 18, 2012

"Best carrot cake ever! Replaced raisins with crushed pineapple and it was great. Will definitely bake this again."

tigercat2 User ID: 3528530 10349
Reviewed Mar. 24, 2012

"Very good carrot cake. And i was surprised no pineapple in it. Next time i well use the spice some one suggested."

Vkruzin User ID: 2988219 9530
Reviewed Mar. 22, 2012

"This Carrot cake was a show stopper! Everyone that had some wanted the recipe. I would make this again."

jackie.baker User ID: 3555282 9643
Reviewed Oct. 7, 2011

"I make this all of the time. Every one who eats it absolutely loves it."

jmkobernik User ID: 2174564 12189
Reviewed Apr. 18, 2011

"this is by far the best carrot cake I've ever had. I have made it multiple times and gotten tons of compliments. I used pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon and it gave it a little something extra! I highly recommend this!"

pdenning User ID: 236393 200663
Reviewed Apr. 3, 2011

"WOW! It's a little bit of trouble but so worth it. My daughter told me this one has to be added to the favorites. I will probably make it for Easter."

fudgeybutt User ID: 5208212 9485
Reviewed Jan. 17, 2011

"I give this recipe a 10 star!!! Absolutely awesome. Have made it many times and everyone loves it. Thank you for sharing it!"

Mowkaman User ID: 2705096 9484
Reviewed Jan. 2, 2011

"I discovered this recipe in the cook book Test Kitchen Favorites. I altered it slightly. I add 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice, 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves, and 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg. I make the cake in one layer and skip the filling. The icing is 8 ounces butter and 8 ounces cream cheese and 5 cups powder sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. People tell me its the best carrot cake that they have ever eaten."

HayesK User ID: 3930760 11180
Reviewed Aug. 2, 2010

"My sister in law asks me to make this every year for her birthday and I also made it for her baby shower. I'm not a big fan of carrot cake but this was very very good! The filling is amazing."

bayrack101 User ID: 1681548 11169
Reviewed Feb. 26, 2010

"I feel the same as the other reviews. Best carrot cake I have had. SOOO GOOOD"

windsong77077 User ID: 1413946 10774
Reviewed Dec. 17, 2009

"Best carrot cake of any I have made..always moist and a huge crowd pleaser. Someone is always asking for the recipe."

mlmorrison1983 User ID: 4117157 12172
Reviewed May. 3, 2009

"I made this carrot cake when it came out in the magazine and have had to take it to every family gathery we have or everyone is upset it is the best"

mariaskitchen User ID: 3310278 9467
Reviewed Nov. 1, 2008

"Carrot Layer cake:

Not only is it the best carrot cake ever but it is the best cake ever! It got rave reviews from my friends and family.
M.W, Cleveland, OH"

carharwal User ID: 446580 21318
Reviewed Oct. 6, 2008

"This is the best carrot cake ever. This was first published in a trial subscription of Country Woman several years ago and I have made this numberous times for potlucks and special occassions at work and for family. I get compliments everytime I make it. And requests for the recipe. This is the only carrot cake recipe I use. I may add that this recipe is one of the reasons I subscribed to Country Woman. CWalker, TR, SC"

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