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Grandma’s Apple Carrot Cake

Rich, moist and cinnamony, this old-fashioned cake recipe was handed down from our beloved Grandma Kelly. It's a perfect way to use up a few carrots and an apple...and it's ideal for smaller families, since it yields fewer servings.
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Bake: 25 min.
  • Makes
    9 servings


  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups finely shredded carrots
  • 1 cup shredded peeled apple
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/4 cups confectioners' sugar


  • In a large bowl, beat the eggs, oil and sugars until smooth. Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt; gradually add to egg mixture just until combined. Stir in carrots and apple.
  • Spoon into a greased 9-in. square baking pan. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
  • In a small bowl, combine the frosting ingredients; beat until smooth. Spread over cake. Store in the refrigerator.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 392 calories, 18g fat (5g saturated fat), 61mg cholesterol, 190mg sodium, 56g carbohydrate (42g sugars, 2g fiber), 4g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • Lin
    Sep 11, 2019

    This is the BEST recipe ever for a most carrot cake!! I added half a cup of bran flakes, extra half a cup flour, half a cup chopped walnuts, half a cup sultanas, my family demolished it!! I also only used 3/4c lightly packed brown sugar. It really is super DELICIOUS! Thank you for sharing!!

  • Geraldine
    May 3, 2019

    Did not set up. Baked an additional 15 minutes. Yes it is moist but like others, no rise either. Had good flavor. Turned out more like a pudding than cake.

  • Biljana
    Sep 14, 2017

    Good taste. It lacks baking powder so it didn't rise. Next time I will add more baking powder and walnuts. The frosting is perfect.

  • newsies1899
    Sep 1, 2017

    The flavor was great! However, mine cooked about 35 minutes and once it cooled, it was very dense and a little gooey. It didn't rise a lot either. I'm not that familiar with carrot cake, but it didn't seem right to me. It was okay but not a favorite.

  • mamaknowsbest
    Jun 30, 2017

    As a volunteer feild editor with Taste of Home magazine I love recipes that use simple ingredients! This recipe was worth pulling out the food processor , it made quick work of a bag of baby carrots and a apple. Added 1/2 cup walnuts. Flavor was spectacular! My parents said best carrot cake they ever had. Super easy!

  • PageRD
    Apr 19, 2017

    This was amazing. The sweetness of the apple added so much to the traditional carrot cake. I also loved that it made a small cake so we didn't have it around for days. In the future, I might add walnuts to the batter for a bit of crunch to change things up. I would also cut back on the confectioner's sugar in the frosting. It was a little sweet for me. This recipe is a winner overall!

  • SDLady
    Oct 14, 2013

    What an AWESOME cake! I've made many different Apple Carrot cakes and this is by far the BEST. It was gone in a flash! Thank you for such a wonderful recipe!

  • patd160
    Jun 2, 2013

    No comment left

  • kafaughn
    Apr 26, 2013

    No comment left

  • homemaker27
    Apr 17, 2012

    i made this cake exactly like it said except i did 3 apples and some carrots enough to make 4 cups instead of 5 (i doubled the recipe). i put it in a 13.5" X 2" (3 Qt) glass baking pan @ 350 degrees for 45 minutes. it turned out perfect, moist and scrumptious. next time i will put the rite amount of carrots and apples if i have it but it was awesome!!! my 2 boys and their daddy went crazy over it!!!