Save on Pinterest

Surprise Carrot Cake

A cousin gave me this carrot cake recipe. It's a wonderful potluck pleaser with its "surprise" cream cheese center. My husband and our two young children love it, too! —Lisa Bowen, Little Britian, Ontario
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Bake: 55 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    16 servings


  • 3 cups shredded carrots
  • 1-3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar


  • In a large bowl, beat the carrots, sugar, oil and eggs until well blended. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; gradually beat into carrot mixture until blended. Stir in the pecans. Pour 3 cups batter into a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan.
  • In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg. Spoon over batter. Top with remaining batter.
  • Bake at 350° for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • For frosting, in a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until fluffy. Gradually add confectioners' sugar until smooth. Frost cake. Store in the refrigerator.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 570 calories, 30g fat (10g saturated fat), 92mg cholesterol, 442mg sodium, 71g carbohydrate (55g sugars, 2g fiber), 6g protein.

Recommended Video


Click stars to rate
Average Rating:
  • Donna
    Oct 14, 2020

    I added coconut, raisins, and crushed pineapple. I also made them into cupcakes. Bake time for me was 30 minutes. My co-workers loved them!

  • stouty
    Mar 22, 2020

    Made this for my husbands birthday ... The cake was delish ... but the filling was horrible... my family love carrot cake ....but this one didn’t make the cut..

  • Kim
    Mar 11, 2020

    Only thing I changed was the frosting. Only used 2 cups of powdered sugar. 4 cups would have been way to much

  • joni Geurts
    Mar 9, 2020

    Outstanding! The entire cake vanished. Everyone loved it.

  • deegrange
    Jan 15, 2020

    No comment left

  • Grace
    Nov 16, 2019

    Looks great I wanted to try it but, did it turn out fine without baking powder?

  • Gail
    Mar 28, 2019

    Would of loved to of taken a photo it turned out great,

  • Lori
    Mar 1, 2019

    No comment left

  • Barby
    Feb 17, 2019

    I am this today and love it! Mine didn’t look so much like to photo, but with a bit of practice I think I’ll get it! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  • nw1653
    Nov 6, 2018

    How much sugar is added to the cream cheese?