This is my favorite carrot cake because it is so simple to prepare, incredibly moist, and not too sweet. I make mine in a loaf tin which are sometimes more common in household kitchens than cake pans. Carrot cake is one of my favorite cakes, and I love that this one packs in a bunch of vegetables and nuts for nutrition. I was introduced to carrot cake when I first moved to Canada. It’s very uncommon to make cakes with carrots, zucchini, or bananas in Bulgaria, and my dad initially thought this was a strange concept, but he immediately fell in love once he tasted my carrot cake.
If you’re looking for a low-sugar treat or don’t care for icing, this cake is also wonderful on its own, without the icing. This cake requires minimal effort: if you can mix a few ingredients together, you are capable of making a delicious carrot cake!
The Easiest Carrot Cake
- electric mixer, if making the icing
- cheese grater
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup granulated sugar (110 grams)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste (5 ml)
- ½ cup avocado oil or any neutral oil (100ml)
- ½ cup milk (100 ml)
- 2 large carrots, grated (170 grams)
- 1 + ⅓ cup all-purpose flour (180 grams)
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder (make sure it's not expired*) (11 grams)
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (5 grams)
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
- ½ to 1 cup whole walnuts, crushed (optional)
Cream Cheese Icing:
- ½ cup cream cheese, softened to room temp (4 oz)
- ¼ cup butter, softened to room temp (60g)
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar (120g)
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, add the eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Whisk until combined.
- Add the oil and milk and whisk again. Stir in the grated carrots using a silicone or rubber spatula.
- Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg and stir until you have a thick pourable batter. Fold in the crushed walnuts, if using.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Give it a tap or gently shake to distribute the batter evenly. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out of the center of the loaf clean. Let the loaf cool completely before icing.
Cream Cheese Icing:
- In a bowl, combine the softened cream cheese and butter. Using a hand-held electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the vanilla and mix again. Add the powdered sugar and combine, using a silicone or rubber spatula. (I switch to a spatula here because the electric mixer will send the powdered sugar flying all over the kitchen.) Mix until silky smooth.
- If the icing is too soft, put it in the fridge for 10 to 30 minutes to firm up, before adding it onto the cake.
- Evenly spread the icing onto the cake, slice, and enjoy!
Haven’t made this year but plan to. What size loaf pan do you use for the 50 min bake time?
Hi love it’s a standard size loaf pan which, I will have to measure but you can also find it linked in my Amazon stores as well
This recipe was super easy to make. I tried to make it gluten free and this is what I did, for anyone who is interested: I used robin hood all purpose gluten free flour, coconut sugar, almond milk and coconut oil. All other ingredients were just as stated in the recipe. The cake came out nice but I think I’ll add a bit more sugar next time for a sweeter taste as it felt a bit bland probably because coconut sugar is not as sweet as regular sugar.
THANK YOU Katy! This is INCREDIBLY HELPFUL.Kisses
Thank you for always being so amazing.
Thank you for adding possible substitutes to this fantastic looking carrot cake.
I will definitely be making this recipe soon ❤️
Elisabeth your words mean so much to me! Thanks for trusting me
Can I use vegetable oil
absolutely. any neutral oil you like 🙂
Wow incredibly easy! I used spelt flour and the flour ratio and cooking time qas on point with your instructions!! Delicious
SO happy Rosemarie 🙂
So simple yet so delicious – flavourful, moist and light (I did not ice it). I will definitely be making this on a regular basis for my family. It took 15 minutes to make and 10 minutes to clean up. Win/win for me ! Thanks for the great recipe!
YAYYYYYY SUSAN! You made my day!
Super easy and good to make BUT there was no salt in it and after baking, I feel like it made the flavors bland. I would add a pinch of salt in the future
Hi Naomi, there should be lots of flavor without the salt but you are more than welcome to.
Love these recipes thank you so much
My pleasure 🙂
This recipe was absolutely amazing to make. My family enjoyed it and it was so much fun to make. It was also easy to make and it was delicious. I made two loaves. One with Five Roses AP flour and one with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 baking flour. Both were sooo moist.
Makes me so happy to hear Katerina. Kisses!
Just made your carrot cake! Incredible! My 4yo is celiac so made it gluten free by following your recipe exactly- but omitting regular flour for 100g buckwheat flour and 80g almond flour with a half tsp of xantham gum. We cooked at the same temperature but it only needed 30mins. We did half the amount of sugar in the icing for our young kids sake, but honestly it was perfect, so moist and delicious no one knew the difference! Thank you so much!
Nella this is SO HELPFUL to everyone! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing on here. Kisses to you both!
Just made this and I’m so excited to try it!! I’m currently waiting impatiently for it to be ready. The apartment smells amazing
SO SO EXCITED! Hope you loveeee it
Does t the recipe need baking soda? Mine is in the oven right now I hope it comes out ok
Hi Hun no all of the ingredients are there in the blog post just follow it accordingly. Hope it was successful 🙂
Made this with Gluten Free Caputo flour and dairy free milk. SO EASY and incredibly delicious. My children devoured the cake even knowing there were carrots in it (they won’t touch carrots otherwise). Thank you!!! This will be on repeat. I think I’ll try making muffins out of it too.
HI MEL! wooohooooooooo sooooo glad! 🙂 Have a beautiful day.
I made this cake! With a 6 MO baby at home I wanted to dip my toes back into baking with a simply cake recipe. This makes a lovely, moist carrot cake. Can’t wait to make it again – it turned out delicious especially with the icing too! Thank you ☺️
sooooo glad Ovini 🙂 Thanks for the kind review
We LOVE this cake. It is so moist, tender and light. I will be making another one but this time gluten free because my daughter has gluten issues. My husband and I give it 5 stars. The next one I will make is your Orange Cake. Thank you for your delicious recipes.
Hi Wanda! Aw thanks for the beautiful words
I made this over the weekend and my guests and kids loooved it. One of my kids has egg allergies and hope to make it for him with some kind of substitute. Thanks for this amazing recipe
So incredibly happy 🙂
Great recipe. I doubeld it and baked it in a pan for 35 min. I also reduced the suger in the batter a bit from 110 to 90 gr but thats what I always do because I like it less sweet. It stayed fresh in the fridge for at least 4-5 days without becoming dry or losing taste. Will bake it again!
Miri that makes me smile! Glad you loved it
Amazing, simple, and so fast.
I have made a batch of muffins for three weeks, as my son is absolutely in love. I substituted the sugar for maple syrup and the avocado oil for butter. So moist, and the smell, WOW!
Thank you. I needed this!!!!
HI Sabrina! Lots of hugs and kisses to you both, thank you kindly for the sweet review.
Cannot wait to try these as gifts for Easter! Thank you! Love any simple and quick recipe! Sounds and looks delicious!
What bake time would you recommend for mini loaf pans?
Omg so so excited! Happy almost Easter 🙂
I made this tonight and it’s perfect. I think next time I’ll try adding a few raisins, just for a little something sweet in the batter. However, it’s perfect just the way it is and so is the icing. Thank you for such an easy and delicious recipe.
so happy you loved it 🙂