Carrot Cake

4.31 from 235 votes

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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.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

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

This is my favorite carrot cake because it is so simple to prepare, incredibly moist, and not too sweet. Carrot cake is one of my favorite cakes, and I love that this one packs in a bunch of vegetables and nuts for nutrition.
4.31 from 235 votes
Servings: 1 loaf
Author: The Modern Nonna
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients 

Carrot Cake:

  • 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)
  • 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)

Instructions 

Carrot Cake:

  • 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!

Video

Notes

*When using baking powder, always check the expiration date. Expired baking powder will not help your recipe rise in the oven, and you’ll have a sad, deflated cake. You can test if your baking powder has expired by adding ½ teaspoon baking powder to ¼ cup hot water. If the water bubbles up, it’s not expired; if it does not bubble, it’s expired and should be tossed. 
I have not tried making this recipe with a gluten-free substitute, such as almond flour. If you substitute please add a little at a time and stir in between each addition until you have a thick pourable batter. Check out the comments below for some suggestions on making this a gluten-free cake. 
Cool the cake completely before you add the cream cheese icing on top. I like to also cool my icing in the fridge for 10 minutes or so if it’s too soft to spread. 
The baking time will depend on the model and age of your oven, as well as the material of the loaf pan. Some loaf pans are thicker/thinner than others and take faster to heat up, so always keep an eye on the cake as it bakes. Mine took 50 minutes in a very weak oven. 
For best results leave the cake to cool for at least 30 minutes. For a sticky and moist texture (which I love), wrap the cake in plastic wrap and leave it overnight. Add the icing the next day. 
You can use any plant milk of choice, such as almond milk, if you’re dairy-free. You can also try a dairy-free cream cheese for the icing as well. 
Adjust the sugar according to your sweet preferences. You can use coconut sugar or another type of sugar, but always note that results and cake color will vary depending on what you use. 
The cream cheese icing is optional. If you want a lighter cake you can absolutely skip that step. 
You can add as much cinnamon and nutmeg that you like, so taste and adjust the batter if needed. 
If you’re allergic to nuts, leave out the walnuts. Raisins are also a wonderful addition to this cake. 
You can also make these into muffins or cupcakes! Bake time will be 15 to 20 minutes total, so keep a close eye on them so they don’t over-bake. 
Feel free to use any neutral oil you like. You can also use coconut oil but it will give the cake a hint of coconut flavor. 
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Hi! I'm Sneji. Nice to meet you!

I am more commonly known as “The Modern Nonna” on social media where I create easy home cooked meals with a modern twist. I was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria and learned how to cook at the best culinary school in the world – my grandma’s kitchen. I lived in Greece on the Island of Crete with my parents for a while and then moved to Toronto, Canada when I was in grade 5. I started to really cook and experiment with food 11 years ago when I was 21 years old. Everything I currently know is a reflection of some part of my life…

Keep up to date with me on social media! Follow @themodernnonna

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92 Comments

  1. Hi traci, just making my second batch in two days. I made cupcakes, & used brown sugar instead of the granulated, ( reduced the amount). The first batch just disappeared 😂.itis such an easy recipe thank yo. Gina from perth, Australia

  2. 5 stars
    I found this recipe online and decided to make it for myself and the result was delicious. The cake was soft and taste and the icing was amazing.
    You are talented.