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Classic Homemade Carrot Cake

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This is a simple 9×13 carrot cake that is a long time favorite of the family. It is a staple at celebrations and is great for for Easter. Of course it is topped with a cream cheese frosting that compliments the moist cake perfectly.

Dessert plate with a slice of homemade carrot cake topped with cream cheese frosting next to a fork, ready to eat.

If moist, delicious, flavorful carrot cake is what you are after, you are in the right place! This great from scratch recipe is easier to make than you might think. 

Bake it up into the perfect cake and be sure to make some cream cheese frosting to go on top. Linda uses her classic cream cheese frosting which is fabulous, but sometimes I like to give it a maple cream cheese frosting twist!

This recipe has been a favorite in our family for years. It comes from my aunt’s sister-in-law, Linda.

She made it for me when I lived in the St. Louis area. It wasn’t too long after I graduated from college, so it has been a few years now.

This cake was one of the dishes that she was known for. If there was a carry-in or bake sale happening, people wanted her to bring a carrot cake.

I instantly fell in love and was lucky enough to enjoy her cakes on several occasions. Then, when my sister went to college nearby, I found a reason to be close enough to enjoy the cake a few more times.

We all fell in love, so I had to ask for the recipe. Luckily she shared, so now we can all make this delicious cake.

Which is good, because now one of my brothers requests it for his birthday dessert. Now the whole family is in love!

Don’t let the thought of making a cake from scratch scare you off.  This is a great one that comes together in a bowl with no fancy methods.  

If you have a food processor, grating the carrots is quick and easy too. The whole process is painless, I promise.

Plate with a piece of carrot cake topped with cream cheese icing next to pan with remaining cake inside.

Now this famous cake can be in your repertoire too. Just be warned, it is likely you will be expected to make it for all of the events.

Luckily there are worse fates to have!

More Recipes to Try

If you’d like to see more recipes from Linda, you may like her crispy and buttery caramel corn. Or make her vinegar coleslaw, it is another one she makes frequently.

Or if you want a spicy cake, but aren’t in the mood to bake from scratch, try making a honey bun cake. It has a ribbon of cinnamon and brown sugar in the center that is hard to resist.

Pyrex plate with square piece of carrot cake topped with a layer of cream cheese frosting, ready to eat.

Homemade Carrot Cake

Servings: 12 Servings
Author: Carlee
This is a simple 9×13 carrot cake that is a long time favorite of the family. It is a staple at carry-ins and is perfect for Easter. Of course it has a cream cheese frosting or can be jazzed up with a little maple cream cheese frosting if you’d like!
5 from 9 ratings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes


Carrot Cake

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • cups vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 pound carrots finely grated
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts optional

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 3 Tablespoons butter softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Makes: 9 x 13inch rectangle


Carrot Cake

  • Grease a 9×13 pan and preheat your oven to 350°F
  • Mix all dry ingredients and sift well.
    2 cups granulated sugar, 2 cups all purpose flour, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • Beat eggs, vanilla and oil together, add dry ingredients and mix well.
    1½ cups vegetable oil, 4 large eggs, 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Stir in carrots and walnuts if using. Pour batter into prepared 9×13 pan.
    1 pound carrots, 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • Bake at 350°F for about 1 hour to an hour and 15 minutes or until browned and springy when touched. Let cool before icing.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Cream together butter and cream cheese
    8 ounces cream cheese, 3 Tablespoons butter
  • Add remaining ingredients and mix well, until smooth and creamy.
    3 cups powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Frost cooled cake.


Cakes topped with cream cheese frosting should be kept cold. So chill the cake until about 30 minutes before serving.  Transfer leftovers to an airtight container or cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. 


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 543kcalCarbohydrates: 93gProtein: 7gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 23gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 516mgFiber: 3gSugar: 73g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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5 from 9 votes (7 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating

Saturday 1st of June 2024

What a great recipe!


Thursday 27th of April 2017

Yum! Carrot cake is my favorite. Thanks for sharing your yummy recipe. :)


Friday 28th of April 2017

It is one of my favorites too, thank you!


Tuesday 18th of April 2017

I am not a big cake fan except for carrot cake. I think it is the spices and how moist it is and of course the cream cheese frosting. Love the new logo.


Tuesday 18th of April 2017

Thanks,Quinn. A little cream cheese frosting never hurt a thing 😋

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies

Monday 17th of April 2017

I love carrot cake, but have never made one. What's up with that? I wonder what husband will think of it? I probably shouldn't tell him what it is until he tastes it!


Tuesday 18th of April 2017

Ha! Probably 😉 it's delicious so he's sure to love it even if he doesn't want to!


Monday 17th of April 2017

That's what it's all about! Thanks, Ellen!