I have yet to come across someone who doesn’t like carrot cake. I mean how could you not love it? Moist, lightly spiced cake full of freshly grated carrots all covered in a layer of sweet cream cheese frosting and toasted pecans.
The best part about this Best Homemade Carrot Cake is that it’s almost impossible to not come out with a super moist cake! Apple sauce is the secret ingredient, and I’ll leave it up to you whether you want to share that or not.
This Best Homemade Carrot Cake is guaranteed to please your guests at any get-together.
WHAT MAKES CARROT CAKE MOIST?
Apple sauce is the secret ingredient that makes this carrot cake so moist. Also, not over-baking the cakes!
FREEZE HOMEMADE CARROT CAKE;
The frosted cake or unfrosted layers can be frozen for up to 3 months. Store the cake in an airtight container or wrap the layers tightly with plastic wrap
TIPS FOR BAKING THE PERFECT CARROT CAKE;
- Don’t skip the toasting pecans step! This brings out so much more flavor in the pecans and makes the cake extra delicious
- This cake almost gets better with time, so feel free to make it the day ahead and let the flavors meld together.
OTHER RECIPES YOU MIGHT ENJOY
Instructions & Ingredients For a Carrot cake
My Favorite Carrot Cake Recipe
For the cake:
- 2 cups chopped pecans (1 cup for cake batter, 1 cup for garnish)
- 1 & ½ cups packed light or dark brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil, canola oil, or melted coconut oil
- 4 large eggs
- ¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 & ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 & ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- 2 cups grated carrots (about 4 large)
For the cream cheese frosting:
- 16 oz full-fat cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- 4 & ½ cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1 tbsp heavy cream or milk
- 1 & ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the chopped pecans evenly and bake for 7-8 minutes. Set aside to cool
- Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees and grease 3 9-inch cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper
- In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside
- In a medium bowl whisk together brown sugar, granulated sugar, oil, eggs, apple sauce, and vanilla together until combined. Keep whisking until no clumps of brown sugar are left
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and use a spatula or wooden spoon to fold together. There should still be a bit of flour visible
- Gently fold in 1 cup of the toasted pecans and shredded carrots until combined
- Pour the batter evenly into each of the prepared cake pans and bake in a preheated oven for 20-24 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center
- Remove cake pans from oven carefully and place pans directly on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting
- Begin making the frosting by beating the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl using a hand mixer. Beat on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes until smooth
- Slowly add in the confectioners’ sugar, cream or milk, vanilla, and salt. Beat for another 30 seconds on low speed, then for 3 minutes on high speed until completely smooth (if the frosting is too thick, add a bit more milk, if it is too thin add a bit more sugar)
- To begin assembling the cake place one layer on a plate or cake stand and evenly cover the top of the layer with frosting
- Continue with the next 2 layers adding frosting in between
- Cover the entire outside with frosting. Decorate with the remaining toasted pecans and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes prior to serving
Recipe adapted by; sallysbakingaddiction.com
I made this for Thanksgiving this year and it was AMAZING. I followed every single step and it turned out so good, so moist, so delicious! And the cream cheese frosting was heavenly!
How wonderful, Abi! So glad you decided to give it a try!
Absolutely delicious! Made this for my grandmother’s birthday and everyone loved it. Definitely going to be my go to recipe for carrot cake!!
Oh my goodness you are so kind. Thank you for coming back to leave a review!