Scrumptious Carrot Cake

IMG_8300 Slice with Piece on Fork & Cake in Background

Carrot cake is a cake, known as a quick bread, with grated carrot dispersed throughout the batter. Quick breads are cakes or breads that do not require yeast, hence they make for a quicker preparation. During the baking process, the grated carrot cooks, softens and moistens the cake, imparting a slight carrot-y taste to it. It’s such a beautiful cake, really, because as simple as it comes together, its flavor and appeal are rich and special.

IMG_8292 Slice with Fork

Cake making doesn’t get much easier, as this is a two-bowl operation. The wet and dry ingredients are prepared separately and then combined. There is no need for an electric mixer. A whisk and spatula is all you need. This makes for easy baking and better yet, easy cleanup.

IMG_8315 Top View Sliced Cake
Carrot cakes, not unlike many other vegetable cakes are oil-based. Because of the oil and added moisture from the carrots, the cake is beautifully dense and luscious. Carrot cake has a coarse crumb due to the grated carrots and add-ins such as walnuts or raisins incorporated into the batter. You can use a box grater or a mini food processor to grate the carrots.

IMG_8299 Slice with Piece on Fork

Carrot cakes are akin to zucchini cakes. These vegetables act similarly during the baking process. Therefore, the recipe I’ve provided below will work with either carrots or zucchini or even a combination of both. Among the spices used in this recipe is cardamom. It adds warmth and works quite well with the other spices in this cake. If you do not have cardamom, it can be left out. Once baked, the cardamom is hard to define but rounds out the mildly spiced tones of this cake. This recipe uses ground cloves as well. Cloves can pack an unpleasant punch if used excessively. But in moderate amounts, cloves produce a lovely hint of spice to such cakes as this one. I find that a scant 1/4 teaspoon is all we need in this cake. This allows the cloves to come through in the spice medley though not obviously so.

IMG_8297 Closeup of Bite on Fork

You may use a loaf pan, a bundt pan or a basic round or square cake pan for this recipe. This batter can also be made into cupcakes.

IMG_8284 Standing Cake Piece

Vegetable-based cakes are usually paired with a cream cheese frosting. Cream cheese frosting is a smooth and velvety frosting made of cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar. It can be flavored with vanilla, citrus zest, or spices such as cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg for an extra zing.  I chose to top this carrot cake with a simple cream cheese frosting, flavored with vanilla alone, to showcase the amazing character of this cake.

IMG_8274 Sliced Cake

Scrumptious Carrot Cake

Recipe by: Leelabean
(Yield: 2 loaf pans OR 2 8” round cakes OR 24 regular-sized cupcakes. This recipe can easily be halved or doubled.)
1 c granulated sugar
1 c light brown sugar
2 c all-purpose flour
2 t baking soda
1 ½ t salt
2 t ground cinnamon
½ t ground nutmeg
½ t ground ginger
½ t ground cardamom, optional
Scant ¼ t ground cloves
1 ¼ c canola oil
2 t vanilla
4 large eggs, RT
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup, total, add-ins (raisins, currants, walnuts, or pecans)

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line loaf pans or cake tins with parchment and spray with a non-flavored cooking spray. If you are making cupcakes, place liners in your cupcake tin. Set this aside.

In a large bowl, mix the sugars, salt, oil, and vanilla using a whisk and making sure no lumps remain.

IMG_8221 Wet Combined

Add in the eggs, one at a time and whisk well, incorporating each before adding the next.

In a separate bowl, using a clean whisk, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and cardamom (if using). Whisking removes the lumps, if any, and helps blend the dry ingredients.

IMG_8223 Dry Ingredients

Once well whisked, place half of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and whisk to combine.  Add the grated carrots and mix this in.

IMG_8219 Grated Carrots

Then fold in the remaining dry ingredients. Chop your nuts finely, if you are using them.

IMG_8227 Chopped Nuts

I like to toss my add-ins in about 1 T of flour to coat. This helps to prevent the add-ins from sinking to the bottom of the cake during baking. In the cake pictured here, I’ve used walnuts. Fold your add-ins into your batter.

IMG_8229 Floured Nuts in Batter

Pour the batter into the prepared cake tins and bake, following the baking times listed below:

Cupcakes: 18 – 20 minutes
8” cakes: 34 – 36 minutes
Loaf pan: 40-42 minutes
IMG_8240 Three Cakes

Check that your cakes are done using the toothpick test. Let them cool in their pans until they reach room temperature. Then frost as desired. Here, I’ve used my Velvety Cream Cheese Frosting.

IMG_8255 Cake Interior

IMG_8260 Ready for Frosting

IMG_8263 Two Layers Frosted

IMG_8264 Three Layers Frosted

IMG_8272 Finished Cake

Sweetly ♥ Yours,



  1. […] Carrot Cake Recipe source: Leelabean […]

  2. Jack Puck says:

    Best recipe ever. I made maple ginger cream cheese frosting to go on top.

    • Leelabean says:

      Thanks so much! I am in love with this recipe as well!! Your maple ginger cream cheese frosting sounds like a the perfect match! I’ve gotta try that.

  3. Jack Puck says:

    I love this recipe it is the best. I made maple ginger cream cheese frosting to go on top.

  4. Eva says:

    Very Scrumptious Looking!!!!

  5. Clarice says:

    Made this cake last night. The reviews are right on, its FABULOUS! Just the right amount of spice. I only used pecans for the add-ins and there’s just enough crunch in every bite. Thanks for a great recipe. This one is definitely a keeper.

  6. Moo says:

    As a student I worked in a small cafe famous in guide books for its carrot cake but sadly I’ve lost the recipe. I came across this recipe in March and I think it might be even better. I’ve made this at least 10 times since then – I don’t actually bake that often but this cake is amazing. A wonderful, reliable recipe which I have shared with so many people now! Thanks!

  7. Kaddy says:

    Hey there! (:
    I started to make this cake today, but my 3 ‘cake parts’ didn’t get that high because I didn’t realize before, the recipe was for 2 loaf pans only. But I guess that doesn’t matter too much. Well, the cake won’t get that huge, but I’ll let you know how it tasted when easter’s over.
    Have a nice easter week

    • Leelabean says:

      Hey Kaddy,
      So glad you made this for Easter! It really doesn’t matter what size pans you bake cakes in, as long as you adjust the baking time.. I hope you enjoyed this cake as much as we often do.. 🙂

  8. […] Here is the link to the recipe, give it a shot!  It really is good, very moist: Scrumptious Carrot Cake. […]

  9. D says:

    Oh my!!! I’m go to trying this next week!!!

  10. That cake looks amazing, like it came straight from a bakery! So moist and the yummy nuts and creamy frosting. I am going to have to make carrot cake to quell the craving I now have for it!

    • Leelabean says:

      You should definitely make this cake. It’s delectable. One of my favorite cakes, ever. You won’t be disappointed! Let me know how it goes.. 🙂

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