My Favorite Carrot Cake Recipe

This recipe is brought to you by Sally’s Baking Addiction, one of my favorite baking blogs! Link to original recipe can be found here: My Favorite Carrot Cake, Sally’s Baking Addiction. All pictures used in this post are my own.


I feel like I have been failing you guys lately. I went on this health foods kick and have been blogging nothing but vegetarian meals.  Pretty sure when I first started blogging I promised I would share my BEST recipes, and I haven’t been doing that enough! Yes, I need to continue eating healthy, but it’s all about moderation, right? 🙂

So, let me get back on track with sharing a recipe that can’t miss… this Carrot Cake recipe! This recipe comes from Sally’s Baking Addiction, a food blog that I follow and love. Any baked good from her blog I trust wholeheartedly, and this one is spot-on, as expected! I often change little things here and there as I go, but I feel this recipe is dialed in just right and I would not make a single edit! It is super moist, deliciously spicy, and pairs perfect with the cream cheese frosting.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the number of ingredients you see below, it actually is a quite simple recipe to follow! Just the normal wet in one bow, dry in the other kind of thing.

The only advice I would give you: STICK WITH THE PECANS! I was tempted to switch them out for coconut or walnuts. No. Don’t do it. Don’t even think about it. The pecans are what makes this recipe. Contrasted by the sweet and creamy cream cheese frosting, it gives this cake a butter pecan kind of flavor, in addition to all the carrot spice. YUM!

Enjoy baking!



    • 3 cups chopped pecans (1C goes in the cake, 2C are for garnishing)
    • 1 and 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
    • 4 large eggs
    • 3/4 cup applesauce
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 2 cups grated carrots

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 16 ounces full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2-3 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 300 Degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Spread your chopped pecans and bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  2. Raise oven temp to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit. Butter two 9-inch cake pans and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the brown sugar, granulated sugar, oil, eggs, applesauce, and vanilla together until combined and no brown sugar lumps remain. Set aside. In another large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves together until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and, using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, fold the ingredients together until just combined. Then, fold in the carrots and 1 cup of the toasted pecans. The rest of the pecans are used in step 6.
  4. Pour/spoon the batter evenly into the two cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool completely in the pans set on a wire rack.
  5. Make the frosting: In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar and 2 Tablespoons of cream. Beat for 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and 1 more Tablespoon cream if needed to thin out. Beat on high for 2 full minutes. Taste the frosting and add a pinch of salt if it is too sweet.
  6. Assemble and frost: First, using a serrated knife, layer off the tops of the cakes to create a flat surface. Place 1 cake layer on your cake stand or serving plate. Evenly cover the top with frosting. Top with 2nd layer and spread remaining frosting all over the top and sides. Decorate the sides of the cake with the remaining toasted pecans. Slice and serve!

Try this recipe as cupcakes! You’ll get around 2 dozen cupcakes. 18 minutes bake time at 350 Degrees Fahrenheit.

35 Replies to “My Favorite Carrot Cake Recipe”

  1. Very Nice! Looks delicious, I am glad I got to see it! Are you doing any of her monthly challenges? The February one with the chocolate lava cake was yummy!

    1. I didn’t know she did challenges so now I will have to! I hadn’t subscribed to her blog, I just always go to her for a good recipe when I need one so I will have to pay closer attention for sure 🙂

      1. If you do want to take a look at it, it’s on her blog under categories as Sally’s baking challenge- lots of fun!

  2. This looks delicious! Have you ever tried a whipped cream cheese frosting with this cake? I personally like even better than the regular cream cheese frosting.

      1. You make the whip cream like normal but do not add the sugar. Then you cream the cream cheese and sugar and fold the whip cream in the mixture.

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