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Truth: Carrot cake is only as good as it is moist. That's why this moist carrot cake is here to fulfill all your carrot cake hopes and dreams. Packed with warm spices, toasted walnuts, and coconut and smothered in a thick layer of cream cheese frosting – this cake will be on your mind long after it's gone!
No matter if you're making this cake for a special occasion, like Easter or Thanksgiving, or you had a random, not-to-be-ignored craving for carrot cake — this recipe will tick all your boxes.
Dare we say, if you're looking for the best carrot cake recipe in the world – this just might be it. Here's what people are saying:
OMG!!! You’re right it’s THE BEST EVER Carrot Cake recipe!! We made this one a few weeks ago, and it was sooooo yummy and sooooo easy to make. It’s going on the list of easy, impressive and quick yummies!
I made this cake for friends on Sunday and it was an absolute hit, thanks for sharing – delicious and moist.
Of course, you'll want to make the cream cheese frosting to go with your moist carrot cake, so here's a breakdown of what you'll need to make both components:
For the carrot cake:
- Dry ingredients: All-purpose baking flour, baking powder, baking soda, and granulated sugar will make up your basic cake-making dry goods.
- Spices: You'll need ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground allspice, and sea salt. This combination creates that warm and spicy flavor we all know and love of a good carrot cake.
- Star ingredient: 3 cups of shredded carrots will go into this moist carrot cake recipe.
- Optional add-ins: You can choose to include or leave out the toasted walnuts, toasted coconut, and raisins.
- Wet ingredients: Add cooking oil (like avocado, grape seed oil, canola, or corn oil), and 4 large eggs.
For the cream cheese frosting:
- Star ingredient: You'll need room-temperature cream cheese to make the irresistible, tangy frosting.
- Wet ingredients: Use ½ cup of butter + 2 teaspoons of vanilla to help bring the frosting together into a soft, whipped consistency.
- Dry ingredient: Powdered sugar will balance the tangy cream cheese with a hit of sweetness.
How to make moist carrot cake
Time needed: 50 minutes
You don't need to be a star baker to make this recipe for moist carrot cake! It comes together quickly and is super simple to follow along.
Here's an idea of what you'll do (with the full list of ingredients and instructions in the recipe card below):
- Combine your dry ingredients:
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and sea salt.
- Cream the wet ingredients:
Cream together the sugar and oil. Then add the eggs, one at a time until you have a smooth consistency. Add the dry ingredients to the wet.
- Carrot time:
Add the grated carrots to the mix, plus the walnut, coconut, and raisins (if using).
Divide the batter between two cake pans and pop them into the oven for 30-40 minutes.
Once the cakes are baked, turn them out onto a cooling rack and let them cool completely before adding any frosting or decorations.
- Make the cream cheese frosting:
Using electric beaters, beat the cream cheese and butter together. Add the powdered sugar until it's fully incorporated, plus the vanilla extract.
Place the first layer of the cake on a cake stand and add a layer of frosting. Add the second layer on top and then ice the outside of the cake. Then you can decorate it however you like!
What to serve with moist carrot cake
This moist carrot cake is so satisfying no matter what time of day you indulge! Here's some ideas of what to serve alongside this deliciously moist cake:
Can I make this recipe without raisins?
You sure can! You can leave the raisins out without altering the rest of the recipe if you're not a fan.
Nut allergy! Can I leave the walnuts out?
You can choose to leave the walnuts out. It won't alter how the cake bakes if you do this.
Can you taste the coconut in this recipe?
The toasted coconut does add some flavor to the cake, however, it doesn't have a strong coconut flavor. The spices will be the strongest flavor you'll taste. If you don't like coconut, you can choose to leave it out without altering the rest of the recipe.
Can I make this cake recipe into carrot cake cupcakes?
Definitely! Instead of dividing the batter into 2 cake pans, evenly scoop the batter into a muffin tin instead. You can follow the cream cheese icing recipe to use as frosting for your cupcakes. Check on your cupcakes after 18-20 minutes in the oven.
How should I store carrot cake?
You can keep carrot cake on the counter in a covered container or on a cake stand with a cover for up to 3 days. If you won't eat the cake within 3 days, it's best to wrap it in parchment paper + tin foil to be stored in the fridge. You can also put it in the fridge in an airtight container and it will last for about 1 week.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon EACH: ground nutmeg, ground allspice, and sea salt
- 3 cups grated carrots
- 1 ½ cups toasted walnuts (coarsely chopped )
- 1 cup shredded toasted coconut
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup cooking oil
- 4 large eggs
Cream Cheese Icing
- 8 ounces cream cheese (at room temperature)
- ½ cup butter (at room temperature)
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- Chopped pecans or walnuts (to decorate)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and sea salt.2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon EACH: ground nutmeg, ground allspice, and sea salt
- In a large bowl, cream the sugar and oil using electric beaters. Add the eggs and beat until smooth, 1 minute. Add flour mixture and beat till just combined.1 ½ cups granulated sugar, 1 cup cooking oil, 4 large eggs
- Add the carrots, walnuts, coconut, and raisins and gently fold them into the batter.3 cups grated carrots, 1 ½ cups toasted walnuts, 1 cup shredded toasted coconut, 1 cup raisins
- Divide batter between the 2 prepared cake pans. Place both pans on the middle rack in your oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean.
- Remove the cakes from the oven and set them aside to cool for 5 minutes. Carefully run an off-set spatula or a knife around the edges of each cake to loosen them then carefully invert them onto a cooling rack to finish cooling completely.
Cream Cheese Icing
- Make the frosting once the cakes are completely cool. In a medium-sized bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter using electric beaters. Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, and continue to mix until it's fully incorporated. Add the vanilla and beat to blend.8 ounces cream cheese, 3 cups powdered sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla, ½ cup butter
- To assemble the cake, place one cake on a plate or cake stand. Spread some icing on top of the cake and then place the other cake on top. Frost the sides and top of the cake. If you'd like, sprinkle some chopped pecans or walnuts on top of the cake to decorate it.Chopped pecans or walnuts
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.