The Best Carrot Cake Ever

4.20 avg. rating (83% score) - 33 votes

The Best Carrot Cake Ever

Read more about how to make this classic carrot cake.

Yield: About 24 two-inch squares



  • 1-3/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups lightly packed shredded carrots
  • 1 can (8 ounces) pineapple tidbits, drained
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 13x9-inch baking pan. In a mixing bowl, beat together the sugar, oil, and vanilla just until combined. At medium speed, beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the carrots, pineapple, and nuts. Stir just until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven, place onto a rack, and let cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 6 ounces (2 small packages) softened cream cheese
  • 6 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon minced orange peel
  • 2 to 2-1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar


For frosting: Combine all ingredients and beat until smooth. Adjust the amount of confectioners' sugar, depending on how stiff you like the icing to be.
  • Recipe is correctly named. Found recipe in a SoCA newspaper and used it since the mid-70’s. Have tried others even the “famous” UCLA recipe but this one is the best. It makes 3 8″ layers. Layers freeze well. Serving one layer at a time helps bring down the calorie count!

  • I have been making this recipe for years, and it is by far the best carrot cake ever!!

  • Jean, good question. I think the “2 small packages” may be referring to a time when you could buy small 3 oz. packages of cream cheese. When I made the cake, I just used 1 stick (8 tablespoons) of butter and one “modern” package of cream cheese (8 ounces) to keep it easy, and nudged the sugar up a tiny bit. It’s hard to have too much frosting, right? If it seems a little thick you can also add 1-2 tablespoons of milk until the consistency is right. Thanks!

  • kimberly

    I just love carrot cake and this is so moist, thank you so much!!!

  • barbara

    Saltless butter in the frosting might be better-
    Don’t even try to figure the calorie count – just enjoy it!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Now this is real carrot cake! It’s very moist, and the cream cheese icing really tops it off.


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