Classic Carrot Cake

We love cake at our house! We love spice cakes at our house! In fact, my husband Joel often requests carrot cake for his birthday treat. Over the years, we’ve tried a number of recipes, but we keep coming back to this recipe, so I decided to make a few changes to take our favorite recipe from great to amazing!!

This classic carrot cake recipe has incredible flavor, texture, and the frosting is the perfect marriage. I am NOT typically a fan of frosting. It often detracts from the dessert it is paired with & is almost always much too sweet for me. Maybe I’m a party pooper but I’ve felt this way for as long as I can remember!

Have you tried coconut oil yet? You may notice that I replaced the fat with coconut oil. Coconut oil is my new favorite fat to add to cakes! It doesn’t leave the cake feeling oily & a good coconut oil is much better for your body than vegetable or canola oil. If you’re not sure about the flavor of coconut, I promise that you will not taste it this recipe. Coconut oil creates a less crumbly cake with a texture that is more dense. Your cake will remain very moist, but keep it mind that coconut oil becomes solid at cooler temperatures so for a softer cake, allow your finished cake to sit at room temperature for may hours or overnight. Added bonus is that the spices in this cake will meld & become even better as it sits on the counter for a day or two.

Coconut oil can now be found at all grocery stores including Sam’s Club & Costco. It is a little easier to use coconut oil in the summer months because it stays in liquid form in my pantry. When my kitchen is cooler during the winter moths, I first measure out the amount I think I will need and then melt it in a glass measuring cup. Once the oil is melted, I can easily see if I have a little too much oil (which I can just pour back into the container) or if I need to add a little more. Keeping your other ingredients (like eggs, milk, etc) at room temperature will help ensure that your coconut oil does not return to a solid state while you’re mixing ingredients together.

Classic Carrot Cake

Notes: Feel free to use light or dark brown sugar in this recipe. Either will work fine, but I prefer and almost always use dark brown sugar!



  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoons of other spices (mix & match all-spice, ginger, pumpkin pie spice, etc)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup {packed} dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut oil, in liquid form
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups grated carrots (about 1 pound)
  • 1 cup walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup shredded coconut {sweetened or unsweetened}

  • 12 oz full-fat cream cheese (1.5 packages), at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup full-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Optional Toppings:

    Shredded coconut {sweetened or unsweetened}

    Coarsely chopped nuts

    Edible flowers


    1.Make the carrot cake. Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter or grease two 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of both pans with parchment or waxed paper; grease paper.

    2.In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt. Set aside.

    3.In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs until frothy. Gradually beat in both sugars. Beat in the oil and vanilla until thoroughly combined.

    4.On a low speed, or by hand, beat in the flour mixture in two additions until there is no dry flour. By hand, mix in the carrots, nuts, and coconut.

    5.Pour the batter in to the prepared pans ensuring that the batter, carrots, nuts, and coconut are evenly distributed between the two pans.

    6.Bake the layers for approximately 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans on wire racks for 15 minutes. Remove the layers from the pans, and removed the parchment paper, then set them on wire racks to cool completely.

    7.Make the cream cheese frosting. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together for 3-4 minutes, until light and fluffy. Beat in the remaining frosting ingredients.

    8.Place one layer of cake on a serving plate or cake stand and spread a layer of frosting over the top. Place the second layer of cake on top and frost the top (and sides, if desired).

    9.If covered {a glass cake dome if preferable since it will not touch the frosting}, this cake will store nicely at room temperature for 2-3 days. You can also store if in the fridge. Experiment by eating the cake at room temperature and straight out of the fridge to see how you like it best. I personally like it best at room temperature 24+ hours after it was baked and assembled.

    Published by Sunny Farmhouse

    Bittersweet chocolate, pizza, and veggie lover! ||Healthy life enthusiast || ||Agriscaper || Gilbert AZ || 9b || Wife & Mama to 3 girls & 2 boys ||

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