Carrot Cake with Chai-Flavored Cream Cheese Frosting


The best carrot cake!

Prep Time:
45 mins
Cook Time:
30 mins
Additional Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs
1 9-inch layer cake



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup lightly packed brown sugar

  • ¾ cup olive oil

  • ½ cup applesauce

  • ½ cup white sugar

  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 4 large eggs

  • 3 cups grated carrots

  • 1 cup raisins


  • ½ cup unsalted butter

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom

  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger

  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice

  • 3 ½ cups powdered sugar

  • 2 tablespoons toasted chopped pecans


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Generously grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.

  2. Whisk flour, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, allspice, and salt together in a medium bowl.

  3. Whisk brown sugar, oil, applesauce, white sugar, and vanilla together in a separate bowl. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, until combined. Switch to a large rubber spatula and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add dry ingredients in 3 parts, gently stirring until incorporated and batter is smooth. Stir in carrots and raisins. Divide batter evenly between the prepared cake pans.

  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops of the cakes spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool in the pans for 15 minutes before turning out onto cooling racks to cool completely, about 30 minutes. If you find that a cake layer is stuck to the bottom of the pan, leave the cake pan upside down and allow gravity to do its thing.

  5. While the cake is cooling, prepare the frosting. Melt butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

  6. Transfer browned butter to a bowl. Add cream cheese and vanilla and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Mix in cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time until desired taste and consistency.

  7. Frost cooled cake with cream cheese frosting and toasted pecans.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

398 Calories
18g Fat
56g Carbs
4g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 20
Calories 398
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 18g 24%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 62mg 21%
Sodium 248mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 56g 20%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 43g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 1mg 7%
Calcium 41mg 3%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 176mg 4%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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