The Ultimate Carrot Cake

A culmination of all the tweaks and advice I've found for the ultimate carrot cake.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
40 mins
Additional Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 40 mins
1 9x13-inch cake



  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 1 cup white sugar

  • ¾ cup canola oil

  • ½ cup applesauce

  • 4 large eggs

  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 3 cups grated carrots

  • 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained and squeezed dry

  • 1 cup chopped pecans


  • 3 ½ cups powdered sugar, or more to taste

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 cup chopped pecans


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13-inch baking pan.

  2. Beat brown and white sugars, oil, applesauce, eggs, and vanilla extract in a large bowl until well combined. Mix in flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in carrots and pineapple, then fold in pecans. Pour into the prepared pan.

  3. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely, about 30 minutes.

  4. While the cake is cooling, combine powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract for frosting in a medium bowl. Beat until mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in chopped pecans.

  5. Spread frosting over the cooled cake.

Cook's Note:

You can use 2 circular cake pans.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

396 Calories
22g Fat
49g Carbs
4g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 24
Calories 396
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 6g 29%
Cholesterol 51mg 17%
Sodium 247mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 49g 18%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 38g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 2mg 10%
Calcium 60mg 5%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 146mg 3%

* 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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