I've tried many carrot cakes, and this is my favorite recipe. If you don't like pecans, feel free to leave them out.

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Ingredients

18
Original recipe yields 18 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
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Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan.

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  • In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, white sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in carrots. Fold in pecans. Pour into prepared pan.

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

  • To Make Frosting: In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in chopped pecans. Frost the cooled cake.

Partner Tip

Reynolds® Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Nutrition Facts

575 calories; 34.8 g total fat; 69 mg cholesterol; 347 mg sodium. 63.7 g carbohydrates; 5.1 g protein; Full Nutrition

Reviews (5443)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
12/08/2006
After reading through 4-5 pages of the reviews, I consolidated the most referred alterations to this recipe to: 1) using 1 cup brown sugar and 1 cup white sugar 2) adding an extra teaspoon of vanilla extract 3) adding 1 8oz. can of crushed pineapple (I squeezed out most of the juice before adding it, I didn't want any extra fluids in the cake) 4) Added 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg 5) added 1 extra teaspoon of cinnamon 6) used 3/4 cup canola oil and 1/2 cup applesauce. The result came out incredibly delicious - the cake was very flavorful and moist. For the frosting, I only used 3.5 cups of powdered sugar, and it was more than sweet enough, with a nicely balanced cream cheese vs. sweet flavor. If I would change anything again, I would use less pecans - it's a bit too nutty for my personal tastes. Also, I followed another reviewer's suggestion of grating the carrots with the large grater side (the one you use for cheese) so that you don't end up with a bunch of carrot mush and juice that can't be used. Will definitely make again! This is probably the best carrot cake I've ever had. Read More
(10529)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 1 stars
04/28/2011
'Steps up on soap box'. First of all I wish people would stop changing the entire recipe then giving it 5 starts. I tried this recipe as is, and it's not good. I don't have time to go through 300 reviews and change all that needs to be changed. I want to just find a recipe that is rated highly for it's own merrit. I just wasted time and money on a cake that is not good. When you rate something high, only after changing it, you're rating "YOUR OWN RECIPE", not the one that is here. I'm all for experimentation, I just ask that people then post their experiment as their own recipe, and let others rate it. Sorry for the rant but this has happened several times on this site. Read More
(1506)
7072 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 5785
  • 4 star values: 813
  • 3 star values: 233
  • 2 star values: 107
  • 1 star values: 134
Rating: 5 stars
12/08/2006
After reading through 4-5 pages of the reviews, I consolidated the most referred alterations to this recipe to: 1) using 1 cup brown sugar and 1 cup white sugar 2) adding an extra teaspoon of vanilla extract 3) adding 1 8oz. can of crushed pineapple (I squeezed out most of the juice before adding it, I didn't want any extra fluids in the cake) 4) Added 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg 5) added 1 extra teaspoon of cinnamon 6) used 3/4 cup canola oil and 1/2 cup applesauce. The result came out incredibly delicious - the cake was very flavorful and moist. For the frosting, I only used 3.5 cups of powdered sugar, and it was more than sweet enough, with a nicely balanced cream cheese vs. sweet flavor. If I would change anything again, I would use less pecans - it's a bit too nutty for my personal tastes. Also, I followed another reviewer's suggestion of grating the carrots with the large grater side (the one you use for cheese) so that you don't end up with a bunch of carrot mush and juice that can't be used. Will definitely make again! This is probably the best carrot cake I've ever had. Read More
(10529)
Rating: 5 stars
03/18/2008
I chose this recipe specifically because it did not contain pineapple. It was wonderful just as written. (stepping on my soapbox)I think that a recipe should be reviewed for it's own merits with minimal changes. Rating a recipe that you have made many changes to messes up the rating system. You are not rating the listed recipe...you are rating your own! Go ahead and submit it!(stepping down now..thanks lol) That said, I forgot to pick up pecans, but added some finely chopped hazelnuts I had on hand. : ) Read More
(4094)
Rating: 5 stars
03/30/2007
This is a great recipe. Some other reviewers had problems with the center falling-these tips may help. Cakes will sink or fall because of the following 1.Overbeating-too much air is incorporated 2.Underbaking- oven temp is too low or too short a baking time 3.Over or under measurement of ingredients 4.Using too small/large of baking pan 5. Make sure your oven temp is correct-preheat for at least 30 min. and check to make sure your oven is heating properly by using an oven thermometer for accuracy and finally, only open your oven door if you have to and then make sure 3/4 of the cooking time is up. Happy baking everyone! Read More
(3580)
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Rating: 5 stars
02/08/2010
This is just my humble opinion, but I think it's very rude of people changing the recipe so much and then bragging about it like it worked out better than the one given. I don't understand why people make so many changes to the recipes on this site. It's out of control and almost seems like people want to one up the person putting the recipe on the site just to show they could do it better. I have not made this recipe yet but I will tomorrow, without all the brown sugar, without the change in oil, without the applesauce, etc. Post your own recipe instead of making these unneeded changes. Read More
(1671)
Rating: 1 stars
04/28/2011
'Steps up on soap box'. First of all I wish people would stop changing the entire recipe then giving it 5 starts. I tried this recipe as is, and it's not good. I don't have time to go through 300 reviews and change all that needs to be changed. I want to just find a recipe that is rated highly for it's own merrit. I just wasted time and money on a cake that is not good. When you rate something high, only after changing it, you're rating "YOUR OWN RECIPE", not the one that is here. I'm all for experimentation, I just ask that people then post their experiment as their own recipe, and let others rate it. Sorry for the rant but this has happened several times on this site. Read More
(1506)
Rating: 5 stars
03/14/2008
Great recipe. It was my 1st homemade carrot cake & it turned out perfect. I made a layer cake using 2 9"round pans & cooked at 350F for 35 minutes. Read More
(1126)
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Rating: 5 stars
09/25/2003
This recipe was incredible. After a box mix went awry, I turned to this terrific site to find a scratch recipe and decided to try this one. Scrumptious! Like some other bakers, I made a few substitutions and additions: instead of using 1 1/4 C oil, I used 3/4 C oil and 1/2 C applesauce; instead of 2 C white sugar, used 1 C white and 1 C brown; used walnuts instead of pecans and added 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg. I used 2 9-inch greased and floured cake pans. I made this a week before Christmas, so I popped it into the freezer, taking it out to thaw the day before it was needed. It was like it was fresh baked! Then I made the frosting, using 3 C of confectioners' sugar instead of 4. The flavor was heavenly and I still had some left over. Everyone in the family gave rave reviews and had 2 pieces! The cake was gone by the next day. I will make this a Christmas tradition. Read More
(881)
Rating: 5 stars
10/05/2006
I made some subs: 1.5 cups brown sugar (no white), half cup oil and 1 cup crushed pineapple (drained) instead of 1 1/4 cup oil, 2.5 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 3 tsp vanilla, omitted nuts and frosting. I baked in two 9 inch round cakepans for 40 minutes instead of a 9x13 pan. The result was perfectly moist cake with terrific flavor, and less guilt! Next time, I'll double the recipe so my cakes can be a bit taller, and I'll add crushed walnuts...but I can't imagine it being much better than this. Suggestion: if you're using a box grater, grate the carrots on the 2nd largest holes (same ones you use to grate cheese). I made the mistake of grating on the next smaller size holes last time, and used 5 cups of carrots (and 1/2 cup oil - no applesauce). The carrot shreds were too small and too many, and a lot of carrot juice was produced. All that extra liquid caused my "cake" to be more like a thin layer of rubbery pumpkin pie filling, even after cooking for over an hour. So make sure your carrot shreds are quite large, so you don't end up with all that unwanted carrot juice. Read More
(774)
Rating: 4 stars
04/11/2011
Of all of the many reviews on the site for this recipe only a handful of people actually reviewed this recipe. Most changed the recipe and then, instead of submitting what was now a new recipe and reviewing that, posted a review based on the changes they made. This pretty much makes the review useless and frankly not very helpful. Since I wanted to review this recipe I actually made this recipe. It's a good carrot cake. Not the best I've ever had but pretty darned good. It could use a bit more spice. There. A real review of this recipe. Thanks to the small handful of others who actually reviewed this recipe as well. Read More
(769)