Carrot Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This is a nice layered spice cake with added carrot and apple. Cream cheese frosting really takes it over the top.

square two-layer carrot apple spice cake with cream cheese frosting on a plate with one corner piece cut out
Prep Time:
1 hrs
Cook Time:
45 mins
Cool Time:
2 hrs
Total Time:
3 hrs 45 mins



  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves

  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil

  • 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

  • ¾ cup white sugar

  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature

  • 1 ½ cups grated carrot

  • 1 cup peeled and grated Granny Smith apple

  • ¾ cup raisins (Optional)

  • ¾ cup chopped pecans (Optional)


  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened

  • 4 ½ cups confectioners' sugar

  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

  • teaspoon salt

  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream, or as needed


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease two 8-inch square pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.

  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice together in a bowl; set aside.

  3. Beat butter, oil, brown sugar, and white sugar together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat batter for an additional 2 minutes after adding last egg. Beat in vanilla extract. Pour in half of the flour mixture; mix on low speed until just combined. Pour in buttermilk; mix until just combined. Pour in remaining flour mixture; mix until just combined. Fold in carrot, apple, raisins, and pecans.

  4. Divide batter evenly between the two pans. Spread into an even layer in each pan.

  5. Bake in the preheated oven until the top of the cake springs back lightly when touched and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.

  6. Allow cakes to cool in pans for 20 minutes; remove to a wire rack to cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours more.

  7. Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until completely smooth; beat in cream cheese until smooth and thoroughly combined. Beat in confectioners' sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition; beat in vanilla and salt. Add in heavy cream; beat on medium-high until frosting is slightly fluffy, about 2 minutes.

  8. Spread frosting onto one cooled cake layer. Stack layers; frost top and sides.

Cook's Note:

The frosting recipe makes enough to fill, crumb coat, and then frost the cake with a decorative layer, if desired. The frosting holds up better when chilled, but will not form a 'crust' like traditional buttercream. If it becomes too soft to frost the cake with, place frosting into the fridge for at least 30 minutes to make is easier to use. Keep frosted cake covered and stored in the fridge.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

580 Calories
28g Fat
78g Carbs
7g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 16
Calories 580
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 28g 36%
Saturated Fat 16g 78%
Cholesterol 113mg 38%
Sodium 289mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 78g 28%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 7g
Potassium 156mg 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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