Super Moist Carrot Cake.

Make scrumptious carrot cake at home with this easy recipe. Super moist and super flavorful!

Super Moist Carrot Cake by

Everyone has their own idea about what makes a good cake.  Some like theirs light and airy, others like it dense and heavy.  Some like chocolate cake, vanilla cake, bundt cake, or funfetti cake. Others don’t care about the cake and it’s all about the frosting. :)

My dad’s favorite cake is carrot cake and it has been my mission to make the BEST carrot cake in the entire world for him. And well, for me too.

Confession: I like carrot cake more than I like funfetti!

My personal preference is to have a cake that is as moist as possible.  A carrot cake that is full of flavor and will melt in your mouth, without being mushy.  And PS: the word “moist” should not send you running for the hills.  It’s just a word!

The only carrot cake recipe you will ever need!

So how can you achieve a moist cake? Baking science ahead. #nerdalert

There are four main ingredients in cake recipes:  sugar, flour, eggs, and fat (in the form of oil, shortening, or butter). These four  ingredients have different purposes and effects on how your cake will bake, its texture, and how it will taste.

The structure of your cake is held together with the eggs and flour.  The flavor of your cake comes from the sugar and the fat.  The more sugar and fat you have in your cake, the more moist the cake will be.  However, do not go assuming that simply adding more sugar and more fat to your batter will produce a moist cake.  You have to maintain an equal amount of structure to hold up to the extra moisture you’re adding in.  Adding too much moisture and too little structure and you’ll end up with a cake that won’t set.

The best homemade Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. Super-moist and easy!

Baking a cake surely is a science – and also a mathematical equation of sorts.  Thankfully, I’ve found the perfectly balanced ratio of moisture and structure to produce one HECK of a moist carrot cake.

Be warned: you’re going to fall in love with this cake.

The best homemade Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. Super-moist and easy!

 You’re going to start with 1 cup of light brown sugar (or dark) and 3/4 cup of vegetable oil.  This carrot cake, my friends, is not a health food. Although, sometimes I like to convince myself otherwise since I am eating my veggies.

I tried this carrot cake once before a few weeks ago using white sugar.  There was nothing wrong using white sugar, but in my cookie baking experiences, I have learned that brown sugar yields a much softer and more moist product than white sugar does.  It provides the baked good with more body of flavor as well.  Plus, I love the taste of brown sugar/molasses.  Brown sugar is a winner today – light brown or dark brown will do. I used light brown because that is what I had on hand.

The fat used in this recipe is oil, not butter.  I have learned that oil produces a much softer, more moist cake crumb than butter would.  However, I adore the taste of butter so I still like to use it in my cake/cupcake recipes (depending on the other ingredients in said recipe).  With so much flavor from the spices, frosting, brown sugar, and sweet carrots – I knew I wouldn’t miss the taste of butter.

Along with the oil, I added some greek yogurt. Yogurt is a fantastic addition to cakes or cupcakes because it adds even MORE moisture to your finished baked product. You may use regular or greek yogurt here – vanilla or plain – nonfat or lowfat. Whichever is most convenient for you.

So we have 3 moisture-inducing ingredients so far (1) brown sugar, (2) oil, and (3) yogurt. Beat these all together with 3 eggs and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. This cake uses as many eggs as my ultra-fudgy brownies. You can imagine how dense and perfect this cake is!

The best homemade Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. Super-moist and easy!

 What’s next? The dry ingredients: 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 2 heaping teaspoons of cinnamon (LOVE the stuff), 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  The first time I made this cake, I used more flour.  I decided to try the cake again using as little flour as possible that I could get away with and still have the cake’s structure set in the oven. 2 cups is the magic number.  You may use a mixture of whole wheat and all-purpose flour, but the cake’s texture may not be as soft as mine. I suggest using strictly all-purpose.

The cinnamon and nutmeg are crucial to the cake’s taste.  Without an overpowering flavor like chocolate or pumpkin, for example, you really need those spices to give the cake that trademark “spice” taste that carrot cake has.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients with a whisk or spatula, trying hard not to overmix the batter.  Let’s see, what’s next? Ahhh the carrots. Let’s not forget those babies. Literally.  I used baby carrots here.  I grated my own baby carrots – I used a little less than one 14 oz package to get the 2 cups of shredded baby carrots.  I used baby carrots only because they are more wet than regular carrots.  Feel free to use regular carrots since grating such small baby carrots may not be tolerated  by many! It wasn’t so bad though, I promise. :)

While grating, make sure the carrot shreds/pieces are extra fine. You don’t want huge chunks of carrots in your soft piece of cake. The finely shredded carrots soften inside the batter as the cake bakes, making the cake even more soft and moist.  So that is 4 moistening agents so far in this recipe! Have I convinced you yet?

The best homemade Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. Super-moist and easy!

 A good thing to know about my recipe:  the cake does not taste like carrots.  Carrots, a sweeter vegetable, act more as a sweetener in this recipe than a flavoring agent.  The brown sugar and spices mask the flavor of an actual carrot.

Fold the carrot shreds into the batter with a large spatula – no electric mixer is needed for this addition.  I added pecans to the cake batter because I cannot imagine carrot cake without them!  I used 3/4 cup of pecan pieces.  You could even add raisins as well, another traditional addition to carrot cake.  I was all out of raisins, so I only used pecans. The pecans do not stay crunchy inside the baked cake – they soften up, but still provide a nice texture against the cake’s crumb.

Pour the cake into a round 9 or 10 inch springform pan. I found baking the cake in a springform pan, rather than a regular circle of square baking pan was much easier.  I highly recommend a spring form pan for this recipe.  Bake the cake at 350F for 32-38 minutes.

Wasn’t that easy?  Trust me, this cake is SUCH a breeze to make!

The best homemade Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. Super-moist and easy!

Now what would carrot cake be without the iconic cream cheese frosting swirled on top? I went a little heavy handed on the cream cheese frosting because I love it so much paired with the spice carrot cake.  Even though I adore frosting so much, this is the kind of cake that probably wouldn’t even need it. I can’t believe I’m saying that!  But honestly, this cake is so flavorful and moist on its own that it doesn’t even need frosting.

But let’s be serious. Frosting and I are two peas in a pod. It’s actually quite easy to make: 8 ounces of softened cream cheese, 1/2 cup of softened butter, 2-2.5 cups of powdered sugar, 2 Tablespoons of heavy cream, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.  I strongly urge you to use heavy cream here instead of milk or half-and-half – it will produce the thickest and creamiest frosting ever!

Frosting the cake is a… piece of cake. Just plop it onto the center of the cake and swirl it around. There is a lot of frosting, so don’t be shy about layering it on nice and thick. I opted out of frosting the sides of the cake because it is SO much easier to just frost the top.  Save yourself the time! I decorated mine with some pecans, but feel free to use coconut, raisins, or even more shredded carrots. Decorating the cake is almost as fun as eating it. *Almost.

Carrot cake, like banana bread, tastes best the next day after the flavors have settled and have gotten friendly with one another. It is also more moist on the 2nd day as well.  Sorry for saying moist so much in this post, but I truly am trying to get a point across!

So many readers call this the best carrot cake recipe ever! And it's so easy to make.

This is truly the best carrot cake that I’ve ever had. The frosting doesn’t taste fake like I’ve had in bakeries before.  The cake doesn’t necessarily taste heavy either; it is just very dense, like the best piece of banana bread you’ve ever had.  The sweet spice cake combined with the tangy cream cheese frosting is out of this world. Each bite will melt in your mouth and I was sad to see the cake end!

And again… don’t worry! You will not feel like you’re eating vegetables. Now if someone could make carrots taste like cake, life would be perfect.



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Super-Moist Carrot Cake

Makes 8-10 slices. Carrot cake tastes best the next day after the flavors have settled and have gotten friendly with one another. It is also more moist on the 2nd day as well.


Carrot Cake

  • 1 cup (200 grams) light brown sugar, packed (or dark brown sugar)
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) vegetable oil (or melted coconut oil, or canola oil)
  • 1/4 cup (60 grams) greek yogurt (or regular yogurt, plain or vanilla)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (260 grams) very finely grated carrots
  • 3/4 cup pecan pieces

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces (224 grams) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (115 grams) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2-2.5 cups (240 - 300 grams) confectioners' sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) heavy cream (see note for substitutions)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoons salt, or as needed


Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray 9 or 10inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. I do not recommend a regular circle or square pan, as the cake may rise above. Set aside.

Set out the cream cheese for the frosting so it may soften as you make the cake batter.

Make the carrot cake: In a large bowl with a handheld or stand mixer on medium speed, combine the brown sugar and oil. Beat in the yogurt until fully combined - about 60 seconds. Mixture will be gritty and thick. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. With a spatula, manually stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined and all flour pockets are gone - do not overmix. Fold in the finely shredded carrots and pecan pieces. Pour into prepared springform pan.

Bake cake for 32-38 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not overbake, which will dry out cake. Check the cake at 30 minutes, then again at 32. My cake took exactly 34 minutes. Allow cake to cool completely before frosting.

Make the frosting: beat the softened cream cheese and butter together on medium speed for 2-3 minutes until soft, creamy, and combined thoroughly. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and beat until thick and combined. Add 2 Tablespoons heavy cream and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed for 2 more minutes. Add more powdered sugar until desired thickness is reached. Add salt to taste. I used 1/8 teaspoon to cut the sweetness.

Store cake in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 5 days.

*I strongly suggest using heavy cream in the cream cheese frosting recipe. Using milk or half-and-half will produce a less creamy and thinner frosting.

*If you'd like to add raisins to the batter, I suggest using 2/3 cup of raisins and 2/3 cup of chopped pecans. If you'd like to only use raisins, I suggest 3/4 cup of raisins.

*This recipe also can be made into 12 cupcakes. Bake time is 17-18 minutes.

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.



Dry or hard baked goods have no place in my kitchen.

Here are some recipes known for how soft, moist, and tender they are:


Homemade Monkey Bread with Caramel Sauce

100% from scratch and 100% soft, moist, & tender.

Homemade Monkey Bread with Caramel Sauce


Homemade Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies

Soft, tender, creamy, nostalgic oatmeal creme pie sandwiches.

Oatmeal Creme Pies by


Raspberry Swirl Sweet Rolls

So incredibly soft and each raspberry-filled doughy bite will melt in your mouth.

Raspberry Swirl Sweet Rolls


Caramel Apple-Upside Down Cake

Besides today’s cake recipe, this is the most moist cake in the entire world. So buttery, so flavorful, loaded with caramel, and decorated with juicy apples.

Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake




358 Responses to “Super Moist Carrot Cake.”

  1. #
    Shaffposted March 7, 2014 at 5:40 am

    Oh my god! I must say, this IS the best carrot cake I’ve ever did. I had guest today and I wasn’t sure what to did when I cAme across this page. I was disappointed when I couldn’t find any brown sugar left in my kitchen, but even though I used white sugar, it came out sooooo moisty! I can only emac in how it’ll come out with BROWN sugar, I mean oh boy!
    And please oh please don’t gete started on the frosting! I have to say that the key ingredient was the SALT! Yes as simple as it is it made all the difference in the freakin world.
    What I love about ur work Sally, is that ur recipes are truthfully honest. What I read is what I get, and that awesome. U don’t see that on most cooking book! So good job!
    I can’t believe I wrote all this. Lol. Please don’t mind me, I am just flying in my fluffy moisty cloud that is your delicious carrot cake!

    Shaff- a very pleased reader


    • Sallyreplied on March 7th, 2014 at 9:00 am

      Thanks so much Shaff, I really appreciate this sweet comment. I’m so happy you love this cake as much as I do!


  2. #
    Michelle T.posted March 11, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    I am making this tonight for Husband’s Birthday tonight! Can’t wait. I am very excited to try this. My first ever attempt at Carrot Cake.


  3. #
    Doroposted March 16, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    Hey Sally,
    it’s been a while since I discovered this baking gold mine of yours and I have tried and loved a lot of your recipes. But today, when I tasted the carrot cake I had prepared yesterday I felt the instant urge to tell you that this is not only the best recipe I have tried from your page, this may well be the best cake I have ever had the pleasure to enjoy in my entire life. It’s so moist and sweet, I felt a little sick after only one piece, but hardly sick enough not to have another one. I guess what I’m trying to say is: Wow. And: Thank you!


    • Sallyreplied on March 16th, 2014 at 8:07 pm

      Thanks for saying hi, Doro! I’m so glad that you enjoyed this cake and are loving my blog. “The best cake” ? What an amazing compliment! Thank you :)


  4. #
    Selenaposted March 16, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Wow, this looks awesome!! :D
    If I wanted to make these as cupcakes, do you think they would dome at all?
    And if not, do you think I could take out 2 TBL of flour and replace it with 2 TBL of cornstarch?


    • Sallyreplied on March 16th, 2014 at 7:55 pm

      Hi Selena! Yep, they will dome with the recipe as written. I made this recipe as cupcakes in my cookbook (Sally’s Baking Addiction Cookbook) – they take about 16-18 minutes.


  5. #
    Jessicaposted March 17, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    This was excellent garnished with blueberries and blackberries. My husband is one with few compliments on any of my baking, but this recipe–he said it tasted so good, it tasted store bought lol.


  6. #
    Xin Eeposted March 23, 2014 at 5:01 am

    Hey Sally,
    Greetings from Singapore! ;D Thanks for sharing your most fabulous recipe for carrot cake. It was indeed a joy to bake and share. Made 18 cupcakes using your recipe and the cupcakes were delightfully moist and domed well. I did replace the yogurt with buttermilk that I made using white vinegar and milk, and cut the sugar to 150g instead of 200g. Still, the end result was a very moist cake. Probably would have been even more moist if I had used the yogurt but oh well, I bake with what I have.


  7. #
    Krisposted March 24, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Hi Sally,

    I wanna try this recipe but I only have a 8″ springform pan, 8″ round pan & 9″ round pan. Which would you think is suitable for this recipe?

    Also, how much should I fill for cupcakes/muffins? 1/2-3/4 full?



    • Sallyreplied on March 24th, 2014 at 3:28 pm

      Kris- use the 8-inch springform pan. Add a couple minutes to the bake time. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. Enjoy!


      • Krisreplied on March 24th, 2014 at 10:18 pm

        Hi Sally, tnx for your reply. Just curious, why can’t we use the normal round 8″ pan?

  8. #
    Maheen Marghubposted March 27, 2014 at 1:46 am

    I tried the amazing Carrot Cake :) turned out to be amazing although it was my first attempt !!! million thanks :)


  9. #
    Sylvanaposted March 27, 2014 at 7:39 am

    Sally, can I put the carrrots in the blender first? Or should I really grate them by hand?


  10. #
    Cherylposted March 28, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Hi Sally! Love this recipe! I’ve made it several times! Would it be ok to use a bundt pan to bake this cake? Thanks so much. :)


    • Sallyreplied on March 28th, 2014 at 2:49 pm

      That would be fine, Cheryl – though the cake wouldn’t be very tall since the batter only makes a single layer cake. I’m unsure of the baking time. Happy you love the cake recipe! It’s great having a solid carrot cake recipe that’s simple.


  11. #
    Briannaposted March 28, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    can i double this recipe?


  12. #
    Saraposted April 1, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Hi I’m super excited to try this recipe, and was just wondering if I could make it into 2 layers without doubling the recipe? Just curious because it seems like te single layer turns out fairly thick. Thanks!


    • Sallyreplied on April 1st, 2014 at 10:45 am

      Definitely! Just slice the cake horizontally to make two layers.


  13. #
    Kathryn Cothernposted April 3, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Good Morning Sally!

    This recipe sounds delicious so I want to make it for a church event. To make it easier for serving, I want to make it in mini-cupcake form. Other than the baking time, can I use the same recipe or do you suggest making any modifications?

    I just discovered your website the other day and ordered your cookbook. I am going to make 3 of your cake recipes and 3 of your frosting recipes this weekend for one church event and two birthday celebrations. Even though I am a long distance runner, I will be in a baking marathon for the next few days!! :)

    Thank you for all that you offer! I know how much time, energy, and $$ goes into your efforts. Your audience greatly appreciates you! :)

    Have a great day!


    • Sallyreplied on April 3rd, 2014 at 2:40 pm

      Thanks Kathryn, what a very kind comment to read today! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave it. I’m so glad you found my blog and that you are looking to make some of my recipes soon. This cake is GREAT as cupcakes – I’d say mini cupcakes will take about 10 minutes, give or take. Yes, use the same exact recipe. It will make a lot of cupcakes in mini form. Thank you again – so much – for your kind words and for making my day. Enjoy!


  14. #
    Jenniferposted April 4, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    Well I made this tonight and had some family over. The cake was gone in an hr! My dad almost had a heart attack when I added butter to the frosting, but he liked it! Lol


    • Sallyreplied on April 6th, 2014 at 10:43 am

      So glad this cake was a hit! Thanks Jennifer.


  15. #
    Terryposted April 5, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    Hi Sally, I just have two questions: Do you know what adjustments I’d have to make in baking time or temperature for this cake as I live in Denver, and it’s a mile above sea level. Also, if I use a rectangular glass or metal pan, does that also require any adjustments? It sounds so yummy, I want to make this for Easter!


    • Sallyreplied on April 6th, 2014 at 4:03 pm

      Hi Terry! I’ve had a couple readers at high altitude make this cake without any issues at all. If it helps, you can look over this chart to see if you want to make any changes – I have no personal experience baking it at high altitude. Using a different shaped pan will likely change the baking time (unless it’s a small 8-inch or 9-inch baking pan).


  16. #
    Ivyposted April 8, 2014 at 5:22 am

    Hi, thank you for the tempting recipe. I have had myself ready with all ingredients to try it out. But there is one thing that I cannot find and hope you can enlighten me. For frosting, I could not find heavy cream in my place so I bought Emborg whipping cream which has fat content of 35.1%. Do I have to whip it before I add it into the frosting bowl?


    • Sallyreplied on April 8th, 2014 at 7:14 am

      Hi Ivy – you can use milk instead of the heavy cream in the frosting (but the frosting won’t be as creamy). What you bought sounds fine. No need to whip it before using.


  17. #
    Kateposted April 12, 2014 at 8:45 am

    Hi Sally! I tried this recipe and it was heaven! Suggestion: try a bit of coconut flakes in there it is a wonderful combination!


    • Sallyreplied on April 12th, 2014 at 12:47 pm

      Mmm I love coconut and carrot cake. Thanks Kate!


  18. #
    Brynposted April 15, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    Hi, I’m making this on Sunday and have a question. Recently I’ve been seeing cream cheese frosting recipes using the cream cheese straight from the fridge and the bloggers are adamant their way is the only way. Have you tried this technique? Thoughts?


    • Sallyreplied on April 16th, 2014 at 10:07 am

      I prefer to use room temperature – it creams much more easily.


  19. #
    Fayeposted April 17, 2014 at 10:02 am

    Hi Sally, I am dying to make a carrot muffin – carrotty with maybe nuts and raisins or lil currants in it – just yummy and filling – of course, you are the first person that comes to mind that would know what I mean :) Is this a good base to start with? maybe do some subs with oat flour or whole wheat flour or spelt? Do you have any other suggestions? Do you have a carrot “muffin” recipe? Thank you in advance!


    • Sallyreplied on April 17th, 2014 at 2:40 pm

      Hey Faye! Yes, this is a great recipe to start with for your carrot muffins. I may have to try it myself, actually! Thanks for the recipe inspiration. I do not currently have a carrot muffin recipe.


  20. #
    Taraposted April 17, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Hi Sally! This recipe looks ah-mazing and all the compliments have convinced me to make this for Easter this Sunday. One question, I was hoping to make the carrot cake in a bundt pan. Any thoughts on how that would effect cooking time? I don’t have a spring pan.


    • Sallyreplied on April 17th, 2014 at 2:37 pm

      Hey Tara! A bundt pan would be fine – though the cake wouldn’t be very tall since the batter only makes a single layer cake. I’m unsure of the baking time. It may be a little longer.


  21. #
    Alexiaposted April 18, 2014 at 5:17 am

    Hi! You’ll this cream cheese frosting be a good consistency to pipe designs?


    • Sallyreplied on April 18th, 2014 at 5:34 am

      It’s a little too thin.


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