This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

This one layer carrot cake is super moist, wonderfully spiced, and perfect for smaller gatherings and celebrations. Topped with sweet, tangy cream cheese frosting and toasted pecans, it’s love at first bite.

Super Moist Carrot Cake by

While I love yellow cake, strawberry cake, and chocolate cake, nothing compares to carrot. There’s something simply magical about it– the texture! the flavor! the cream cheese frosting! Each bite is pure bliss and it will forever be my favorite kind of cake.

On my blog we’ve made a few variations of carrot cake including pineapple carrot cake, coconut carrot cake cupcakes, cheesecake swirl carrot Bundt cake, classic layered carrot cake, and today’s single layer carrot cake. Let’s get started!

The only carrot cake recipe you will ever need!

Why You’ll Love this One Layer Carrot Cake

  • Ultra moist
  • Perfectly spiced and so flavorful
  • Easy to prepare, no mixer required
  • Not too big– great for smaller gatherings
  • No complicated assembly or decorating
  • Topped with cream cheese frosting

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

Overview: How to Make One Layer Carrot Cake

Today’s recipe is pretty similar to my classic carrot cake— that one is a little larger (great for sharing) and I add ginger. You can certainly add ginger to this recipe, I recommend about 1/2 teaspoon. Both are incredibly moist and flavorful, everything a carrot cake should be!

  1. Mix the wet ingredients together. This includes brown sugar for sweetness, oil for moisture, a softer crumb, and flavor, yogurt for moisture, eggs to bind everything together, and vanilla extract for flavor. In my recipe testing, I found that brown sugar yields a much softer and more moist cake than when using granulated sugar. Plus, I love the taste that the molasses from the brown sugar adds.
  2. Whisk the dry ingredients together. All-purpose flour serves as the cake’s structure, baking soda helps the cake rise, cinnamon and nutmeg add warm, cozy flavor, and salt offsets the sweetness.
  3. Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Mix until just combined and all flour pockets are gone– do not overmix.
  4. Fold in the carrots and pecans. Make sure the carrots are finely shredded– you don’t want huge chunks of carrot in the batter. Carrots are a sweeter vegetable and act more as a sweetener than a flavoring agent. This cake does not taste like carrots! (Just like how my chocolate zucchini cake doesn’t taste like vegetables.) Pecan pieces are optional, but I can’t imagine carrot cake without them. They don’t stay crunchy inside the baked cake– instead, they soften up but still provide a nice texture against the cake’s crumb.
  5. Bake. Pour the cake batter into a 9 or 10 inch round springform pan. We need a large pan for all of this batter. A regular 9 or 10 inch cake pan is not big enough and the cake will overflow. This cake takes about 32-38 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Make the cream cheese frosting. I usually do this while the cake cools.
  7. Frost completely cooled cake. Slice and enjoy!

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

My #1 Baking Tip for Carrot Cake

My #1 tip for carrot cakes is to shred whole carrots at home. Do not use packaged pre-shredded carrots because they are hard and dry. You need about 3-4 large carrots for this recipe. And when you grate them, you’ll notice how wet they are. That is PRIME moisture for your baked cake and you don’t want to skip it!

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

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

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

Cream Cheese Frosting

It wouldn’t be carrot cake without a swirl of cream cheese frosting on top! We use the same cream cheese frosting on red velvet cake, pumpkin cake, and banana cake. It’s so smooth, tangy, and glides on the cake seamlessly. I call it spreadable cheesecake and it tastes unbelievable with this cake’s deep spice flavor.

Ingredients: You need block-style cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar, a splash of heavy cream (or milk), vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. The salt helps offset the sweetness.

Frosting this cake requires minimal time and effort. Just spoon it onto the center of the cake and swirl it around– you could frost the sides but I chose not to. There is a lot of frosting, so layer it on nice and thick. Use toasted pecans, coconut, raisins, or even more shredded carrots to decorate!

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

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
slice of carrot cake topped with cream cheese frosting and chopped pecans

Super Moist Carrot Cake

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: serves 8-10 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


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



Carrot Cake

  • 1 cup (200g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) vegetable oil*
  • 1/4 cup (60g) Greek yogurt*
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (260g) very finely grated carrots
  • 3/4 cup pecan pieces

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces (224g) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 22.5 cups (240-300g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) heavy cream*
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • salt, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). 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.
  2. Set out the cream cheese for the frosting so it may soften as you make the cake batter.
  3. Make the carrot cake: In a large bowl with a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment 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.
  4. 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 or spoon batter into prepared springform pan.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Store cake in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 5 days.


  1. Make Ahead Instructions: 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.
  2. Oil: You can also use melted coconut oil or canola oil.
  3. Yogurt: You can also use regular yogurt– plain or vanilla.
  4. Heavy Cream: 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.
  5. Raisins: 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.
  6. Cupcakes: This recipe also can be made into 12 cupcakes. Bake time is 17-18 minutes.
  7. Layer Cake: Try my favorite layered carrot cake recipe.

Keywords: carrot cake, one layer carrot cake

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. The 1st one was so good that I made 2 more to give to friends. It was delicious. Thanks for sharing

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!! Best carrot cake I’ve made. I really like that your ingredients list was organized by order of ingredients to add to mixing bowl. As opposed to a list organized by weight. This made the recipe a lot easier to follow!

  3. Hi Sally. For the first time in my life I am baking and so far I have made 2 of your recipes – love them! Today I want to make your carrot cake as I have an abundance of carrots. The only problem is I do not have powered sugar. Have been to the shops twice and always out of stock. Can I use caster sugar instead?

    1. Hi Shanni, so glad you are loving my recipes! For cream cheese frosting, you really need the ultra fine texture from powdered/confectioners’ sugar. Castor sugar isn’t an ideal replacement. You might enjoy my Swiss Meringue Buttercream instead!

  4. I was looking for a nice easy and tasty carrot cake recipe and I found it
    Thank you

  5. Hi I was wondering can I use a bag of shredded carrots that sold at the store or does this have to be grated? This will be my first time baking this and I do not want to disappoint.
    Thank you for any feedback i appreciate it.

    1. Hi Lisa! My #1 tip for carrot cakes is to grate whole carrots at home. Do not use packaged pre-shredded carrots because they are hard and dry. Happy baking 🙂

  6. A very reliable and easy recipe. The cake comes out soft and moist every single time. Tastes great!

  7. Hi Sally,
    Just wondering if i can add flaked coconut in this recipe. 🙂 Im so excited to make this. Carrot cake / cupcake is one of my fave. Thank you for all the tips!

    1. Absolutely! I recommend 3/4 cup of sweetened or unsweetened shredded coconut. You can skip the pecans or keep them in.

  8. Hi Sally,
    I’m really excited to make this. But quick question, do I need a springform pan? I don’t have one and I wanted to ask you just in case.

    1. Hi Tate! I do recommend a springform pan for this recipe. If you don’t have one, I would go with a 9 or 10-inch pan and then only fill halfway. Use leftover batter to make cupcakes (17-18 minutes bake time).

  9. I made this for my husband for Father’s Day since carrot cake is his favorite. It was delicious! The best homemade carrot cake recipe I have tried by far! Thank you so much!

  10. Hi Sally, I baked this cake yesterday and took it out of the oven at 30 minutes and tested it with a toothpick and it came out clean so I let it cool. We were so sad when we cut into it later and only the edges were cooked! Is there a better way to tell if it’s done for the future? Do you know why the toothpick would have come out clean even though it wasn’t cooked?

    1. Hi Amanda, the only thing I can think of is that the wet crumbs slid off the toothpick as you lifted it out of the center of the cake. This is a pretty thick cake and I find it takes closer to 38 minutes to fully cook through. (Of course all ovens vary.) Next time you can use the bounce back test– I explain it here (#8)!

  11. Hello Sally,
    Can I use a 9×13 pan like your other carrot cake recipes? If so, what changes do I need to make?

    1. Hi Audrey, for a 9×13 pan I recommend following this carrot cake recipe (and see the notes at the end of the recipe for directions for a 9×13 pan). Taste and texture is similar to this one, but it yields more batter.

  12. Hi Sally,
    I love your carrot cake so much and I would love to ask that if I were to use this recipe for cupcakes, will it be too dry? Or what do I have to change to get it as soft/moist??

    Thank you 🙂

    1. Hi Lilly, You can use it to make cupcakes without making any other changes: Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake at 350°F (177°C) for about 20 minutes.

  13. Hi sally,
    I was wondering if I could make this in loaf pan? how many cups of batter does this recipe yield? I tried to look for that info in your notes section but couldn’t find it.
    Thank you so much! Love your recipes!

  14. I made this cake for the first time about a month ago. I must say I was never a fan of carrot cake. After using this recipe I am now a converted carrot cake lover. My family loved it and have been begging me to make another. Needless to say baking one this weekend. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

  15. Made this for my mum’s social night. Everyone there loved it!! It was fun and easy to make as well (very clear instructions).
    I made it as a two-layer cake and added sliced strawberries, between the two layers with the frosting. It looked and tasted amazing.
    Thanks for the awesome recipe, it made a lot of people happy tonight.

  16. Tried baking it in a Loaf Pan and the outcome is great! Thank You for this recipe and more power to you

  17. I made this for one of my employee’s birthdays today. I was a little nervous only because I realized I’d never made a homemade carrot cake before (and so realized all I had was bread flour and not all purpose). Another fabulous dessert! I’ve not had a failures yet when making one of your goodies (even if my ingredients are t perfect)! Thank you for providing such yummy recipes with great tips and suggestions!

  18. Hi Sally,

    Any recommendations on freezing this cake once baked? I’m hoping to bake it and slice it and freeze for individual servings but want to know the best way to do so. Thanks! 🙂

    1. Hi Kate, Yes you can freeze slices! We recommend wrapping each slice tightly in plastic wrap and placing each wrapped slice into a freezer safe storage container. Thaw to your liking prior to serving

    1. Hi Rev, We don’t recommend it. Almond flour has very different properties and is not a good substitute. We haven’t tested these cookies with any alternative flours but if you need to use a gluten free flour I recommend using an all purpose (1:1) gluten free flour. Let us know what you try!

  19. Hi Sally! Thank you so much for this recipe. It’s my first time to ever make a Carrot cake and it turn out great, except for my runny cream cheese frosting (it’s so humid in our place). Any recommendation how to make my frosting stiff next time?

    1. We’re so happy you enjoyed this carrot cake recipe! For a stiffer frosting, try adding a little more confectioners’ sugar. And, make sure you are using full fat block cream cheese, not cream cheese spread sold in a tub. That will help for next time!

  20. Hi! I’m from Malaysia. My family really enjoyed the carrot cake. I reduced the sugar in the cake batter. I added lemon juice in my cream cheese to make it a little tart. Thank you for sharing.

  21. Love this cake!
    Made it a couple of times and it always delivers, so moist. I don’t like things super sweet so i always use less sugar for the icing (i take out a cup) than sally.

  22. Can the cake be made without the pecans? Should additional flour be added? Thanks!

    1. Hi Helene, you can skip the pecans without any other changes. Enjoy!

  23. So disappointed. I followed the recipe exactly. I checked they cake at 30 minutes and then every 2 minutes after that till i hit 40 minutes. At 40 minutes I inserted a fork in a few spots and it was clean, but when my husband and I went to have a piece. Inbetween was still very raw. I felt like there was way too much carrot.

    1. Doesn’t rise at all. Thin dense and way too sweet. Should have used my tried and true recipe… live and learn.

  24. I love this so much, made it first time for my daughters birthday. We had 2 more cakes from a very high end bakery and literally everyone loved this one best
    I used brown coconut sugar instead of normal brown sugar and that was really good
    Thanks for all ur recipes. Hooked to your banana read as well!
    Greetings from Antwerp, Belgium

  25. Hi Sally, i made this cake yesterday and today i made the frosting, thank you for this delicious recipe also i added raisins and shredded coconut, so yummy my husband loved it
    And btw your renovated website is user friendly and neat Congrats ♥️♥️

  26. Lovely recipe. I added a teaspoon of ground cardamom, which gave it a gorgeous extra kick. Mine took bang on 34 minutes and was the best on day 3 🙂

Leave a Review!

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.