Home » Best. Carrot. Cake. Ever.

Best. Carrot. Cake. Ever.

In honor of Easter this weekend, I made the yummiest carrot cake that I know of. Carrot cake is Easter-y, right? It’s made with carrots. Bunnies like carrots. The Easter bunny is…well…a bunny. He must love carrot cake. It all makes sense to me.

For the holiday – I’m out of town visiting family again. And you know the pressure that I have of making the world’s yummiest desserts during my visit and my family doesn’t hold back any punches. If it sucks…they pretty much say it sucks plus more. Good thing this carrot cake from scratch was a huge hit. Did you catch that? Carrot cake from SCRATCH!  That’s right, this cake-box-loving gal made another cake from scratch. My last Strawberry Cake (from scratch!) was such a hit with the family, I knew that only a cake from scratch would keep my reputation.

Good thing this carrot cake was a homerun!  It is phenomenal! You can’t go wrong with this one. It is seriously deeee-licious plus has all the goodies that a true carrot cake should have – carrots, pineapple, walnuts and coconut.

Best. Carrot. Cake. Ever.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated carrot
  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 (3 1/2-ounce) can flaked coconut
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts


1.  Line 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with wax paper; lightly grease and flour wax paper. Set pans aside.

2. Stir together flour, soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.

4. Beat eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk and vanilla at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add flour mixture, beating at low speed until blended. Fold in carrot, coconut, pinapple and walnuts.

5. Pour batter into prepared cake pans.

6. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Drizzle Buttermilk Glaze (recipe below) evenly over layers (I only used about 2/3 of the prepared glaze which I thought was perfect!); cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

7. Once the cake is cooled, slice each layer in half to give you a total of 4 layers.  More layers = more frosting = me happy! Note: I put the 2 cake layers in the freezer for 45 minutes to make slicing them in half easier.

8. Make the cream cheese frosting according the recipe below. You can use a canned frosting but it won’t hold a candle to this delicious homemade icing!

9. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. I’m a BIG frosting person so I made 1 1/2 batches of the cream cheese frosting to make sure the cake was completely covered. I also sprinkled chopped walnuts in between each frosted layer to take it over the top.

10. Slice and enjoy!

Buttermilk Glaze

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Glaze Preparation

  1. Bring first 5 ingredients to a boil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Boil, stirring often, 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Frosting Preparation

  1. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth.

Recipe adapted from Southern Living October 1997

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  1. I made this cake today, and while the batter tasted awesome before cooking, it did not set up. I followed the directions to a T. I don’t normally have any problems baking or cooking with or without recipes. I don’t know if the measurements are off somewhere or if something regarding the ingredients moisture content makes a difference. Also, the addition of the baking soda in the glaze left our mouths coated with baking soda after tasting it. The cake is still in the oven, and it’s been 45 minutes, so I’m hoping it will eventually cook. I’m very disappointed because the cake looks amazing, and I love Carrot Cake.

  2. I melted the butter for this icing and I had to add a ton of powdered sugar to get the icing half way right….Did it mean soften or melted becaue 3/4 cup melted butter is a lot of butter….

  3. I am also running into the problem of it cooking in 35-30 minutes. The first step says to grease 3 cake pans, but later it says to cut each cake in half giving four layers (meaning there were only 2 pans)?? Maybe the 25-30 min cook time is for 3 pans, and it needs longer if we only use 2?

  4. OMG this cake is the BEST!!!!!!!!!! I used olive oil as thats all i had in the house and the cake tastes awesome, its so moist. Best cake ive ever made, 🙂

  5. Is this suppose to go into 3 9-inch pans or 2? When reading the entire recipe it states in preperation item #1 ‘Line 3 (9-inch) round cake pans’ but in preperation item #7 ‘Once the cake is cooled, slice each layer in half to give you a total of 4 layers. More layers = more frosting = me happy! Note: I put the 2 cake layers in the freezer’ and the picture shows 4 layers total. Sorry I’m a bit confussed.

  6. Worst recipe ever. The batter tasted awful and the cake did not set. Made carrot cake many times before and thought I would try a new one – well that was a big mistake.

    1. I’m so sorry that this recipe didn’t work out for you. I wonder what went wrong because mine turned out wonderfully. Everyone in my family commented that it was the tastiest carrot cake they have ever had. Sorry yours didn’t work out. 🙁

  7. So do you use 3 cake pans or 2? It says in the instructions to line three cake pans, but then it says to slice each cake into two layers, making 4. If you used 3 cake pans, it should make 6 layers.

    1. Wow! Great catch, Dana! That has been a typo for over a year and no one has ever said anything and we’ve heard a lot of people say that they made this cake. It is actually 2 cake pans! I already changed it in the recipe! Thanks!

  8. OK. I will agree with you. It is good. However, it is also way too rich and sweet for most people’s taste IMO. I would cut back probably a cup on the sugar and maybe half cup of butter. I’m not sure it needs the “buttermilk glaze”; you said you only used 2/3, well, I only used about 1/2 cup for BOTH layers. Also, it takes almost TWICE as long to bake as you suggest. I am the dessert cook in the family so that’s why you are hearing from the male population here. I am a very deliberate cook, following the recipe precisely, doing everything one at a time so it took me a full 6 hours. I can think of more and better things to do with my time. I won’t be making it again, although I would like to try it with the changes I put forth. Thanks anyway.

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