This classic carrot cake recipe will never let you down, I promise! While the cream cheese frosting is totally optional, I would have to argue that it’s not a *real* carrot cake without the frosting.

Carrot cake 1

I mean, would you just look at that texture?

For me, carrot cake is synonymous with fall, because of the warming spices that I like to put in it. Feel free to go crazy with cinnamon and ginger, and you can even add in some ground cardamom or nutmeg if you’re feeling experimental.

Another idea is to add walnuts to the batter right before baking, but personally, I’m not a huge fan. I find the texture to be so perfect that I don’t want to spoil it with any awkward, unexpected crunches…Then there are those who like to add raisins to carrot cake, or even worse, Rum soaked raisins! Oh my god, the horror!

As for the frosting, it’s up to you whether you want to add it or not. If you’re counting calories or watching your weight, feel free to skip it. But if, like me, you don’t give a sh*t about all that nonsense, feel free to add the cream cheese frosting and lick the spoon while you’re at it. Promise, I won’t tell!

Carrot cake 2
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Classic carrot cake

This classic carrot cake is full of warming fall spices and has a totally decadent cream cheese frosting on top.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cake, carrot cake, cream cheese icing
Servings: 4
Calories: 250kcal
Author: Gitanjali


For the carrot cake

  • 300 g carrots grated
  • 275 g flour feel free to use semi-whole wheat flour
  • 200 g sugar
  • 11 g baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1.5 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsps ginger powder
  • 200 ml sunflower oil
  • pinch of salt

For the cream cheese frosting

  • 200 g cream cheese (like Philadelphia)
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar


For the carrot cake

  • Oil or butter the cake pan. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
  • Grate the carrots.
  • In a bowl, add the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and spices. Mix with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  • Add the oil. Mix again.
  • Add the carrots and fold them in.
  • Add the eggs, one by one, mixing well after each one. At this point the batter will be quite weird in texture: very thick, almost lumpy, but a bit runny from the eggs. Don't worry, this is normal!
  • Bake for approximatley 45 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack completely before icing.

For the icing

  • Put the cream cheese in a bowl and mix it with a spatula until it's creamy and soft.
  • Add the powdered sugar (sift it before hand if you want it to be perfect), and the lime, and then mix again until combined.

If you make this classic carrot cake recipe, I’d love to hear how it turns out! Feel free to tag me on Instagram so I can share your creations. Then again, if you’re adding raisins to it, don’t even bother, because I don’t want to know!

And if you’re looking for more baking recipes, check out all of my dessert recipes here.

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