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King Arthur's Carrot Cake


King Arthur's Carrot Cake Recipe

Moist, dense, and flavorful — who doesn't love carrot cake? Especially when it's topped with rich cream cheese icing. This much-requested recipe is easily customized to taste. We've used all nuts, you can use any combination of add-ins you like, including raisins or coconut; just keep the total of any (or all) additions to 1 1/2 cups.

At a glance

1 cake, 16 servings
Nutrition information


Choose your measure:


  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 3 cups finely grated carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted for best flavor*
  • *See "tips," below.


  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • one 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla OR 1/2 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia
  • 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon milk or cream; optional, if necessary to thin frosting


  1. To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two 9" round layer pans, or one 9" x 13" pan.
  2. Beat together the oil, sugar, salt, eggs, spices, and baking soda.
  3. Weigh your flour; you’ll find its weight by toggling to “ounces” at the top of the ingredient section above. Or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess.
  4. Add the flour, stirring until well blended.
  5. Add the carrots and nuts, and mix until just blended. Pour into the prepared pan(s).
  6. Bake the cake(s) for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Allow the cake(s) to cool completely before frosting. If you're using round layer pans, remove the layers from the pans after about 15 minutes, and place them on a rack to cool.
  7. To make the frosting: Beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add the salt and vanilla. Beat in the sugar. Add a teaspoon of milk or cream if the frosting is too stiff to spread; add additional sugar if it's too thin.
  8. Frost the sheet cake right in the pan. For the layers, frost the top of one layer, top with the second layer, and frost the top and sides of the cake. For helpful tips, see our blog post: How to assemble and frost a layer cake.
  9. Refrigerate the cake. An hour or so before serving, remove it from the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature. Refrigerate any leftovers, well wrapped, for a day or so; freeze for longer storage.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 146g
  • Servings Per Batch 16
Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories 580
  • Calories from Fat 342
  • Total Fat 38g
  • Saturated Fat 9g
  • Trans Fat 1g
  • Cholesterol 75mg
  • Sodium 420mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 61g
  • Dietary Fiber 1g
  • Sugars 47g
  • Protein 6g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.