Homemade Carrot Cake (The Best!)

This is seriously the best homemade carrot cake you will make! This moist 3 layered cake is covered with the most delicious cream cheese frosting and I promise you, everyone will be asking for the recipe!

homemade carrot cake with nuts

Holiday Carrot Cake Recipe

I’m so excited to share this delicious homemade carrot cake recipe with you, it will easily rival any bakery bought cake!

This is a perfect occasion cake to serve up at Thanksgiving or Christmas and it’s perfect for Easter!

Three fabulous layers of the most moist and flavorful carrot cake are covered in my cream cheese frosting for a really indulgent and delicious treat!

If you are a lover of carrot cake, be sure to check out my Skillet Carrot Cake and Gluten Free Carrot Cake Bars.

Why you will love this homemade carrot cake!

  • Easy: This impressive cake is actually pretty easy and straight forward to make!
  • Moist: The moisture from the carrots and pineapple make for a delicious texture. There’s no dry crumb here!
  • Delicious! The cake is perfectly spiced and is balanced by the sweet and tangy cream cheese frosting. This is a recipe that you’ll make more than once!
homemade carrot cake with simple decoration
slice of carrot cake with cream cheese icing

How to make homemade carrot cake

Be sure to see the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions!

  • Whisk together the dry ingredients.
  • In an elecric mixer, mix the sugars and add in the oil and vanilla. Add in the eggs.
  • Slowly fold the flour mix into the sugar and egg mix.
  • Fold in the carrots, pineapple and nuts.
  • Place the batter into 3 cake pans and bake, then let cool.
  • Make your Cream Cheese Frosting.
  • Stack the cakes with layers of frosting and cover in a Crumb Coating. Let chill.
  • Frost and decorate the cake before serving.
overhead image of carrot cake
slice of carrot cake with three layers and cream cheese icing

Can you make it ahead of time?

The elements of this cake can be made ahead of time. The carrot cake layers can be made 3 to 4 days ahead of time, wrap them well in plastic wrap AND foil to keep them moist and store in the fridge.

The cream cheese frosting can be made up to 5 days ahead of time and be stored, covered in the fridge.

How long does it keep?

Once the cake is fully frosted, it will keep well in the fridge for 4 to 5 days, but I do like to serve it on the day that it’s frosted so that it’s perfectly fresh and moist.

Do you need to use nuts in this recipe?

The nuts in this carrot cake are totally optional, they add a great texture, but can easily be omitted if someone in your family has an allergy.

I like to use either toasted pecans or walnuts to add a nice savory flavor to help balance out the sweetness.

slice of carrot cake
up close slice of carrot cake with three layers


  • Spray the cake pans with cooking spray before adding the cake batter so that the layers are easy to remove from the tins.
  • It’s easiest to use an electric mixer to make the cake batter, but you can mix it by hand as well, it will just take a little longer.
  • Let the layers cool completely before stacking and frosting them. If the cake is still warm, the frosting will slide off.
  • The carrot cake layers will take about 30-40 minutes to bake. Check they are done by either inserting a toothpick, which should come out clean, or by using an instant read thermometer which should register at 200-205F.
slice of carrot cake on plate
slice of carrot cake standing up on plate

More Cake Recipes

This Carrot Cake is an absolute classic. Once you try it, be sure to also check out these other easy favorites!

See All Cakes

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