This tender, moist carrot cake is spicy and delicious. Rich, whipped cream cheese frosting with a hint of lemon brings it all together. Both the cake and frosting are easy baking projects for all experience levels.
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4.67 from 3 votes

Moist Carrot Cake and Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Servings: 12
Author: Mirlandra Neuneker


For The Cake

  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 3 cups grated carrots about 5 medium carrots
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans if desired
  • 1 cup raisins or dried currants if desired

For The Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 pound cream cheese 2 boxes, 8oz each
  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 8 cups powdered sugar a 32oz bag
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3-5 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice or more to taste (don’t use bottled juice)


To Bake The Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line the bottom of two 9” pans with parchment paper and grease the sides with butter. Dust sides with flour and tap out the excess. (I suggest using my towel wrapping method on the cake pans for a moister cake that rises more evenly.)
  • In a large bowl, use a spoon to stir together the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla until well mixed. Add everything else except the carrots. Stir just until combined and only streaks of flour remain.
  • Add carrots, walnuts and raisins. Stir until incorporated and divide batter between the two pans.
  • Bake 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Hint: The edges of the cake will start to pull away from the sides of the pan just a bit when it is done.
  • Let cakes rest in the pans for 10 minutes and then turn them out unto racks to cool the rest of the way.

To Make The Frosting

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the cream cheese, butter and salt. Whip on high for about 1 minute until thoroughly combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
  • Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and lemon juice. Stir on low speed until incorporated. Scrape the sides of the mixer and then turn on high for 3-4 minutes until the frosting is creamy and fluffy. Taste and add more lemon juice if desired.


A little fresh lemon juice in the frosting brings balance to the sweetness and gives the cream cheese frosting an amazing flavor. If you are not sure if you will like the flavor stir in one teaspoon of lemon juice at a time, tasting as you go.
The frosting in this recipe is enough to frost the cake with a bit left over to pipe pretty borders if you desire. If not, leftover frosting holds for weeks in the fridge or six months in the freezer. It is delicious on cookies or as a fruit dip!