The Best Carrot Cake Ever!

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4.77 from 52 votes
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Homemade Carrot Cake Recipe - this is the BEST carrot cake I have ever tried

Looking for the best homemade Carrot Cake Recipe?  Look no further!  This is one of the BEST carrot cake recipes I have ever tried.

Ultimate Carrot Cake It's a Keeper

The Best Carrot Cake Ever: this is one of the BEST carrot cake recipes I have ever tried

I consider myself a carrot cake connoisseur.  How’s that for alliteration?!  It is, after all, my favorite classic dessert recipe.  If it’s on the dessert menu, there is no question.  It’s what I’m ordering.

Over the years, I’ve sampled many-a-carrot-cake.  I’ve had good carrot cake.  I’ve had bad carrot cake.  I’ve had dry carrot cake and I’ve had bland carrot cake.

But this recipe…this recipe is the best carrot cake you will ever have.  Some (like me) might even go so far as to call it extraordinary.

The Best Carrot Cake Ever! This is one of the BEST carrot cake recipes I have ever tried

It is three layers of delectable cake, chocked full of carrots, and soaked in a warm buttermilk glaze.  If that’s not enough to send you over the edge, the entire cake is enveloped in a layer of luscious cream cheese frosting.  Oooh, that just gave me chills!  It is rich and decadent and indulgent and moist and…now I need to stop drooling.

The Best Carrot Cake Ever! This is one of the BEST carrot cake recipes I have ever tried

A word of caution though.  This recipe is not for the calorie conscious.  All of this divine goodness comes with a price.  My advice to you is don’t think about it.  Take a forkful and close your eyes and be transported right to your happy place. Your happy place with carrot cake.  Does it get any better than that?

Go now.  Make this cake.  You can thank me later.  And, make sure you check my Carrot Cake Poke Cake recipe, too!  It’s so easy and so good!

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Homemade Carrot Cake Recipe - this is the BEST carrot cake I have ever tried

The Best Carrot Cake Ever!

4.8 from 52 votes
Print Pin Rate
Servings: 12 slices
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour



  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups grated carrot
  • 1 8 ounce can crushed pineapple drained
  • 1 3.5 ounce can flaked coconut
  • 1 cup pecans or walnuts chopped

Buttermilk Glaze

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1 8 oz package cream cheese softened
  • 1 16 oz package powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Line 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with wax paper; lightly grease and flour wax paper. Set pans aside.
  • Stir together first 4 ingredients.
  • Beat eggs and next 4 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.
  • Add flour mixture, beating at low speed until blended.
  • Fold in carrot and next 3 ingredients.
  • Pour batter into prepared cake pans.
  • Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • During the last 5 minutes of baking, begin making glaze.
  • 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.
  • Drizzle Buttermilk Glaze evenly over layers; cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes.
  • Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.
  • To make the frosting, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.
  • Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended; stir in vanilla.
  • Spread frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake.
  • This cake is best if you refrigerate it for at least 4-6 hours before serving. 

The nutritional information provided are estimates. To learn more about how I calculate this information go to

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Homemade Carrot Cake Recipe - this is one of the BEST carrot cake recipes I have ever tried

85 thoughts on “The Best Carrot Cake Ever!”

  1. Hi quick question on the glaze. Are you supposed to bring the glaze to a boil and then boil it for four minutes? If not can you please be a little more specific with the glaze directions. Also, should the glaze be a chocolate brown color? Thank you so much!

    • The directions in the recipe are correct. The glaze should NOT be a chocolate brown color. It may darken slightly from the sugar caramelizing but not become too dark like chocolate.

  2. I’ve been making this exact recipe for 40 years. I found it in a garnishing book and it was called Blue Ribbon Carrot Cake. This is one of my signature cakes, for wedding cakes, and even for a St. Barbara’s Day Ball at Fort Drum Army Base for 600 people.

    The only thing I do differently is using a 16 oz. can of crushed pineapple. People rave about this cake.

    I often bake it as a quarter sheet cake, 9″ X 13″, and even as cupcakes. When I leave the cake in a quarter sheet pan, I often add crushed pineapple, well drained, and cinnamon, to the Cream Cheese Frosting.

    When it’s a wedding cake tier I make my Mock Whip Frosting in either an Orange Rum or Pina Colada flavor. The Cream Cheese Frosting would be too hard to decorate with as a wedding cake tier.

    • It truly is an incredible cake! Thank you for sharing your tips on changing it up! I’ll have to give them a try! 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    This carrot cake is a hit at all my family functions. I made it once, now every time we get together they want me to bring it. I have only ever used the 9 inch pans, how much servings would i need to change the recipe to to accommodate 2 12 inch pans?

  4. My husband made this and thought it was an “either or” between the glaze and the frosting so he left out the glaze on his version. It was great even without the glaze, moist and delicious! I’m thinking that glaze would make it ultra moist and probably result in it falling apart from the extra weight. For those who want to save some calories too, skipping the glaze still results in a terrific carrot cake!

  5. I wanted to love this cake BUT it fell apart too easily ???????????? followed recipe to a “T”, but it’s very crumbly (if that’s a word lol)…any suggestions that will not have it fall apart next time?

    • I’m sorry you had difficulty with it. I’ve never had the cake crumble on me. I would definitely make sure you refrigerate it for at least 4 hours before serving. This will allow it enough time to firm up before serving it.

  6. 5 stars
    I did not think it was safe to use wax paper in the oven so I looked it up. ” DO NOT USE wax paper as parchment paper. The coating will melt and … Wax paper is not oven safe and will smoke and burn in your oven. ” I always use parchment paper. Thanks for the recipe!

  7. Hello – Thanks SO much for sharing….like you I also trawl the net for recipes and have amassed a little collection… not all desserts, main courses and starters as well. It’s reached a point where I can now read a recipe and have an idea how good (or not) it will be… this is no hard and fast rule and I have made absolute disasters as well!!
    Your recipe looks divine and I will make it today however if I may be so impertinent to suggest that I will make a few changes. 1. Baking soda tends to leave the dish tasting bleachy in my opinion so I usually overcompensate with baking powder and find that it generally works. 2. I would use dessicated coconut as otherwise one tends to get slivers of the stuff whilst in chewing heaven.. OH and I love the addition of buttermilk to the recipe…

  8. Hi Christina!
    Looks amazing, I can’t wait to try this recipe!
    Two short questions: 1) Can I omit the flacked coconut? I never like coconut…..
    2) As for the buttermilk glaze, do I have to use store bought buttermilk, or can i use homemade buttermilk?

    Thank you so much!

    • Yes, you can omit the coconut – the cake will still be incredible. And, yes, you can make your own buttermilk. That should be just fine. Enjoy! 🙂

  9. I had the most fantastic carrot cake from a bakery at Easter dinner this year. This recipe sounds similar to the things I was tasting I can’t wait to try it. What do you think about crushed walnuts stuck to the outside sides of the cake?

    • That would be great! In fact I just remade this recipe so I could get an updated photo and I added chopped nuts to the outside.

  10. i would like to make this as mini bundt cakes (one or two bite size) for coworkers for easy transport and serving, wonder if such a moist cake would stand up, any suggestions on baking time or eliminating any ingrediants.

    • The smaller size should make it easier to transport. I recently made this cake over the Easter holiday and I made the cake the morning before I needed it and frosted it the night before. Then I let it set up in the fridge for about 20 hours. I wrapped it tightly in plastic wrap and held it on my lap while we traveled and it held up great. I think the extra time in the fridge really helped.

    • I’m so glad you liked it! My family LOVES it too. I imagine that it would be difficult to travel with it. It’s so heavy.

  11. At the end of a few ingredients there’s another number, such as 8 and 3 1/2. What do those number mean? Are they cup measurements?

    • My apologies, I just changed the format I use for my recipes and everything didn’t transfer correctly. Those were size (8 oz, etc..) I’ve updated the recipe so it should be good now.


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