Signature Homemade Carrot Cake

Total Time:
2 hr 40 min
30 min
1 hr 30 min
40 min

10 to 12 servings

  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 2/3 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 2/3 cups carrots, grated
  • 1 1/3 cups walnuts
  • 1 1/3 cups pineapple, crushed and drained
  • 2/3 cup coconut flakes, sweetened
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/3 tablespoons baking soda
  • 1 1/3 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 2/3 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons or 1/4 stick butter, unsalted, softened
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 1 cup coconut flakes, toasted

Grease 2 (10-inch) cake pans and set aside. Mix together in a large bowl the oil, sugar, eggs, carrots, nuts, pineapple, coconut and raisins. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add the carrot mixture and blend. Pour the batter into the cake pans and bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until done. Remove from oven and cool for 30 minutes. Release the cakes from the pans and cool completely before cutting and frosting. Cut cakes in 3 equal layers (a total of 6 layers). Assemble the carrot cake one layer at a time. Finish the carrot cake with a layer of cream cheese frosting on top. Do not frost the side of the cake. This gives the cake that special homemade country-style look. Garnish with toasted walnuts and coconuts.

For the frosting: Beat together the cream cheese, butter, and vegetable shortening for 15 minutes. Mixture must be very smooth and light. Add the confectioners' sugar and the vanilla and mix until smooth (about 3 minutes).

Professional Recipe: This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and makes a large quantity. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe in the proportions indicated and therefore cannot make any representation as to the results.

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    I had been looking for a great carrot cake recipe and I think I have found it. Modifications: whole wheat pastry flour for flour and substituted one cup of applesauce for one cup of oil. Oil substitution seemed to be a good decision because it was almost too oily even with only one cup of oil. A full three cups of carrots were still barely noticeable. I used an 11 x 15 pan at 350 for 40 min. It fit perfectly and cooked all the way through, but I would probably use two smaller pans in the future to better control the cooking. I did not make frosting, but cake was already really sweet and rich without it.
    Absolutely great cake...however I'd recommend listening to the two cake pan instructions as I set my oven on fire. Definitely don't over estimate the rising of this cake. 13x9 is a no go. :
    This recipe rocks! I would like to be able to make a smaller cake and have it turn out the same. I took cake to everyone at work (about 30 people and had cake left over! Everyone wanted the recipe and raved about the texture, flavor and how great it was. Thanks this is a keeper.
    Tried this cake today for the first time. LOVED IT!!!!! Made it with 3 layers and I only have 2-3 slices left. Lol..... They want another one for game day Sunday.
    Best Recipe ever. This is a winner. Try it. You're like it. Everyone always wants me to make this carrot cake. Making one now!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    This recipe was delicious! I am not a baker or a great cook but I was able to master this recipe after the first time. I made it for Thanksgiving and everyone devoured it!
    I can only use 5 stars? I've have made this cake numerous times since I first found it (years). It has always turned out well, and people beg me to make it for them. It sold at my company's bake sale/auction for $56!!
     Today I am going to make it in a 13" x 9" pan for the first time. I usually partially freeze the layers before splitting them. I think that it would be too much frosting-to-cake ration, so I split into two, not three layers. Double the frosting recipe to cover the whole cake as others suggest. This cake is definitely worth the effort!!
    Excellent! It was a crowd pleaser. I did line the pans with parchment as I didn't want any sticking. I used three 8" pans since I didn't have 10" and that worked well. I agree with other comments that I like more icing. I did a double recipe. This recipe is going to be one I'll make often.
    Everybody loves this cake. I get request every year for it.I use everything minus coconut. I know some southerners think this is not a real carrot cake but I am a southerner and carrot cakes do vary depending on the family. As far as the oil this recipe does have a lot of oil but it has not been a probably unless you do not mix well. The oil keeps the cake moist so if you don't want to use all the oil do half oil half applesauce. You will need to double the recipe if you like to cover the whole cake. The recipe is for just doing the inside of the cake.
    This is a wonderful cake and one of our family favorites. I have made it many times and it is always requested for special events. I have made it for wedding luncheons, family reunions, and birthday parties with great success and have given the recipe out many times. Over time I have made some changes-added some nutmeg and alspice and reduced the oil to 1 1/2 cup, but it is essentially the same and has stood the test of time. If you like carrot cake, you ought to try this one!
    This cake was popular even among relatives who don't care for cream cheese much. I also doubled the frosting recipe, omitting the shortening. I used Baker's Joy spray to coat 3-8 inch pans and had some batter left over for 4 mini bundt pans. My round cake pans aren't really dark, but I lowered the temp. to 325 because they were getting too dark too fast and this worked well. I am trying it again today with lighter version--substituting half the oil with drained applesauce and substituting some egg whites for some of the eggs. I never use full fat cream cheese, but Neufchatel which tastes no different to me.
    Not impressed by this recipe at all. Kind of bland. Not very interesting despite all of the different ingredients. Also of note is the recipe for the cream cheese icing. Not nearly enough. A six layer cake (as instructed by the recipe) would never be possible with the quantity made.
    I substituted 2 cups of oil for one cup of unsalted semi-melted butter plus 1 cup of natural chunky applessauce. I substituted 1 2/3 cup of the sugar for splenda. I doubled this frosting recipe. Icing:
     1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
     1/2 pound cream cheese, room temperature
     2 cups icing sugar
     1 tablespoon lemon juice
     1t vanilla
    This recipe conversion cannot be right! I followed to the letter and the cake was flat in the center and burned on the outside. Very oily as well! Does it really need 2 cups of oil??
    This was a great tasting cake, nice and moist. Watch the edges, they were a little dry. Makes enough cake for about 20 people!
    My family says that this is the best cake that I have ever made!!! My husband says that it has replaced his all time favorite of yellow cake with chocolate icing, and I can make it for his birthday, too!!The recipe was easy to follow, simple to prepare, and only slightly difficult to handle after cutting layers. It's very moist and flavorful!!! Loved it.
    This carrot cake recipe is incredible! I also added 1/2 teaspoon of finely nutmeg. My family loves this recipe, specially at the Holidays.
    This cake turned out very moist and not too sweet, with just the right blend of textures from the raisins and walnuts to the creamy frosting.
    I love this cake. I make it for parties all the time and it's a big hit. The frosting though is not enough for the amount of cake this recipe makes, I usually double the recipe since cream cheese frosting is such a hit.
    I've made this recipe 3 times. The first time the recipe made a 13x9 and an 8x8 cake. The second time I made 7 small "loaves" the third time I made the 10" cake pans.
     The majority said it was the best carrot cake they ever had.
     I do alter the recipe a bit. I add a cup of raisins and coconut, three cups of carrots and about two cups of walnuts. The cream cheese frosting I use 3 bars of Philadelphia cream cheese, 1-2 tablespoons butter, vanilla and 3-4 cups powdered sugar. It turns out perfect.
    I have made this recipe to take to gatherings on numerous occasions. It always gets rave reviews as the BEST carrot cake the guests have ever tasted...and there are never any "left overs." I have also made it in a 9x13 baking dish which is a little bit more challenging to calculate the right baking time. It is awesome!
    I have been looking for a "loaded" carrot cake recipe for a long time, and this is everything I wanted it to be. It's so moist and I love the coconut, pineapple, rasins and nuts. The frosting didn't work out as well, so I use a different recipe, that's the only reason for less than 5 stars. But the cake is out of this world, and a frequent request from friends and co-workers.
    This was the most delicious and moist carrot cake I've had! My guests demanded an encore...
    this recipe makes a generous carrot cake and the icing is not too sweet.
    I am from the south and there are four generations of my family still living. My great grandmother has a recipe that was passed down to her from her grandmother and no where in the recipe does a carrot cake has any thing other than carrots, cinnamon, and pecans in it. Now there is a cake that we make here in the south that has pineapples, bananas and raisins(optional) and it is called a humming bird cake but there is no one in the south that I have met that puts anything other than carrots, cinnamon, and pecans in their carrot cake.
    very good~~~everyone loved it
    I made this cake a few days ago after reading the reviews and it is REALLY good. I follwed another reviewers suggestion and substituted half the oil with applesauce and I also made it in 3 9-inch pans intead of 2 10-inch, it's easy to make 6 layers that way. Also, since some people complained about the frosting I used the frosting recipe from Gigi's carrot cake recipe by Emiril and used walnuts instead of pecans. It was so good I will definetly be making this again!
    This is the only carrot cake recipe i will ever use! I would double the cream cheese frosting though
    I made this for a graduation party and everyone loved it! it was sooooo delicous. i only cut each cake into two layers because it was easier. i doubled the frosting recipe and frosted the whole cake. then itosted some coconut and put it on the sides of the cake. then i got some marzipan colored it and made little carrots to stick on the top. it looked perfect, like it was from a bakery and it tasted like it too!!!!
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