Best. Carrot. Cake. Ever.

In honor of Easter this weekend, I made the yummiest carrot cake that I know of. Carrot cake is Easter-y, right? It’s made with carrots. Bunnies like carrots. The Easter bunny is…well…a bunny. He must love carrot cake. It all makes sense to me.

For the holiday – I’m out of town visiting family again. And you know the pressure that I have of making the world’s yummiest desserts during my visit and my family doesn’t hold back any punches. If it sucks…they pretty much say it sucks plus more. Good thing this carrot cake from scratch was a huge hit. Did you catch that? Carrot cake from SCRATCH!  That’s right, this cake-box-loving gal made another cake from scratch. My last Strawberry Cake (from scratch!) was such a hit with the family, I knew that only a cake from scratch would keep my reputation.

Good thing this carrot cake was a homerun!  It is phenomenal! You can’t go wrong with this one. It is seriously deeee-licious plus has all the goodies that a true carrot cake should have – carrots, pineapple, walnuts and coconut.

Best. Carrot. Cake. Ever.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated carrot
  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 (3 1/2-ounce) can flaked coconut
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts


1.  Line 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with wax paper; lightly grease and flour wax paper. Set pans aside.

2. Stir together flour, soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.

4. Beat eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk and vanilla at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add flour mixture, beating at low speed until blended. Fold in carrot, coconut, pinapple and walnuts.

5. Pour batter into prepared cake pans.

6. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Drizzle Buttermilk Glaze (recipe below) evenly over layers (I only used about 2/3 of the prepared glaze which I thought was perfect!); cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

7. Once the cake is cooled, slice each layer in half to give you a total of 4 layers.  More layers = more frosting = me happy! Note: I put the 2 cake layers in the freezer for 45 minutes to make slicing them in half easier.

8. Make the cream cheese frosting according the recipe below. You can use a canned frosting but it won’t hold a candle to this delicious homemade icing!

9. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. I’m a BIG frosting person so I made 1 1/2 batches of the cream cheese frosting to make sure the cake was completely covered. I also sprinkled chopped walnuts in between each frosted layer to take it over the top.

10. Slice and enjoy!

Buttermilk Glaze

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Glaze Preparation

  1. 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.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Frosting Preparation

  1. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth.

Recipe adapted from Southern Living October 1997

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45 Comments on "Best. Carrot. Cake. Ever."

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Catherine Rodgers-Edmonds
Catherine Rodgers-Edmonds

This cake came out AMAZEBALLS!!!! Only thing I changed was the amount of baking soda in the glaze. Only used 1/3 teaspoon instead of the 1 1/2 stated. I used coffee filters instead of parchment paper and it worked well.

Cake lady

I have made this cake several times just the way it is written. Everyone that had this cake said it was the best cake they have ever eaten. It may take a while to make, but it is worth it.


No baking powder in the batter? I used baking soda as directed and, of course , the cakes came out like pancakes. II was very disappointed because I’m sure it would have been a wonderful cake. I should have known better but wanted to follow the recipe. Please check your recipes before printing.. it would save people time and money

Valerie Linfoot

I made it without baking power and it was light and amazing!!! You have to use butter milk for the chemical reaction that makes it rise so nicely…you must have done something wrong…because it is truly yummylicious!


Way too much cinnamon! I was apprehensive when the recipe called for 2 teaspoons. I have never added that much cinnamon to a recipe. But I,added it anyway. When tasting the cake, all I could taste was the cinnamon…couldn’t taste the coconut, pineapple or carrots. Plus, the cinnamon gave the cake an unattractive brown color. I would make the cake again, but would cut way back on the cinnamon.


Did you mean wax paper or parchment paper?

Silver Patriot
Well, I loved the cake and had no difficulty whatsoever with it setting up. No way should this recipe take 6 hours to make–good grief did you take a nap? My husband said this was possibly the best cake I have ever made ( well, maybe it was just the most recent, who knows). So I made it again for his birthday and had friends over–they, too, loved the cake and took some home for later consumption. I’d say it was a hit! Not sure if you REALLY need the glaze but it’s a pretty cool addition. In my oven,… Read more »
Harvey Hauschildt

OK, I’m going to try this but I will be making it on my boat. The wife doesn’t ever want to make carrot cake and I love it so, like many other recipes I don’t get at home, I will put it into ships stores and bake this on the boat.. Hopefully it will go into my “Ships Cook Book” with other delightful recipes I have discovered. I’ll let you know how it comes out. It looks pretty easy but anything on a boat becomes much more complicated. Thanks so much for sharing.


This had to be one of the best cakes I have ever made. It felt a little dense coming out of the pans but once I cut the layers and iced it, it was amazing! I also added raisins. It was gone before I knew it.


I made this last night without the buttermilk glaze only because I started late .. and it was delicious! I only did 2 layers because I suck at frosting cakes and figured I’d have less chance of messing up lol. I also added some golden raisins. Next time will try with glaze just to see what I could have possibly been missing out on. So good!!!


I love it. It is the best carrot cake ever!
Thanks for sharing.

carolyn orr

Second time i made this wonderful


Would you make any changes to the temperature and baking times if you use a 13 x 9 pan?

carolyn orr

I baked the carrort cake today, just ate a slice very, very good i might say. The only ingredient that i took out of the recipe was the baking soda that was call for in the GLAZE, i thought it would make the glaze salty other than that i follow the recipe. Would i make it again? HEX YES!


Can I use shredded coconut instead of canned? I couldn’t find canned coconut anywhere so I just gave up. If yes, then how much should I use? Thank you!

Susan Humphrey

I have made this cake several times. Instead of cutting the layers I just made three layers and it was awesome, people have offered to pay me to make it. I have made it as a sheet cake and as cupcakes no matter how you make it, it is the best. I do add raisins also but it would be good without. Everytime there is a mention of cake at work I am asked to please bring the carrot cake.