Easy Spiced Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Author: Melissa
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes + cooling time
  • Yield: 12 slices 1x


This easy spiced carrot cake with cream cheese is very moist and perfectly balanced with the nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon. The sweet cream cheese frosting pairs well with the cake, giving it a smooth texture in looks and taste.

This cake is elegant on its own and needs no further decorations, but you can add pecans or other embellishments if desired. It’s a perfect dessert cake and can be used for any occasion!



Carrot Cake:

  • 2 cups (250 grams) all purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 11/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 11/2 cups (300 grams) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125 grams) unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (300 grams) grated carrots, lightly packed

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 11/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract



Carrot Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prep two 9″ round cake pans by spraying the pan with non-stick cooking spray, lining it with parchment paper, and spraying again. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the oil, eggs, brown sugar, granulated sugar, applesauce and vanilla extract. Once the wet ingredients are thouroughly mixed, the wet ingredients can be combined with the dry ingredients using a whisk or spatula, making sure to combine well but over-mix.
  4. Grate the carrots with the large-hole side of a box grater. Add the carrots to the batter well, but again, make sure to not overmix.
  5. Divide cake batter between the two prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  1. Prepare the cream cheese frosting by beating the cream cheese with the mixer until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add the butter and continue to beat for about a minute to ensure that the cream cheese and butter are thoroughly combined and smooth.
  3. Add the confectioner’s sugar and vanilla extract.
  4. Use the mixer to thoroughly mix the ingredients together, making sure the mixture is smooth and that there are no clumps of cream cheese. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and incorporate it into the mixture as needed.

Assemble the Cake:

  1. Using a serrated bread knife level off the top of the cake so that you have a flat surface on the cake tops.
  2. Place the first layer of cake on a cake stand. Using a spatula, spoon or knife spread a thick, even layer on top of the first layer. Then, place the second tier centered on top of the first tier.
  3. Spread a thick layer of frosting onto the top and sides of the cakes. Use the flat side of a knife or offset spatula to run along the side and top of the cake to make it smooth. Add additional frosting as needed to any thin spots or gaps in the frosting and continue to work on smoothing out the cake. I added texture to the top of the cake by swirling the frosting around a bit. This technique can easily look messy so keep working on it until it looks right.

  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Easy Carrot Cake