Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

We’re not big dessert eaters at our house. Maybe some ice cream or good chocolate. A lot of muffins get made and devoured. But if there’s cake in the oven, there’s a good chance a celebration will be following. My youngest asked for carrot cake for her birthday last fall. When my February birthday winked into view and a party was planned, carrot cake again stole the show. So, here’s the recipe, tried and true, for a moist, not-too-sweet winner of cake for whatever occasion you’re fete-ing.

Recipe inspired by King Arthur Flour.

Makes 16 servings


  • 1 cup vegetable oil (like sunflower or avocado)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 2 tsp. aluminum free baking soda
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups finely grated carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts or unsweetened coconut flakes or raisins or a combination of your favorite add-ins
  • 1 batch cream cheese frosting


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease two 9-inch round cake pans or one 9×13 cake pan.
  2. Beat together oil, applesauce, sugar, salt, eggs, spices and baking soda in stand mixer.
  3. Add flour, mixing well.
  4. Add carrots and whatever add-ins you’re choosing. Mix until just blended. Don’t over mix. Pour into prepared pans.
  5. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Cool cake in the pan for 15 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack. Completely cool before frosting.
  6. Place cake on serving plate or platter. Frost tops and sides. Add any desired decoration.
  7. Refrigerate the cake. An hour or so before serving, remove and bring to room temperature. Freeze for storage of more than a few days.