ArrowDownFill 1arrow-small-lineFill 1Cooking Light - EasyCooking Light - FastCooking Light - So GoodCooking Light - How-ToCooking Light - Staff FaveCooking Light Badge - Wow!GroupClose IconEmailEmpty Star IconLike Cooking Light on FacebookFull Star IconShapePage 1 Copy 3Page 1 Copy 2Grid IconHalf Star IconFollow Cooking Light on InstagramList IconMenu IconPrintSearch IconSpeech BubbleFollow Cooking Light on SnapchatFollow Cooking Light on TwitterWatch Cooking Light on YouTubeplay-iconWatch Cooking Light on Youtube

Layered Carrot Cake

Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Amy Burke
Hands-On time 30 mins
Total time 2 hrs
Yield Makes 16 servings
The star of this classic carrot layer cake is the thick sweetened cream frosting that you spread between the cake layers and on the top and sides of the cake. The cake gets extra sweetness from the addition of crushed pineapple to the batter. You can also use this same batter to make Carrot Cake Muffins.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (8-oz.) can crushed pineapple in juice, drained
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 1/2 (8-oz.) package 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 to 2 tsp. fat-free milk (optional)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 273
  • fat 7.4 g
  • satfat 2.7 g
  • monofat 1.4 g
  • polyfat 2.5 g
  • protein 3.9 g
  • carbohydrate 48.6 g
  • fiber 1.3 g
  • cholesterol 35 mg
  • iron 1 mg
  • sodium 375 mg
  • calcium 23 mg

How to Make It

  1. Prepare Batter:

  2. Preheat oven to 350°. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Whisk together pineapple and next 4 ingredients; add pineapple mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in carrots. Pour batter into 2 (8-inch) round cake pans coated with cooking spray.

  3. Bake at 350° for 22 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pans to a wire rack; cool completely (about 1 hour).

  4. Prepare Frosting:

  5. Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar to butter mixture; beat at low speed just until blended. (Do not overbeat.) Beat in up to 2 tsp. milk for desired consistency. Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate; spread with 2/3 cup frosting, and top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake.

  6. Try This Twist!

  7. Carrot Cake Muffins: Omit Frosting. Place about 15 paper baking cups in muffin pans, and coat with cooking spray. Prepare batter, and fold in 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans and 1/2 cup golden raisins with carrots. Spoon batter into baking cups, filling about two-thirds full. Bake as directed. Cool in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes about 15 muffins.

  8. Per serving: Calories 204; Fat 3g (sat 1g, mono 6g, poly 4g); Protein 8g; Carb 9g; Fiber 9g; Chol 28mg; Iron 2mg; Sodium 356mg; Calc 23mg

Cook's Notes

For best results, grate your own carrots rather than using a package of shredded carrot because the fresh carrot will be more moist.