Photo: John Autry; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross
Total Time
1 Hour 53 Mins
20 servings (serving size: 1 piece)

Warm spices and brown sugar add rich, caramelized flavors to this carrot cake. If you can't find fromage blanc, use more cream cheese.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 2

To prepare cake, weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ground cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add 2 cups grated carrot, tossing to combine.

Step 3

Place granulated sugar, brown sugar, and 6 tablespoons butter in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until combined. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Spread batter into a 13 x 9-inch metal baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 28 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake completely on a wire rack.

Step 4

To prepare frosting, place softened cream cheese and next 4 ingredients (through 1/8 teaspoon salt) in a medium bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at medium speed until combined (don't overbeat). Spread frosting evenly over top of cake. Sprinkle evenly with toasted pecans.

Ratings & Reviews

Guilfette's Review

April 25, 2011
Made this for Easter this year and waited to tell everyone that this was a reduced calories recipe - no one believed me. It was a huge hit! Moist, flavorful and had us all coming back for seconds! I used Greek yogurt as a substitute for the fromage blanc and the frosting was great!

Delicious and easy

June 01, 2017
Freshly grated carrots are a must. I used 7oz of Neufchâtel cheese in the frosting. Probably could get by with 1/2 to 2/3 of the frosting on the cake but why would you?!? My husband asked me to make this for him sans frosting as a breakfast bread.

suedenim33's Review

March 25, 2011
Really good cake! I didn't use the special cheese-just 7 ounces of neufchatel (the 1/3 less fat Kraft cream cheese). It wasn't overpoweringly sweet and I only ended up using half the frosting. I did save it though, in case someone wants to add more to their piece.

rmiller2's Review

May 06, 2011
This carrot cake was amazing! It wasn't oily like many carrot cakes tend to be and was moist, light, and fluffy all at once! Wouldn't want it to be any sweeter, may even cut the sugar a little more than I did the next time. I didn't make the icing, but I'm sure it would be great on top of this cake, even though it doesn't even need it. I also added a dash of nutmeg and cloves like some other reviewers and I think this helped enhance the cake a bit. 28 minutes was perfect amount of baking time too. I would definitely make this again and highly recommend it over many other carrot cakes, which are usually tasteless and fattening.

CindyandSteve's Review

March 31, 2011
This was so good! Everyone loved it. I used fat free cream cheese and did not use the fromage blanc. Delicious!

KitchenTimer's Review

February 17, 2013

krys1613's Review

June 06, 2011
My boyfriend begs me to make this recipe all the time after I made it the first time. I followed the recipe exactly and it is especially good after cooling in the fridge. Highly recommend!

lizencarn's Review

March 27, 2011
Followed recipe exactly, resulted in luscious, rich dessert. I never thought I'd say this, but I might actually use less icing in the future. Found the fromage blanc at Whole Foods, and think it added to richness w/out adding fat.

S0thernbelle's Review

August 25, 2011
A very good little cake. I too enjoyed it more after it was refrigerator. The only reason it wasn't 5 stars was due to the icing recipe. I followed the recipe minus the fromage blanc because I had no idea what it was, and it was too much Powdered sugar. It turned the icing into a marshmallow fluff consistency. My husband and brother said it was delicious, however I will find another cream cheese icing recipe for next time. Otherwise the cake was very good.

ominomi1's Review

March 18, 2011
I made this cake tonight after seeing the recipe in the latest Cooking Light magazine. The only things I added were 1/8 tspn each of nutmeg and cloves. This cake was incredibly moist and had just the right amount of denseness. My husband said it was the best carrot cake ever and I've tried a lot of different carrot cake recipes. I will definitely be making this cake again!