Becky Luigart-Stayner
16 servings (serving size: 1 piece)

Moist, rich, and lightly spiced, this carrot cake received our Test Kitchens' highest rating. We call for a metal baking pan for the cake; if you use a glass baking dish, which conducts heat better than metal, decrease the baking temperature to 325°, and begin checking for doneness after 25 minutes. For the best frosting consistency, use softened butter and cold cream cheese, and add the powdered sugar in batches.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 2

To prepare cake, coat a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray; line bottom of pan with wax paper. Coat wax paper with cooking spray; set aside.

Step 3

Place 9 tablespoons butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 5 minutes or until well blended. Add eggs and egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition until pale and fluffy. Beat in 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.

Step 4

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix after each addition. Stir in carrot. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Sharply tap pan once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Carefully peel off wax paper; cool completely on wire rack.

Step 5

To prepare frosting, place the cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, 2 teaspoons of vanilla, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Gradually add 2 cups powdered sugar, beating at low speed until smooth (do not overbeat). Stir in the remaining 3/4 cup powdered sugar. Cover and chill 30 minutes. Spread frosting over top of cake. Garnish with sprinkles. Store cake loosely covered in refrigerator.

Ratings & Reviews

bmoxie1212's Review

April 26, 2014
The cake wasn't too sweet- perfect. I sprinkled the top of the frosting with sweetened shredded coconut (which helped disguise my less than perfect frosting job...). I also made it as a layer cake.

virevixa's Review

February 05, 2010
I make this recipe a lot. It's my "go to" carrot cake recipe and I follow it to the letter except for the frosting, which is plenty sweet with far less powdered sugar. Everyone in my family loves this cake, and I'm constantly having to print off copies of the recipe for people. Yum!

JoWall's Review

March 28, 2014

Emz101's Review

July 01, 2013
This was delish, I found no difference between the full fat and this version. I did change things a little. I used 5 tbs. of butter in the batter and 4 tbs. of applesauce just to cut down on the butter a little. As well I used 1 c. all purpose and 1 c. whole wheat flour. It ended up perfect. The only thing I would change would be the pan, I would much prefer to use 2 round cake pans and make a layer cake as opposed to the sheet pan. I also found it took about 10 min more to fully cook.

WinningCookies's Review

January 17, 2012
Excellent cake! Reliable recipe. In place of while flour, I used 1.5 cups whole wheat flour + 1/2 cup soy flour + 1/2 cup wheat bran. You can cut back on the butter by a few tablespoons. Instead of frosting between the layers (I made a triple layer cake out of this recipe) I used and all-fruit/no sugar jam.

flowerpot916's Review

January 07, 2011
So delicious! I followed the recipe as written, except I cut the cake in half after baking and layered it. I also doubled the frosting and added walnuts in the center. A sure keeper!

Jocilyn's Review

August 27, 2009
Pretty good, but way too much sugar and butter!

hotintexas's Review

June 26, 2009
Wow! I have made this carrot cake MANY times over the last 4 yrs. Always get rave reviews on it. People who don't care for carrot cake absolutely love it. I make almost exactly as it calls for except I add raisins to the batter and a little extra cinnamon. I add walnuts on top of the frosting. I usually leave a little of the powdered sugar out as well. Simply delicious!!!!

heysarah's Review

June 22, 2009
Good, but not the sweet, chewy, moist yumminess that you get with the traditional, sugar-laden, pecan or walnut and raisin-filled version. This could be any old spice cake. I want a cavity after eating carrot cake.

codybrooke's Review

May 03, 2009