Serves a Crowd

Caroline's Carrot Cake

April 25, 2019
10 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Prep time 2 hours
  • Cook time 33 minutes
  • Makes one 4-layer cake
Author Notes

This easy, no-nut carrot cake comes right out of my mother Caroline’s (of Caroline's Cakes) grandmother’s kitchen. Four moist layers of carrot cake are filled and iced with the creamiest of cream cheese icings. A taste to behold! —Caroline's Cakes

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: The 4-Layer Carrot Cake That's Remained the Same for Generations. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Carrot cake
  • 170 grams brown sugar
  • 170 grams granulated sugar
  • 255 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 ounces whole liquid eggs (about 3 large eggs, beaten)
  • 9 ounces canola oil
  • 57 grams golden raisins
  • 1 1/4 pounds shredded fresh carrots
  • Cream cheese icing
  • 18 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 170 grams confectioner's sugar
  1. Carrot cake
  2. Combine brown sugar and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and, with the paddle attachment, stir together.
  3. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt and mix to incorporate. Slowly add the whole liquid eggs, then the canola oil.
  4. Add the golden raisins, making sure there are no clumps.
  5. With the mixer running, add the grated carrots, stopping the mixer periodically to scrape the bowl.
  6. Once the ingredients are mixed thoroughly, evenly distribute the batter into two 8-inch round pans and bake in a convection oven at 300°F for 33 to 36 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  1. Cream cheese icing
  2. In a clean mixer bowl with the paddle attachment, start the mixer on speed 2 and begin adding cream cheese in small chunks until all of it is added and creamed.
  3. Increase the mixer to speed 4 and begin adding butter in chunks and mix to incorporate.
  4. Add the vanilla and mix for 30 seconds.
  5. Slowly add the sugar and mix to incorporate.
  6. Mix all ingredients until icing is smooth and there are no lumps, stopping the mixer periodically to scrape the sides.
  7. To assemble the cake, split each layer in half to create four thin layers. Place one layer on a cake stand, cover the top with cream cheese icing, then place another layer over it and repeat until all four layers are stacked with icing in between them. Finally, ice the entire outside of the cake, slice, and serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Caroline's Cakes
    Caroline's Cakes
  • jpriddy
  • Eric Kim
    Eric Kim
  • Renee

11 Reviews

Renee June 17, 2023
I have made this cake five times previously, and always to rave reviews. However, I cut down the sugar by 1/3 in the cake and significantly in the frosting. I also add a bit of orange zest to both the cake and the frosting. Yes, there is a lot of oil in the cake for moisture, but mine have not tasted greasy. However, I have never been able to get the cake to rise enough to split the cake into 4 layers. Not complaining about 2 layers, though!
Bernice April 5, 2021
Unfortunately, we made this for Easter yesterday and it turned out greasy and way too much carrot. We followed the measurements and converted everything yet... no one ended up wanting to finish their slice.
JGO1111 June 27, 2019
No convection oven at home, kindly advise on conventional oven baking info, thank you!
Caroline's C. June 27, 2019
Lower the temperature by about 50 degrees if your oven does not have a convection setting. Enjoy!
JGO1111 June 27, 2019
MANY thanks, can’t wait to bake this gem of a recipe!
Dina June 28, 2019
Hi there. Do you mean INCREASE the temperature? And doesn’t food take longer to cook in a conventional oven vs convection??? Your cake looks delicious, just want to make sure I have the cooking details correct for a regular, conventional oven. Thx!
Caroline's C. June 28, 2019
Whoops! Yes! Sorry for the confusion!
Beth K. June 30, 2019
I read that to convert from a convection oven temperature to a conventional oven, I should increase the temp by 25 degrees, not 50 degrees. Just want to confirm before I make this cake. The recipe sounds delicious!
jpriddy February 24, 2021
Readers, keep following this thread. You will NOT have success trying to bake this cake at 250°F for 33-36 minutes.
mbergner June 25, 2019
Please clarify the amount of butter in the icing.. Thanks - sounds wonderful.
Eric K. June 25, 2019
Sticks! Updated; thanks for flagging.