Carrot cake with Cream Cheese Icing

by Denise Dyer



  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cup butter (3 sticks) room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 lb peeled and shredded carrots (8 to 10 medium carrots/ about 2 3/4 cups)
  • 2 cups pecans (1 cup finely chopped for batter, 1 cup coarsely chopped for decorating sides of cake)

Easy Cream Cheese Frosting for Carrot Cake  (recipe below)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter three, 9-inch round cake pans then dust with flour, tapping out excess. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and nutmeg.

On medium speed, beat butter and sugars on medium speed until fluffy. Add one egg at a time, blending each egg into creamed mixture before adding next egg. Beat 3 minutes. Add vanilla, buttermilk, and carrots and mix about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low, slowly add flour mixture, then finely chopped pecans. (you can leave nuts out if you choose and use to use on side of cake after the cake has been iced.)

Evenly divide batter between all three pans and level batter in pans before placing in oven. Rotate pans halfway through, until golden brown  about 30 minutes but check @25 minutes. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Round knife around pan to release the edges. Turn out of pan and place right side up, and let cool completely.

Use serrated knife to trim rounded top of 2 cakes. Place one trimmed cake, cut side up, on a serving platter. Spread 1 cup frosting over cake. Top with second trimmed cake, cut side down. Spread 1 cup frosting over cake. Top with remaining cake. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides. Gently press coarsely chopped pecans onto sides of cake. Refrigerate 1 hour before serving.

Easy Cream Cheese Frosting 


  • 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 sticks butter, cut into small pieces let stand till room temp
  • 2 lbs confectioners’ sugar, sifted


Beat cream cheese and vanilla on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add butter, until smooth.

On low speed gradually add confectioners’ sugar, and beat until fluffy and smooth.


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