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 Best Carrot Cake Recipe

Hand-grinding carrots are a wonderful source of both blessing and pain that gives this recipe a definitive carrot flavor and fragile surface we love in our cake. Not to be outperformed, the delicious cream cheddar frosting has genuine vanilla beans to take this cake to a higher level. This is the best carrot cake we have made.


(for 12 servings)


  • nonstick cooking spray, for greasing
  • 2 lb large carrot, peeled
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon McCormick® vanilla extract
  • 1 cup vegetable oil


  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 16 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 3 cups powdered sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line the bottoms of 3 9-inch round cake pan with parchment paper and grease with nonstick spray.
  • Make the cake: Grate the carrots on the large holes of a box grater. You should have about 6 cups.
  • In a large bowl, combine the grated carrots and buttermilk and stir until the carrots are completely coated.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together the all-purpose and whole wheat flours, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt, baking soda, cloves, allspice and nutmeg.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer), combine the brown and granulated sugars, eggs, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until the mixture drips from the whisk in ribbons, about 3 minutes.
  • With the mixer running on medium speed, slowly drizzle in the vegetable oil, scraping down the sides of the bowl halfway through, if necessary. Continue mixing until the mixture is fully emulsified, about 2 minutes.
  • Add ⅓ of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Add ½ of the carrot mixture and continue mixing on low speed until incorporated. Continue alternating adding the flour and carrot mixture. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a flat rubber spatula to bring the batter together.
  • Evenly divide the batter between the prepared cake pans.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let the cakes cool for about 10 minutes, then remove them from the pans and let cool completely.
  • Make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer), cream together the butter, cream cheese, vanilla extract, salt, and vanilla bean seeds until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the powdered sugar and continue mixing until silky and smooth, about 4 minutes.
  • Assemble the cake: Dab a bit of frosting on a cake board and place a cake layer on top. Scoop 1 cup of frosting onto the cake. Repeat with the remaining 2 layers. Use the remaining frosting to coat the top of the cake completely, leaving the sides naked.
  • Slice and serve.

Tasty Team


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