20 Crave-Worthy Carrot Cake Recipes
There are a few key ingredients that make carrot cake so sweet and satisfying. First, let's talk about the number one essential component: shredded carrots. Their natural juiciness adds plenty of moisture to the batter, and their bright orange color is essential in giving carrot cake, cupcakes, and cookies their distinctive hue. The shreds blend seamlessly into the cake batter but also add a delicate texture to each bite. The other ingredients that put carrot cake in a delicious league of its own are a blend of spices. Cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg are the typical trifecta, but some of our recipes also feature ground cardamom, allspice, and cloves.
If you're looking for an all-around classic carrot cake recipe, our Carrot Cake with White-Chocolate Frosting should fit the bill. We love the organic look of the ruffled frosting, which is so much easier to create than it may seem. If you're hosting a birthday party, bridal shower, or Easter brunch, this is the dessert to serve.
We have plenty of riffs on classic carrot cake as well. Our thumbprint cookies are nutty and chewy, thanks to golden raisins, pecans, and rolled oats. Piped apricot jam and the signature cream cheese frosting are the icing on the, well, cookie. Or try the Carrot Cheesecake with Marzipan Carrots, pictured here. It's all the flavors of carrot cake but reinvented as a cheesecake. While the decorative carrots on top are made out of marzipan, the green tops are fresh carrot fronds.
Looking for something that's a bit more casual? Both of our carrot cupcake recipes—Hazelnut Carrot-Oat Cupcakes with Cream-Cheese Frosting and basic (but certainly not boring!) Carrot Cupcakes—are great options to make for a crowd.
Celebrate the arrival of spring with these fabulous variations on spiced carrot cake.
Citrus-Glazed Pumpkin-Carrot Cake
Not only do pumpkin and carrots share the same vivid orange hue, but their flavors are so complementary in this spiced cake. And it's moister than every thanks to buttermilk and pure pumpkin purée.
Carrot Cake with White-Chocolate Frosting
You'll be wowed by the ruffled appearance of this springtime cake and even more delighted by the flavor inside. The cake batter is classic—flavored with cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. However, it's the white chocolate and cream cheese frosting that makes it something truly special.
Carrot-Cake Thumbprint Cookies
A shortcut to carrot cake deliciousness: Instead of filling and frosting layers, bake one thin cake and cut it into small rounds. Then layer apricot jam, orange cream-cheese filling, and cake in glasses. You get to scoop up a bit of everything in each delectable bite.
Carrot-Ginger Layer Cake with Orange Cream-Cheese Frosting
This is one of Martha's hands-down favorite desserts. Fresh ginger, citrusy cream cheese frosting, and decorative candied carrot strips make this spectacular cake really stand out.
Hazelnut Carrot-Oat Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Oat flour and hazelnuts switch things up in these delicious carrot cupcakes.
Carrot Tea Cake
A ring mold transforms this simple frosting-free carrot cake into something a bit more festive. It can be made up to three days in advance.
We love the blend of spices (cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg) in these knockout cupcakes, as well as their moist, tender crumb. Orange zest gives the cream cheese frosting extra oomph.
Spiced Carrot Cake
Low-fat plain yogurt steps in for oil here, producing a light yet satisfying riff on classic carrot cake.
Bunny Carrot Cupcakes
Bunny Carrot Cake
Of course a bunny cake has to be carrot-flavored. Cream cheese frosting and mini marshmallows form the rabbit's fur, and it has got chocolate-covered espresso beans for eyes, a jelly-bean nose, licorice whiskers, and a cotton-candy tail and ears.
Reminiscent of whoopie pies, these light and chewy carrot cookies are sandwiched together with a slathering of cream cheese frosting.
Carrot Sheet Cake
Gluten-Free Carrot Cake
Lollipop Garden Cake
Cream cheese frosting is tinted two different shades of green for this springy dessert. The dark green is used to ice the carrot cake, and the light green is piped into decorative leaves. Colorful lollipops add an extra festive touch.
Spring Garden Cake
Definitely a weekend project kind of dessert! This unforgettable number is bound to be the centerpiece of any party. Rounds of carrot-orange cake and zucchini cake serve as the base and are topped with cream cheese frosting, chocolate cookie crumb "dirt," marzipan fruits and vegetables, and a picket fence made out of pastillage (a thick sugar paste).