Carrot cake is the only cake I know that can boast a full pound of vegetables contained within the batter. The grated carrots make for a moist cake and a good dose of beta carotene in each bite (for cake, at least). And with cream cheese frosting, it’s one of the most decadent desserts you can put on the table. There are as many kinds of carrot cake recipes as there are carrot cake lovers—try one of these nine recipes and you’ll be sure to find the one that rings your bell.

1. Carrot Cake with Crushed Pineapple


This recipe has cooked carrots instead of grated raw carrots in addition to an entire cup of drained crushed pineapple, which deviates from the standard. With a full cup of shredded coconut, this cake is incredibly moist and tastes even better the second day. Try making it as a loaf without the frosting if you’re looking to cut calories or for an easy dessert to pack for a picnic. Get the recipe here.

2. Triple Layer Carrot Cake

Rachael Ray Magazine

A carrot cake with three layers is a real show-stopper. With raisins and chopped pecans, the texture of this cake is what makes it so addictive. And with two whole blocks of cream cheese in the frosting, it’s rich enough that you only need a sliver. It’s the perfect thing to bring to a big party or potluck and you shouldn’t be surprised if it’s gone in a matter of minutes. Get the recipe here.

3. Raw Carrot Cake

Gimme Some Oven

Amazingly enough this recipe for carrot cake tastes just like the real deal but doesn’t spend a minute in the oven. Shredded carrots, dates, walnuts, shredded coconut, raisins, and spices meld together in the cake pan and the raw cashew cream cheese frosting brings it all together. Soak the cashews overnight and combine with lemon juice, coconut oil, honey, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt and then combine in the food processor. Get the recipe here.

4. Five-Minute Carrot Cake for One

Chocolate Covered Katie

If you’re in the mood for carrot cake but you don’t have the time (or patience) to make one from scratch, this recipe is a godsend. It’s packed with flavor including cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice, and you can substitute spelt flour or gluten-free flour to make it healthier or gluten-free. The recipe suggests substituting peanut butter for the cream cheese frosting, which sounds fantastic. It’s also a very cute single-serving cake, and one you can make with very little preparation, perfect for a last-minute treat. Get the recipe here.

5. Carrot Ice Cream Cakewich

Pies and Plots

A twist on traditional carrot cake, these carrot cake cookies are cakelike and taste absolutely amazing sandwiched around a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of cream cheese frosting. This recipe takes all the taste of carrot cake and halves the time needed to make an impressive dessert. Make a double batch of the cookies and keep a dozen frozen in the freezer for a spur-of-the-moment dessert with a pint of ice cream. Get the recipe here.

6. Carrot Cake Roulade

Fine Cooking

Carrot cake gets a new look with a pineapple–cream cheese filling and a delectable cake packed with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, black pepper, cloves, and orange zest. This is an innovative way to reinvigorate a classic, not to mention a very easy cake to pack and take to a party. Get the recipe here.

7. Mason Jar Carrot Cake

It All Started With Paint

A cake in a jar? Not only is it adorable and easy to serve or take with you to a party, but this recipe also comes together in a snap in the microwave. It even suggests that you can make this cake in a mug, or a leftover jam jar that you can close with a lid and mail to a friend. Topped with some cream cheese frosting, this is a snack-sized cake that you can’t refuse. Get the recipe here.

8.  Carrot Cake Cupcakes

The Baker Chick

The only thing better than a carrot cake is a host of tiny carrot cakes you can share with friends, a.k.a. cupcakes. The addition of buttermilk or yogurt in the batter makes these tiny treats very moist and tender, defeating the dryness that often plagues cupcakes. Garnish with some toasted pecans or, even better, cake crumbs leftover from the cupcake tins. Get the recipe here.

9.  The Frog/Commissary Classic Carrot Cake

The Blade

If you’re looking for the ultimate carrot cake recipe, the one so good that friends and family will ask for it for years, this is the be-all-end-all in carrot cake. This recipe, from The Frog/Commissary Cookbook (a restaurant in Philadelphia) is best made in stages, and you can even start the day before. The cream cheese filling and lusciously moist cake are outstanding, but what really separates this cake from the rest is the pecan cream filling. This cake is perfect for a special occasion and it serves a large group; it’s incredibly rich but so tasty you’ll be tempted to have a sliver of it with tea for breakfast (which I highly recommend). Get the recipe here.

10. The Best Carrot Cake Ever

Southern Living is not messing around when it introduces a new cake recipe. While its Hummingbird Cake is one of the most shared desserts in the magazine’s history, its carrot cake, boldly titled “the best ever,” does not disappoint. The use of pineapple and coconut brings a level of moisture that would make even a spongecake jealous. Get the recipe here.

11. Cream Cheese Carrot Cake Pops

Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt

Once you cake pop, the fun don’t stop. Such is the case with these delicious carrot cake and cream cheese confections. Eater beware: it’s difficult to consume just one. Get the recipe here.

12. Carrot Cake Pie

Crazy for Crust

Carrot cake in pie form is further proof that possibilities are endless when it comes to baking. It’s a carb on carb dream with this unique dessert that boasts a thick cream cheese frosting  Get the recipe here.

Caitlin M. O'Shaughnessy is a New York City–based food writer and editor at Penguin who has worked on and recipe-tested several cookbooks. She is currently in search of NYC’s best ramen, and is one of the few people who admit to disliking brunch.
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