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Carrot Sheet Cake

This is the Best Carrot Cake Recipe around! A moist, lightly spiced carrot cake topped with classic cream cheese frosting. A little added coconut and chopped walnuts adds some extra crunch and texture to satisfy all your cravings!

square slice of carrot cake

I try not to label things as “The Best” very often, so when I do – you know it’s got to be legit. I’ve been around the block a few times. That’s the carrot cake block, to be exact, and I’ve found the ultimate best carrot cake recipe. It’s the most moist, with the best spices, and the creamiest icing. Each bite takes you on a wild flavor ride. 

Why This is the Best Carrot Cake Recipe

  • Moist Cake: There is nothing worse than dry cake… Seriously… This cake is super moist thanks to a few tips and tricks we lay out below.
  • Cream Cheese Frosting: Need I say anything else? I don’t think so…
  • Perfect Balance: I find a lot of cakes to be too sweet. This carrot cake recipe has an awesome balance of spice, sweet, and savory – you’re going to love it!
frosted carrot cake in a sheet pan

What You’ll Need

This carrot cake recipe is pretty classic when it comes to ingredients. And if you do any baking, you’ll probably have all of these already on hand. Scroll down to the recipe card for exact amounts.

For the Carrot Cake

  • Eggs: Make sure you set these out about 30-45 minutes before baking. You want them to be at room temperature.
  • Oil: Any kind of vegetable oil will work. I like the neutral flavor of avocado oil.
  • Sugar
  • Flour
  • Baking Soda
  • Baking Powder
  • Seasonings: We’ll be using cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
  • Carrots
  • Walnuts: Toast these up a bit for an even more amazing flavor!

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Butter
  • Cream Cheese
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Lemon Zest
  • Powdered Sugar

How to Make Carrot Sheet Cake

This carrot cake recipe comes together really quickly, and it’s even better when you make it a day ahead of when you want to eat it! Check out the recipe card at the end of this post for detailed instructions.

  • Prep: Preheat your oven to 350˚ F and grease a 15x10x1-inch pan with butter and then dust it with flour.
  • Mix: In your electric mixer’s bowl add eggs, oil, and sugar; beat until completely smooth. 
  • Dry Ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and seasonings together until combined.
  • Combine: Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and beat it well until a nice batter has come together. Gently fold in the carrots and walnuts.
  • Bake: Pour the batter into your greased pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.
  • Frosting: While the cake is cooking, combine the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla into your mixer bowl and beat until smooth. Add the lemon zest and sugar (one cup at a time) and continue to beat until you have a nice fluffy iceing.
  • Ice: Once the cake is completely cooled, cover it with the frosting and enjoy!

Tips and Tricks

I said it was the best carrot cake recipe and I stand by my declaration! These tips will make sure your cake turns out the best, too. 🙌

  • Cool the Cake: It’s super important to let the carrot cake cool completely before you ice it. If you do it too soon, the cream cheese frosting will melt and you’ll be super disappointed. Patience my friends!
  • Ice Ahead: For a super moist and flavor-rich cake, make and ice your carrot cake a full day before cutting into it. This will allow all those amazing flavors to get more developed and intense.
  • Freshly Grated Carrots: As tempting as it is, don’t use store-bought shredded carrots. Fresh carrots that you shred yourself will have more moisture and will make your cake super moist.
  • Room Temperature Eggs: Room temperature eggs will whip up with a greater volume and this will make your cake light and fluffy.
  • Oil Instead of Butter: Since this cake is full of spices, you won’t need butter to add flavor. Use oil as your fat instead because it will make your cake more moist than butter. 
slices of frosted carrot cake

What to Serve With Carrot Cake

I like having a big piece of carrot cake after just about any kind of dinner. It’s also a fun element to add to a brunch, a party, or any kind of get together. To make it even better though, I love enjoying this with a variety of tasty coffee treats. My favorites are a pumpkin cream cold brew in the fall or a mocha iced coffee in the summer. Not a fan of cold brew, you’ll love our homemade caffe macchiato!

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

It’s best to store this cake in the refrigerator since it has that amazing cream cheese frosting on top. Pop it into an airtight container or cover it tightly with plastic wrap. It will stay nicely in your fridge for about 5 to 7 days (and it will taste the best on day 2 or 3).

A slice of carrot cake on a white plate.

FAQs

Can I make carrot cake ahead of time?

Absolutely! In fact, if you make it ahead of time, the flavor gets even better! The spices intensify and the cream cheese icing gets absorbed into the dense cake for an even more tender texture. As if we ever even imagined that was possible?!

What does carrot cake taste like?

Well, not carrots! When I bite into carrot cake, the most recognizable flavors to me are the cinnamon, nutmeg, and walnuts. I’d liken the flavor to a spiced wafer. BUT, carrot cake is one of the most moist cakes you’ll ever try. So, spice wafer flavor, but definitely not texture. 
Here’s a pro tip for ya: If you make your cake ahead of time, the spice flavors will intensify!

frosted carrot cake in a sheet pan

More Easy Cake Recipes

square slice of carrot cake
Print Recipe
4.63 from 8 votes

Carrot Sheet Cake

This is the Best Carrot Cake Recipe around! A moist, lightly spiced carrot cake topped with classic cream cheese frosting. A little added coconut and chopped walnuts adds some extra crunch and texture to satisfy all your cravings!
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: best carrot cake recipe, carrot cake, carrot cake recipe, carrot sheet cake, how to make carrot cake
Servings: 20 slices
Calories: 352kcal

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 cups shredded carrots
  • cup chopped walnuts

For the Frosting

  • 1 stick ( 1/2-cup OR 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 package (8-ounces) cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest , add more if you like a stronger lemon-taste
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • finely chopped walnuts, for garnish
  • coconut shavings, for garnish, optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  • Grease a 15x10x1-inch pan with butter and then dust it with flour. Set aside. (You can also use an 18×13 baking sheet, but cake won’t be as tall)
  • In your electric mixer’s bowl add eggs, oil, and sugar; beat until completely smooth.
  • In a separate mixing bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg; whisk to combine.
  • Add flour mixture to the egg mixture and beat well, until everything is thoroughly incorporated.
  • Remove bowl from the mixer and stir in carrots and walnuts.
  • Pour batter into previously prepared baking pan. Smooth out the top and rap the pan on your kitchen counter to even it out and eliminate any air bubbles.
  • Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • In the meantime, prepare the frosting.
  • Combine butter and cream cheese in your electric mixer’s bowl; add vanilla and beat mixture until smooth.
  • Add lemon zest and sugar, one cup at a time; continue to beat until completely incorporated, fluffy, and smooth.
  • Remove cake from oven and let cool completely before frosting.
  • When cake is completely cooled, cover it with prepared frosting.
  • Sprinkle with walnuts and coconut shavings.
  • Cut and serve.
  • Store cake in refrigerator.

Nutrition

Calories: 352kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 237mg | Potassium: 120mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 3548IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg

24 Comments

  • Kimberly
    Mar 31, 2020 at 3:35 am

    That looks fabulous – I think I could probably eat that entire sheet cake myself! 😉

    Reply
    • Katerina
      Katerina Petrovska
      Mar 31, 2020 at 2:42 pm

      Thank you so much, Kimberly! 🙂

      Reply
  • Carrie Robinson
    Mar 31, 2020 at 11:53 am

    5 stars
    I just love carrot cake! And that cream cheese frosting looks amazing. 🙂

    Reply
    • Katerina
      Katerina Petrovska
      Mar 31, 2020 at 2:41 pm

      Me too! Carrot cake is my favorite dessert! THANK YOU! 🙂

      Reply
  • Cathy
    Mar 31, 2020 at 2:50 pm

    My new favorite sheet cake!

    Reply
    • Katerina
      Katerina Petrovska
      Apr 1, 2020 at 3:47 pm

      Thank YOU! I am very happy you enjoyed it! 🙂

      Reply
  • Jen
    Mar 31, 2020 at 2:52 pm

    5 stars
    Definitely adding this as our Easter dessert! I know it’ll be a hit!

    Reply
    • Katerina
      Katerina Petrovska
      Apr 1, 2020 at 3:46 pm

      That’s great! I hope you enjoy it! Thank YOU! 🙂

      Reply
  • Suzy
    Mar 31, 2020 at 4:25 pm

    5 stars
    The best kind of cake! Love that it is a sheet cake, will definitely feed my crowd!

    Reply
    • Katerina
      Katerina Petrovska
      Apr 1, 2020 at 3:45 pm

      Thank YOU, Suzy! I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

      Reply
  • Allyson Zea
    Mar 31, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    This is my favorite way to make carrot cake!

    Reply
    • Katerina
      Katerina Petrovska
      Apr 1, 2020 at 3:45 pm

      Thank YOU, Allyson! 🙂

      Reply
  • Ashley Kennedy
    Oct 18, 2021 at 7:29 am

    5 stars
    This recipe is perfect! I dethroned my mother-in-law as “best carrot cake ever.”

    HOWEVER, I made this in a 15x10x1 (I got the tape measure out because I thought I messed up!) sheet pan and had a giant mess. It over flowed everywhere in the oven. I am in high altitude (6,700ft) so maybe that is the problem, but wanted to save someone else the mess!

    So delicious though, still 5 stars with the mess. Just using a bigger pan next time.

    Reply
  • Anne
    Jan 28, 2022 at 9:07 pm

    2 stars
    I was not a fan. Cake rose nicely but was a weird tan color and tasted bland. I’m a good baker & understand the importance of measuring & following a recipe exactly when baking. Don’t normally have a problem but this I wouldn’t serve. 🤷🏻‍♀️

    Reply
    • Katerina
      Katerina
      Jan 30, 2022 at 8:03 am

      I’m sorry you didn’t like it. I absolutely love the taste and the easiness of this recipe. If you don’t mind, what color is your carrot cake, usually? And, how much sugar would you use in your carrot cake recipe so to avoid the bland taste?

      Reply
  • Michelle
    Mar 27, 2022 at 1:45 pm

    I can’t wait to taste this cake! It’s in the oven right now. I only used 3 cups of powdered sugar in the frosting and thought that was sweet enough. I also added more lemon zest to it and it seems like the right combination to me. Like I said, can’t wait for it to come out of the oven and cool….mmm hmm!

    Reply
  • Erin P
    Jul 27, 2022 at 7:09 pm

    5 stars
    I made this for a family reunion…..it was so delicious and everyone raved about it! We are GF so I just subed out regular flour for GF flour, same measurements and it was soooo good! This now becomes my favorite dessert to take to feed a crowd!

    Reply
    • Katerina
      Katerina Petrovska
      Jul 30, 2022 at 9:51 am

      That’s wonderful! I’m very glad everyone loved it! Thank YOU! 🙂

      Reply
  • Ariel
    Nov 7, 2022 at 6:52 pm

    5 stars
    I have made this several times. Always add a little ginger and the last time I added about 1/4 to 1/3 C of buttermilk and it took it to the next level! With or without buttermilk delish!

    Reply
  • Pat
    Feb 23, 2024 at 6:32 pm

    5 stars
    I made this carrot cake today and the flavor is delicious.
    My cake did overflow the 15x10x1 pan but I caught it in time to save the cake.

    Reply
    • Katerina
      Katerina
      Feb 24, 2024 at 1:07 pm

      I’m glad to hear the carrot cake turned out delicious! Good catch on the overflow – it sounds like you managed it perfectly. Thank YOU! 🙂

      Reply

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