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Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

A classic carrot cake with a hint of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.

Course Dessert
Keyword carrot cake, carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, gluten free carrot cake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 10 servings


Cake Prep:

  • 2 cups cake flour, all purpose flour or gluten free flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, room temp
  • 4 eggs room temp
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or 1/2 teaspoon extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temp
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, divided
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup  butter, room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temp
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2  tablespoons  buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste of extract


The Cake:

  1. Place oven rack in center position. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use a paper towel to wipe bottom and sides of non stick pan with butter. Coat with flour and set aside.

  2. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, set aside.

  3. Place sugars and butter in mixing bowl and mix until well combined.

  4. Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, mix well. Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk until well incorporated. Add vanilla, mix well.

  5. Add grated carrots, mix until well combined. Add cranberries and 1/2 cup walnuts (reserving the rest for the top of cake) Mix very well

  6. Pour equal amounts of batter into pans, tap on counter to remove any bubbles. If using 3-8" pans bake for 25-30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. If using 2-9" pans bake for 30-35 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

  7. Remove pans from oven and allow to completely cool. Very carefully remove one cake from pan, (these cakes are fairly fragile) Place first layer upside down in center of a cake plate, spread with cream cheese frosting, add second layer (again, upside down) frost, add third layer, frost, then frost sides. Sprinkle top of cake with reserved walnuts.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  1. Mix together butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon buttermilk. Mix until smooth. If needed, add second tablespoon of buttermilk.