“Carrot cake recipe made from scratch the way grandma makes it! Full of carrots and perfectly spiced! This is the carrot cake that people pay her to make!”

Watch me make Grandma Barb’s Moist & Easy Carrot Cake recipe from start to finish!

The Chit Chat

My grandma Barb gets lots of food requests from people. Folks around town know that if they want something done right, with that old-fashioned flavor then she is the woman for the job!

Whenever somebody asks her to make them something, she smiles and laughs her lil signature laugh before saying, “Oh now listen! You probably could make it yourself, it’s really easy!”

She then proceeds to tell them how to make it. Of course, she always ends up making it for them. She seriously can’t resist a mouth to feed.

carrot cake recipe

I’ve been hooked to my sister’s carrot cake for a long time but I’ve been craving my grandma Barb’s old-fashioned carrot cake lately. I pulled out the unorganized, food-stained, overstuffed shoebox that I keep of all of her recipes in and prepared for the long search.

I swear I could create a food bible with the number of recipes I have from her. As soon as I opened it there was the carrot cake recipe! Right in the front as if it knew I was coming for it!

The BEST Carrot Cake Ever

This moist carrot cake recipe I’m sharing with you today is one of my grandma Barb’s most requested carrot cake recipes. She gave this to me a long time ago and I haven’t made it in years.

After that first bite, all those happy Easter childhood memories started flooding back in! My mom’s elaborate Easter egg hunts in the front yard, me in my pink and white Easter dress, (I always requested a pink and white dress with white patent leather shoes), and seeing this beautiful carrot cake on a glass cake stand. Just waiting to be devoured after a huge Easter dinner.

For some reason, I only remember having Grandma Barb’s carrot cake around Easter time. We had a lot of once of year recipes growing up. I think that’s what made things so special.

carrot cake recipe

This moist and easy carrot cake recipe is …AMAZING!!! The texture is so moist and tender, it just melts in your mouth! I love how balanced the cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg is.

I can’t tell you how many carrot cakes I’ve had that pretty much just tasted like a plain spice cake. This carrot cake recipe is loaded with CARROTS!!! Shredded carrots and pureed carrots. It gives the cake such a great texture and beautiful natural orange color. Use a food processor to puree some of the carrots.

What makes this carrot cake so delicious?

This carrot cake uses oil instead of butter. Don’t let that scare you! As much as I love butter in cakes, the oil creates a texture that will stay moist for days. Buttermilk also makes an appearance in the epic carrot cake! It will lend us the creamy dairy that we need, not to mention give the cake the best crumb ever! This carrot cake also uses shredded carrots and pureed carrots. The pureed carrots help to give the batter a beautiful natural orange color and you guessed it,  a moister crumb. All of this, paired with teaspoons of warm spices creates an unforgettable carrot cake!

And if that wasn’t enough, it’s frosted with layers of cream cheese frosting made with cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla extract.

easy carrot cake cupcakes

The History of Carrot Cake

I often wonder how certain foods came about. Especially when they are so doggone delicious! According to bakerpedia.com, carrot cake hails from England and was created by housewives during WWII. They started getting into using naturally sweetened things to sweeten up their cakes and carrots was a great option. Far from healthy though, but hey, I’m right there with them. If it has vegetables it’s good for ya! The first carrot cake recipe was published in 1943 and became popular in the US in 1980.

Carrot Cake Ingredients

  •  vegetable oil or canola oil- gives carrot cake its moist texture, allowing it to stay soft for many days.
  • granulated sugar- add sweetness
  • brown sugar- adds sweetness and flavor
  • large eggs, room temperature- help bind and leaven the cake
  • vanilla extract- enhances the flavor
  • Grated carrots- add sweetness and natural color
  •  all-purpose flour- Creates a soft texture and base
  •  baking soda- works as a leavening
  •  salt-works as a leaving
  • cinnamon-adds flavor
  •  nutmeg-adds flavor
  •  ground clove-Adds flavor
  • buttermilk-Adds flavor and moisture

How To Make To Make The Best Carrot Cake Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together oil, sugar, and brown sugar with a mixer.
  4. Mix in eggs and vanilla extract medium-low speed
  5. Stir in carrots using a rubber spatula. Set aside.
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. Set flour mixture aside.
  7. At medium speed, gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk until well combined.
  8. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans.
  9. Baked for 15-18 minutes or until moist crumbs cling to a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake. Do not overbake. The cake will continue cooking as it cools.
  10. Place cakes on cooling racks to cool.
  11. Once cooled enough to handle, remove the cake from the pans.
  12.  Frost the cake layers with cream cheese frosting and top with pecans (if desired)

To Add Pineapples and Nuts To Carrot Cake or Not?

Crushed pineapple and nuts like pecans or walnuts are popular additions to carrot cake! You may have noticed on Divas Can Cook that I’m not a fan of adding things like nuts, raisins, and things to my cakes. I’m weird when it comes to textures but if that’s how you get down then have at it! Pineapples, nuts, raisins are all popular carrot cake additions!

Here is the frosting I used! It’s my favorite cream cheese frosting because it tastes like cheesecake!

cream cheese frosting for carrot cake


Is carrot cake healthy? Because traditional carrot cake has substantial sugar, fat and white flour is not considered a healthy cake. However, carrots are healthy and there are ways to make traditional carrot cake healthier if desired. Such as replacing the oil with applesauce, using a healthier flour blend, and decreasing the sugar.


I hope you enjoy this carrot cake recipe as much as everyone else does!!


best carrot cake recipe

Get the Recipe: Grandma Barb's Easy, Moist Carrot Cake

4.29 from 281 ratings
A classic carrot cake recipe that moist, easy and fresh carrots and cream cheese frosting.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 38 minutes
Servings: 16 servings


  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups carrots grated, see note
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • teaspoon ground clove
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Pecans for garnishing (if desired)


  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Grease and flour 3 round cake pans. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl cream together oil, sugar, and brown sugar.
  • Mix in eggs and vanilla extract.
  • Fold in carrots. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove.
  • Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk until well combined.
  • Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans.
  • Baked for 15-18 minutes or until moist crumbs cling to a toothpick inserted into the center. Do not over bake. The cake will continue cooking as it cools.
  • Once cooled frost with cream cheese frosting and top with pecans (if desired)



CARROTS: I grate my carrots in 3 different textures. I use the smallest three sections on my grater so that I have 1 cup that is regular shreds, 1 cup that is finely shredded, and 1/2 cup that is like carrot pulp. I use about 3-4 extra-large carrots total.
Cuisine: American
Course: cake
Author: Divas Can Cook
Tried this recipe?Mention @divascancook on Instagram or tag #divascancook.


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