Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

1 h
Carrot cake is an unbeatable classic. It is wonderfully moist, topped with a velvety, sweet, and tangy frosting, and with walnuts in the batter as well as on top for a crunchy bite. It is simple to prepare, making it perfect for an afternoon break or as a dessert for guests.


  • Preheat the oven to 175°C.
  • Line a square baking tin (approx. 20x20 cm) with baking paper.
  • Chop walnuts roughly, peel and finely grate carrots.
  • Whisk butter & rapeseed oil with sugar.
  • Stir in eggs one at a time. Fold in walnuts and carrots.
  • In another bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Gently fold these dry ingredients into the batter.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake in the middle of the oven for about 50 minutes. Let the cake cool.
Cream cheese frosting
  • Whip cream cheese, icing sugar, and lemon juice. Spread the frosting over the cooled carrot cake and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.

Instead of the rectangular baking pan, you can use a springform pan of approx. 24 cm in diameter. If you bake for a crowd, you can double the recipe and use a 28x28 or 23x33 cm pan or a 32 cm springform pan. Another option is to use two same-sized pans to make two cakes; this also allows you to make a carrot layered cake with cream cheese frosting in between the layers as well as on top.

Questions about carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

Our recipe is simple, but you can always learn more. Below, you can read more about this delicious cake before you start baking.

What frosting goes with carrot cake?
Cream cheese frosting is the classic choice for carrot cake. Its tangy and creamy texture complements the moist, spiced flavour of the cake. It balances the natural sweetness of the carrots and makes for a light, airy topping. You can use lemon juice in the frosting, or maybe lime or orange for a different touch. For a tangier flavour, use zest from lemon, orange, or lime, depending on which citrus juice you use.
Can you freeze carrot cake with cream cheese frosting?
Yes, you can freeze carrot cake with the frosting on. First, freeze the cake on a baking sheet to solidify the frosting so it does not rub out when you wrap it. Then, wrap it tightly in cling film and foil. You can store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
How to decorate carrot cake with cream cheese frosting?
You can decorate the cake however you like it. For example, spread the cream cheese frosting evenly over the top and maybe the sides, and, for a rustic look, use a spatula or butter knife. For a more decorative finish, use a piping bag with a star or round nozzle, piping beautiful, intricate patterns on the cake. The white, velvety cream cheese frosting is the perfect canvas for toppings, so, after piping or spreading it out, garnish with chopped nuts, julienned carrots, or edible flowers.
How to store carrot cake with frosting?
If you already frosted the cake and have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. This keeps the cake moist and the frosting firm. When you are ready to enjoy it, let the cake come to room temperature before serving for the best flavour and texture.
How to store carrot cake before adding frosting?
Before frosting, store the cooled-down carrot cake wrapped in cling film at room temperature for up to 2 days or refrigerate it for up to 5 days. If you plan to frost it later, you can also freeze the cake wrapped in cling film and foil for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight at room temperature before frosting and let it sit shortly at room temperature before serving.


100 ml
Butter & rapeseed oil
200 ml
300 ml
Wheat flour
350 ml
Baking powder
1 tsp
Baking soda
1 tsp
½ tsp
Ground cinnamon
1 tsp
Cream cheese frosting
Cream cheese
150 g
Icing sugar
75 ml
Lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 tsp
Walnuts, chopped
50 ml

Make a scrumptious carrot cake with cream cheese topping

Our easy carrot cake with cream cheese frosting has a delightful blend of sweet carrots and rich walnuts, topped with a creamy frosting. It is a perfect treat for any occasion; its slightly rustic charm makes it an excellent choice for an Easter gathering, offering a sweet and comforting end to any meal. Whether served as a centrepiece for a festive celebration, enjoyed as a cosy homemade dessert, or made as a sweet afternoon treat, this carrot cake with its luscious cream cheese frosting is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

A classic base with carrots and cinnamon

Always a classic, the cake base is where the sweetness of carrots meets the aromatic warmth of cinnamon. They meld together to create a comforting and indulgent flavour profile. Carrots lend a natural moisture to the cake, ensuring every slice is sumptuously soft, while cinnamon adds a hint of spice that takes the overall taste to the next level. This timeless combination forms a cake that is not just flavourful but also has a wonderfully tender and moist texture.

Walnuts add a delicate crunch

The moist and soft cake is utterly delicious, but every cake gets better with a bit of crunch. Enter walnuts. They create a delightful contrast to the soft crumb of the cake, making each bite more interesting and satisfying. Their rich, earthy nuttiness and slight bitterness pair exceptionally well with the natural sweetness of the carrots and the warmth of cinnamon. This addition not only enriches the texture of the cake but also complements its deep, spiced flavours, resulting in a perfectly balanced treat.

Complete the carrot cake with a luscious cream cheese frosting

It is almost impossible to say carrot cake without also saying frosting. So, of course, our recipe contains an easy homemade cream cheese frosting. Mixed with freshly squeezed lemon juice, this frosting is not just a topping, but a crucial element that brings together the flavours of the cake. The lemon juice cuts through the richness of the cream cheese, adding a bright, citrusy zing. The creamy, tangy frosting spreads smoothly over the moist cake, creating a visually stunning and deliciously complementary layer that is both rich and refreshing. If you like cream cheese frosting, you might also be interested in trying these Easter cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

With freshness from lemon and crunch from walnuts

Walnuts make the cake look even more appealing, adding colour as well as texture to the top, but the flavour is the best part of it. Their rich nuttiness is the perfect balance to the sweet yet tangy frosting, ensuring the ideal bite of moist cake, airy frosting, and crunchy nuts all in one. The lemon in the frosting provides a refreshing burst of flavour and enhances the natural sweetness and spices of the cake. Together, the lemon and walnuts bring a delightful contrast in textures and flavours, making each slice a harmonious blend of creamy, crunchy, tangy, and sweet – a true celebration of taste and texture in every bite.

Feel free to experiment

There are plenty of ways to experiment with a classic carrot cake with cream cheese like this one. Instead of walnuts, try using pecans, almonds, or a mix of nuts for a different flavour profile. You can also mix in raisins, dried cranberries, or chopped pineapple for added sweetness or grated apple for more moisture and a subtle fruity flavour. If you want to spice things up, add ground ginger, cardamom, or nutmeg to the existing cinnamon, giving the cake a richer and more complex flavour. You can also add these spices to the cream cheese frosting. For another take on the classic carrot cake with cream cheese, try our recipe for carrot chocolate cake. It also has a velvety cream cheese frosting, where we add carrots for a bit of colour and bite. We also have this carrot cake with dates contributing to the sweetness of the cake.