The Best Moist Carrot Cake – EXTRA moist because the cake gets drizzled with sweet glaze while it’s still warm then piled high with cream cheese frosting.
This cake is one of my favorite desserts. The cake itself has bits of carrot, pineapple, and raisins. And, it’s lightly spiced with cinnamon.
What makes this carrot cake outstanding is the glaze and frosting. A sweet orange glaze gets drizzled over the cake while it’s still warm to make the cake extremely moist. Then, the cake get’s piled high with an extra large batch of cream cheese icing.
How To Make Carrot Cake
*Note: The full printable recipe card is at the bottom of this post.
- Add sugar, oil, and eggs to a bowl.
- Whisk until smooth.
- Add grated carrots and crushed pineapple.
- Whisk to combine.
- In a separate bowl, add flour, baking soda, and salt.
- Whisk to combine.
- Add raisins (or nuts).
- Stir to coat the raisins in flour.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
- Stir to combine.
- Pour the cake batter into 2 prepared cake pans.
- Bake for 40 minutes.
Make The Carrot Cake Glaze
- In a sauce pot, add orange juice, sugar, and butter.
- Bring to a simmer.
- While the cake is still hot, drizzle the sweet orange glaze over the cake.
- Let the cake cool.
Make The Cream Cheese Frosting
- Add room temperature cream cheese, butter, and vanilla to a large bowl.
- Use an electric mixer to beat this together.
- Add powdered sugar.
- Mix until light and fluffy.
- Spread ⅓ of the cream cheese frosting on one of the cake rounds.
- Top with second cake round.
- Generously spread icing on the top and sides of the cake.
- Chill in the refrigerator for 24 hours (or a minimum of 2 hours).
- Slice and serve.
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The Best Moist Carrot Cake Recipe
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups grated carrots
- 1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup raisins -optional*
Sweet Orange Glaze
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 12 oz. (1 ½ packages) cream cheese -room temperature
- 12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter -room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups powdered sugar
Prepare the cake.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Liberally grease the sides of the pans with butter.
- Add the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla to a large mixing bowl. Whisk until smooth. Add the carrots and crushed pineapple (with its juice). Whisk until combined.
- In a separate bowl, add the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Mix well. Add the raisins to the flour mixture. Stir until coated with flour.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir until just combined and no dry flour remains, trying not to over mix.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans.
- Bake for 37-40 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center of the cake should come out with moist crumbs, but no raw batter on it.
As the cake bakes, make the Sweet Orange Glaze.
- Add the orange juice, sugar, and butter to a medium sauce pot and place it over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring often, until the butter melts, sugar dissolves, and the liquid bubbles for about 2 minutes.
- Slowly drizzle the hot orange glaze evenly over the hot cakes.
- Cool the cakes in the cake pans for 1 hour. Remove the cakes from the pans and transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Prepare the Cream Cheese Frosting.
- Add the room temperature cream cheese, butter, and vanilla to a large bowl. Mix with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes, until well mixed. One cup at a time, add the powdered sugar. Mix on low until well combined. Repeat with the remaining powdered sugar. Mix on low to medium until well combined and the frosting is light and creamy.
- Place one of the cakes on a cake serving plate. Spread the top of the cake with a thick layer of icing, using about ⅓ of the icing. Place the second cake layer on top. Generously spread icing over the top and sides of the cake.
- Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 24 hours before serving for best results, or a minimum of 2 hours.
Definitely the nicest carrot cake recipe I’ve ever made! Really easy as well. It liked very impressive with its height and two layers of cream cheese icing! A really treat!
Thank you for this lovely recipe!
I have made this cake a couple of times and everyone loved it!! I also made some carrot cake cookies and up cakes with the orange drizzle on them, as well as the cream cheese recipe, OMG so delicious!!! The orange drizzle definitely makes this cake standout above other carrot cakes I have made or eaten. You have to make it to see how good it is and then you will be hooked!!
Great recipe, add toasted pecans or walnuts and it would be perfect.
I made this cake for Easter and my family raved and raved! I am now required to make it for future holidays. Next time I’ll be making extra icing. Not because it needs it but simply because it’s to die for!
This is a top- notch carrot cake recipe! I was a little hesitant with the glaze- it looked like a lot. But I went with it and it turned out beautifully. You must let it sit and absorb all of the flavours.
After icing it, I sprinkled the cake with coconut! Super yummy!!
Best recipe ever!
I love this recipe! It’s my son’s favorite and I make it several times a year. Can I take this same recipe and make cupcakes? If so how would the baking times differ?
I have been giving it to friends and frontliners. They all say it is the best carrot cake they have ever had!
Thankyou this cake was delicious.I changed it up a little used self raising flour no baking Soda and used orange juice instead of crushed pineapple.This will be a family favourite.
One of the best CARROT CAKE ever.
I did it twice one with the orange syrup and one without and I liked the one without because the cake was moist due the oil, the one had the syrup was saggy to me.
Overall I thank you so much for that great recipe.
We recently ordered take out and included carrot cake with our dinner. After paying 8.00 for a piece of their cake I started looking up recipes on Pinterest and came across this one. My husband said it was just like the one we bought. We all loved it. Thank you for your recipe. This is now my go to recipe for carrot cake. Can’t wait to share with the rest of my family.
Can i substitute pineapple juice instead of orange juice?
HI, I made this pineapple carrot cake yesterday! It was my first time to try baking and it was delicious. The only thing is my cake is a bit dense and not fluffy, is that how it should be? Thank you for sharing your recipe.
Can I make cupcakes w this recipe?
So moist and delicious! I would go without the raisins next time since my kids don’t love them and I would make more cream cheese icing. It just didn’t seem like enough for a two layer cake.
If I wanted to make this a single layer cake, would I just half the entire recipe?
Can this be baked in a 9 by 13 cake pan? If so how do i adjust?
I noticed no baking powder, why.
To rise the cake
I would like to substitue apple sauce for the oil I heard one can do that. If so how much apple sauce to replace the oil?????? thank you
What can I substitute for the eggs, during this lentil fast? I was also thinking of substituting coconut cream for the cream cheese. Any advice?
Is it even Spring without carrot cake??? This recipe is amazing!
Carrot cake and cream cheese frosting are my two favorite desserts, together.. even better!! Loved this recipe