Healthy Homemade Carrot Cake Ready for Easter

Einstein in the Kitchen or Let Them Eat (Carrot) Cake

I have a special treat for you today. It’s a recipe. I usually sell this recipe for $1,000 but it’s your lucky day. OK, I’m just kidding about that, but honestly, this one is worth its weight in gold, which as I write is about $1,850 per ounce.


carrot cake #2

In this world, there is carrot cake and then there is scrumptious absolutely to-die-for carrot cake—the kind of cake you’ve only experienced with a $200-per-person meal at a fancy hotel (you do that all the time, right?).

It’s the kind of carrot cake that would surely be named the Grand Champion in a competition at a fine culinary school like Le Cordon Bleu Baking and Pastry Arts Program if I’d ever had such an opportunity to compete.

This is the cake that’s going to make your friends and family think you’re a genius! And don’t be surprised when it becomes your signature cake—the one they request for their birthdays. Imagine how beautiful this cake might look on your Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter Brunch buffet table.

As you peruse this recipe, you may be tempted to make a few adjustments. Please do not do that. You’ll think 1 1/2 cups oil is excessive. It’s not. And the pineapple. Seriously? Yes. Do not doubt me.

This is the perfect recipe both in ingredients and proportions, so please follow it exactly. It’s the recipe you’ll be tempted to keep secret and good luck with that! 😉

A piece of cake sitting on top of a table
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4.11 from 84 votes

Einstein Carrot Cake

This is the carrot cake that would surely come out the Grand Champion in a competition at a fine culinary school like Le Cordon Bleu Baking and Pastry Arts Program. This is the cake that’s going to make your friends and family think you’re a genius! And don’t be surprised when it becomes your signature cake—the one they request for their birthdays. 
Prep Time40 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 16
Calories: 609kcal
Author: Everyday Cheapskate



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup golden raisins, (optional)
  • 2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil Note 1
  • 2 cups finely grated raw carrot
  • 1 (8.5 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained Note 3


  • 1/2 cup softened salted butter
  • 1 (8 oz.) pkg softened cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 (1-lb.) box powdered sugar, sifted



  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Prepare three two or three (your choice) cake pans by greasing them well and dusting with flour.
  • Sift flour again with baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.  See Note 3.
  • In another large bowl, beat eggs lightly and stir in oil. Add sugar. Stir until very well incorporated. Stir in carrots, drained pineapple, nuts, and raisins.
  • Pour wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients. Stir until all are well incorporated. 
  • Divide evenly between the three (3) prepared 8-inch cake pans. Bake in 350 F oven for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out just barely clean. Do not overbake.
  • Remove from oven; allow to cool 10 minutes and remove cakes from the pans to cool. Make certain cakes are completely cooled to room temperature or cooler before frosting.


  • To make the frosting: In a medium-size bowl, combine butter, cream cheese and vanilla. Beat until smooth with an electric beater. Add sugar gradually, beating well between each addition. Continue beating until smooth and glossy.
  • Assemble cake with frosting between layers and on top. Garnish as desired with a sprinkling of chopped walnuts. 


Note 1
You are going to think it's a typo. It's not. Really, 1 1/2 cups of oil. You'll understand once you cut into this amazing cake, your mouth watering, doing all you can to not smack your lips as you lick your fingers. It is so moist, so light and so lovely. You'll see.
Note 2
This recipe works as a large 9 x 13, two, or three 9" layers.  If you opt for three layers, you'll probably want to frost only the tops of each layer, not the sides unless you double the amount of frosting. Or if two layers, you should have enough frosting for top, layer and also the sides.
Note 3
Another typo, right? Uh ... No! Crushed pineapple in this cake. Just make sure you drain it well. And feel free to drink that awesome pineapple juice. It's good for you! 
Note 4
You will not be using an electric mixer on the cake portion of this recipe. Stir with a nice big wooden (or other) spoon. Just make sure everything is mixed in very well. You will use your electric mixer for the frosting, however.
Note 5
Let's talk altitude. I live at a semi-high altitude in Northern Colorado. The altitude in my driveway is exactly 5,280 ft. (Sounds like mile-high to me!) My research suggests that it’s only above 7,500 ft. that we would need to make an adjustment to this recipe, like adding a bit more flour. At my altitude, I follow this recipe exactly.
Note 6
As for bake time, depending on your oven (and altitude for that matter) you might need to add or subtract a few minutes. That’s easy to determine if you use the toothpick method mentioned. Just do not overbake! This is a tender, lovely, moist cake and overbaking will spoil all of those characteristics!


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 609kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 437mg | Potassium: 290mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 3880IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 2mg

First published: 3-15-16; Republished by popular request: 4-6-22



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53 replies
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  1. Lynda Anderson says:

    5 stars
    Mary I have baked this cake numerous times since your first posting many years ago. I agree with you in knowing this is the best cake ever! Prize winner in my family! Keep em coming!

  2. Audrey says:

    5 stars
    I used 9in pans and increased recipe batch by 50% and made cupcakes with left over batter. So delicious! BUT it took me At least 30 minutes To grate carrots so my advice would be to grate carrots before starting!

  3. Melissa says:

    If I want to make this cake in advance before Thanksgiving what is the best timeline? How long can it last? How should I store it? I live on the East coast about 2 hours from the Ocean so humidity is a thing out here.

    • Kim says:

      I always bake ahead of the event and freeze my cakes; then take out two days prior and then one day prior I frost . They always taste fresh baked

      • Red says:

        We used to mail carrot cakes to my Dad while deployed. For some reason they always took about 2-3 weeks to arrive in the cake tins. My Mom decided she liked the recipe with pineapple better and mailed one. It arrived with mold on the outside but was still edible with some trimming. Dad requested that one not be sent again. It was a bit simpler than the recipe without it. Neither had frostings. HTH

  4. Jan New says:

    I just made this cake for Easter. It was fantastic! It’s very moist and not too sweet. However, I’d change the prep time. Grating 2 cups of carrots takes about 15 minutes.

  5. eveh says:

    Oh come on,let me use pecans and dried cranberries, maybe some candied cherries! Just kidding but it does remind me of fruitcake. Walnuts and raisins go so good together as in my oatmeal in the morning. It is a beautiful cake.

  6. Chris says:

    I’d really like to try this, but I am allergic to walnuts. I think pecans would be a nice alternative, but after you made such a point against adjusting and say to follow it exactly, I am afraid to!

    • crabbyoldlady says:

      Well, that’s just silly. The nut you use is not going to affect the outcome of a cake. The baking science is in the other ingredients, not the add ons. Pecans taste better to me, so I ALWAYS substitute pecans for walnuts. Go for it.

      • Chris says:

        I agree it’s silly. I was just making a point that saying “This is the perfect recipe both in ingredients and proportions, so please follow it exactly” was kind of ridiculous. If I make it, I will add what nuts I want to add. Thanks for your advice though.

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