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. Normally I 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 $1,929 per ounce.

A piece of cake sitting on top of a table

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

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. 
4.09 from 82 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 16
Calories: 609kcal
Author: Everyday Cheapskate
Cost: Varies



  • 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
Tried this recipe?Mention @EverydayCheapskate or tag #EverydayCheapskate!

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



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46 replies
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  1. Katharine says:

    5 stars
    I have never had carrot cake before, and after making this cake for my family, it would be an understatement to say that I’m obsessed… I am a college student who is learning to cook/bake while quarantining at home, and this cake has quite literally changed my life. I loved it (and so did my family) !! Thank you for the amazing recipe 🙂

  2. Mia says:

    5 stars
    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, I made it today for Easter dinner, my family loved it! This was hands down the best carrot cake I‘ve ever had, I will definitely make it again! The only thing I changed is the pineapples, I couldn’t find any canned ones at the store so I used fresh ones.

  3. Tom says:

    5 stars
    Tried this spontaneously during the pandemic to entertain my daughter.
    I don’t have the cream cheese so I forego the icing.
    It SMELLS AMAZING in the kitchen and I varied the walnuts and raisins to mixed sunflower and other seeds and craisins adding some allspice.
    As you see it is a one piece cake: the old days people just cut three wheels at the old “Capers Whole Foods” bakery in West Van.
    I taste anxiously through the wonderful smell while I wait for it to cool down.
    Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  4. Skippy says:

    Just wondering how you came up with the cost? I find that this is a very expensive cake to make, with the nuts, pound of carrots, cream cheese etc. Would love to know if there is a secret to making this cheaper than what I spend 🙂

  5. Jill T says:

    I understand “ exactly “ but I would believe the actual recipe for the cake. May I step out of exactly and ask if a Bundt plan would also work?

    • Mary Hunt says:

      I’m going to give this a qualified yes, as I have not tried that! But I’d love to know how it turns out when you do 🙂

  6. tk says:

    This recipe is almost identical to my recipe. I use pecans, and I grind them to coarse in the food processor. I also grate the carrots in the food processor. I substitute apple butter for the oil, and the cake is moist and delicious. I always add the pineapple, sometimes with the juice, and sometimes without. My family and friends love this cake and it is requested often!

    • Sue says:

      5 stars
      I’ve always used pineapple in my carrot cake recipe which is almost exactly the same as this recipe. The pineapple adds moisture but the only taste is from the very small pieces of pineapple itself. It’s a delicious cake! I also freeze the well-wrapped uniced cake layers in advance if needed for a later date.

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