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+ servings
A slice of carrot cake sits on a white plate

Loaded Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Begin this recipe early in the day or the evening prior.
Course Sweets
Cuisine North American
Keyword cake, carrot cake
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 1690kcal


  • 8"-10" cake pans


  • 2 1/2 cups (340g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (6g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon (2g) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3g) baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1g) ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (385ml) vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 large (250g) carrots shredded
  • 1 cup (100g) sweetened coconut flakes
  • 4 ounces (115g) chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)
  • 8 ounces (225g) canned crushed pineapple juice drained

To Decorate

  • 5 cups Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts


Mix the Batter

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lightly spray two 8", 9", or 10" cake pans with a non-stick baking spray or grease and lightly flour the pans.
  • In a bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt, set aside.
    Combine the sugar and oil together in a separate mixing bowl.
    In a third, separate bowl, stir together the shredded carrots, coconut flakes, nuts, and crushed pineapple. 
  • With an electric mixer, whip the sugar and oil together until the sugar is slightly dissolved, about 2 minutes.
    Add the eggs, one at a time, on low speed, followed by the vanilla extract. Increase the mixer to high once the eggs have all been added. Whip for 2-3 minutes, or until it thickens. It should look like mayonnaise at this point.
  • Use a rubber spatula to fold in the carrot-pineapple mixture into the egg mixture.
    Once well-mixed, add the dry ingredients to the bowl. Mix the flour into the batter for 1 1/2 minutes, or until all of the flour has been absorbed.
  • Divide the batter equally between your greased and floured cake pans

Bake and Cool the Cake

  • Bake the loaded carrot cake in a 350°F oven for for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean.
    After the cakes have finished baking, remove them from the oven and let them cool- in the pan- on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Turn the cakes out of their pans, and leave them on the rack to cool completely.  
  • For the best results, wrap your cooled cakes in plastic wrap and allow them to sit on the countertop overnight.
  • Once your cakes have had a chance to settle, use a serrated knife to trim any domes from the tops of the cakes. This provides an even, stable base for stacking your cake layers.
    Save these trimmings to press them into the sides of the frosted cake as a garnish, if desired.

Decorate the Cake

  • Spread a thick layer of Cream Cheese Frosting over the top using an offset spatula. Smooth it out so it's level.
  • Invert the next layer- so the bottom of the cake layer is face up- onto the icing to create the second layer.
    If you have more layers, continue filling and stacking until they're all used up.
  • Spread a very thin layer of frosting over the outside of the cake. Place the lightly iced cake into the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up. 
    After 30 minutes, frost the outside of the cake with more cream cheese frosting. 
  • If you're going to decorate the sides of your cake with crushed nuts, do so just after frosting so they stick well. Same thing if you're going the cake crumbs route. will let them know to avoid this dessert.
  • With the leftover frosting, pipe rosettes onto the top of the cake using a piping bag fitted with a 1M tip.
    Garnish the rosettes with a sprinkling toasted nuts and/or coconut flakes.
  • Refrigerate the cake until you're ready to serve it.
    Slice, serve, and enjoy!


After cutting, press wax or parchment paper against any exposed cake to keep it from drying out.
The cake is best stored in the fridge, but it's perfectly safe to store it on your countertop for 2 days or less. 


Calories: 1690kcal | Carbohydrates: 268g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 66g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 941mg | Potassium: 418mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 195g | Vitamin A: 199IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 118mg | Iron: 5mg