Moist Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting



4 cups carrots that have been peeled and finely grated
1 cup raisins (optional, but we like them)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup vegetable oil
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract


1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons fresh orange zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange zest


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour two 9-inch cake pans and set aside.

2. In a small combine the carrots and raisins in set aside. In a large bowl combine the flour, spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

3. In a food processor or electric mixer combine the eggs, oil, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla and beat until combined. Fold this mixture into the flour mixture with a spatula, stopping when it is just combined. Then, fold in the carrots and raisins until just combined.

4. Divide the batter evenly amongst the two cake pans. Place them on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean and the tops spring back when touched. Allow the cakes to cool for about 10 minutes in the pan and then invert them onto a wire rack to cool completely.

5. While they are cooling make the frosting: In an electric mixer or food processor beat the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix well. Finally, add the orange zest and juice and mix well.

6. Once the cakes are completely cooled – this usually takes a couple of hours – frost the top of one of the cakes and top it with the second cake. Then frost the top and sides of the cake completely. Serve!


Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

My father, like his daughter after him, has never loved nuts baked into cake. Instead my Mom omits them from the recipe and sometimes sprinkles them, chopped, on top of the frosting. It is really up to you what you’d prefer! This frosting recipe makes just enough for a perfectly thin layer around the cake and in the middle. We prefer this to a thick, heavy layer of frosting which can overpower the cake.

Naptime Stopwatch

20 minutes prep time, 30 minutes cook time

Naptime Reviews

This has been a family favorite for years. We serve it with vanilla ice cream but it would also taste great with coconut or pumpkin!

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