Home Desserts Paula Deen Carrot Cake (Easy Recipe)

Paula Deen Carrot Cake (Easy Recipe)

This Paula Deen carrot cake recipe makes a moist and flavorful cake filled and covered with decadent cream cheese frosting.

And it’s so insanely good, it has the power to convert all carrot cake haters!

Paula Deen Carrot Cake Recipe
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I’ve always loved moist carrot cake.

From the sweet, lightly spiced taste to the fun texture and tangy frosting, it’s a dessert dream.

And no, it doesn’t taste like carrots at all.

So you can serve this Paula Deen carrot cake recipe on any occasion. That includes birthdays, anniversaries, and rainy weekends at home.

Paula Deen’s Carrot Cake

Paula Deen has so many incredible recipes.

Some of my faves include:

But when I need an impressive dessert, this carrot cake has my heart.

Unlike some recipes that include pineapple, this is pure carrot. So while it’s sweet, you don’t get that fruity undertone.

Don’t get me wrong, I love pineapples! But I find they distract from the carrot and pecans.

So if you’ve only ever had carrot cake with pineapples (and maybe didn’t love it), I highly recommend trying this recipe. I think you’ll love it.

A Slice of Carrot Cake with Tea


For the Cake

  • All-Purpose Flour – The base of the cake that gives it structure. All-purpose is fine here, no need to get cake flour. Sift the flour, along with the other dry ingredients, to create a smooth batter.
  • Granulated Sugar – For sweetness. Paula Deen’s uses granulated sugar, but you can also use a mix of granulated and brown for extra moisture and flavor.
  • Baking Soda – The leavening agent that makes the cakes rise. Be sure your baking soda is still active by stirring a teaspoon of it with a little bit of vinegar. It should start to fizz upon contact. 
  • Ground Cinnamon – This warming fall spice gives this cake such a comforting flavor.
  • Salt – To enhance the flavors of the cake.
  • Eggs – For binding the ingredients together. They also help make the cakes rise, and add richness, too. 
  • Vegetable Oil – While other cakes call for butter, carrots cakes require oil. It’s essential to make the cakes wonderfully tender and moist. Don’t use too much, though, or your cake will be greasy.
  • Grated Carrots – It isn’t called carrot cake for nothing! Shred the carrots yourself as pre-shredded ones are hard and dry.
  • Chopped Pecans – For extra flavor and crunch.

For the Frosting

  • Cream Cheese – Use blocked cream cheese, not cream cheese spread. Also, be sure it’s at room temperature, or your frosting will be lumpy.
  • Butter – Use salted butter as this frosting contains a lot of sugar. The salt in the butter will balance out the sweetness.
  • Powdered Sugar – It’s what gives the frosting a stiff, pipe-able consistency. If your frosting ends up too sweet, add a splash of lemon juice to contrast it.
  • Vanilla – A flavor enhancer 
  • Pecans – For a nice textural variety.
A Slice of Carrot Cake with Nuts in a Plate

Tips for Making a Moist Carrot Cake

  • Use room temperature ingredients, particularly the eggs, butter, and cream cheese. They’ll blend much easier with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Measure the flour accurately. Correct measurement can make or break your cake! Using more flour will make it too dense and dry, while using less might make the cake fall apart.
  • The best way to measure the cake is by using a kitchen scale. If you don’t have one, then use the spoon-and-level method: spoon the flour into the measuring cup, and level it off with the back of a knife.
  • Be sure to grease the cake pans well. I like to both grease AND line the pans with parchment paper for the easiest cake release.
  • For an extra moist carrot cake, use a mix of granulated sugar and brown sugar. Brown sugar contains molasses which adds moisture to the cake. It also has a deeper flavor than regular sugar. Use a mix of both for best results.
  • The nuts are optional in both the cake and the frosting, but they really add such a nice texture and flavor. If you’re not a fan of pecans, try walnuts instead.
  • For an even deeper flavor, toast the nuts in the oven for 6 to 8 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Lightly coat the nuts in flour to keep them from sinking to the bottom of the cake.
  • For an extra moist cake, mix in 1 1/2 cups of applesauce or crushed and drained pineapples. I personally love adding pineapples because they add such a wonderful tropical flavor!
  • Shred the carrots at home. Pre-shredded carrots are tough and dry! Use a box grater or, if you want to make things easier, use the food processor. Be sure to peel the carrots first.
  • If the cream cheese frosting is too runny for piping, add more powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Chill it in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes to help firm it up.
  • Don’t serve the cake right away. Refrigerate it for about 30 minutes to help the frosting firm up. Otherwise, the cake might fall apart during slicing. 
  • Add craisins, shredded coconut, and/or chocolate chips to the batter for more textures and flavors.
  • You can add more spices other than cinnamon, too! Give nutmeg, cardamom, and allspice a try.
  • The cake batter can be prepared up to a day in advance. Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready. 
  • The cream cheese frosting will keep well for up to 3 days in the fridge.

How to Store the Carrot Cake

Because this carrot cake has frosting, don’t leave it on the counter for over a day, especially if it’s warm where you’re from.

Instead, place the cake in an air-tight container and refrigerate for up to 3 to 4 days.

You can also freeze the cake for up to 2 months, as long as you don’t frost it yet.

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Cover each cake with plastic wrap and foil. Let it come to room temperature before frosting it.

More Incredible Cake Recipes

Too Much Chocolate Cake
Strawberry Crunch Cake
Tres Leches Cake
Pistachio Cake
Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake

Paula Deen Carrot Cake (Easy Recipe)



Prep time


Cooking time




  • For the Carrot Cake
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for lining the pans

  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 4 eggs, room temperature

  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

  • 3 cups grated carrots

  • 1 1/2 cup chopped pecans

  • For the Frosting
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, room temperature

  • 1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 3 (9-inch) round pans with baking spray, oil, or butter and lightly dust with flour. Line the pans with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add the eggs and vegetable oil, and beat at medium speed until well-combined. Gently mix in the carrots and pecans with a rubber spatula.
  • Pour the batter equally into the lined pans. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 5 minutes before transferring onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the frosting. In a large bowl, beat softened cream cheese and butter at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth and spreadable. Gently mix in the pecans with a rubber spatula.
  • To assemble, place one cake on the serving plate. Spread 1/4 of the frosting evenly on top. Repeat with the remaining 2 cakes. Cover the entire cake with the remaining frosting. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. Slice and enjoy!
Paula Deen Carrot Cake Recipe

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Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

2 thoughts on “Paula Deen Carrot Cake (Easy Recipe)”

  1. My Granddaughter always requests a homemade birthday cake for her birthday.This year she is 11 years old and asked for a carrot cake w/ cream cheese icing….. after much researching, I chose to make this one…..She Loved it !….Everyone did ! So GOOD!


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