Brown Butter Carrot Cake

Recipe By Tessa Arias
March 1st, 2020
4.82 from 93 votes
4.82 from 93 votes

Brown Butter Carrot Cake is so moist, tender, sweet, and delicious that even carrot cake haters will LOVE it! Tons of cream cheese frosting, this recipe is perfect for Easter, Mother's Day, or whenever you need to impress.

Yield: 10 servings

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook: 35 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: The cake is perfectly sweet, nutty, and flavorful while the frosting is rich and tangy.
Texture: Ultra moist and tender with that luscious frosting in every single bite.
Ease: Totally doable, promise!
Pros: My go-to carrot cake recipe.
Cons: None beyond the usual layer cake cons… more time consuming and messy than say cupcakes.
Would I make this again? Absolutely.

As a kid, the last cake you wanted was carrot cake.

Well… maybe right behind fruit cake.

Four layer brown butter carrot cake on a cake stand

As an adult I’ve liked carrot cake fine. But it wasn’t until I had a slice of AMAZING carrot cake from a little café called Fragments in Paris that I realized just how good it could be.

So I decided to elevate my existing favorite recipe for Perfect Carrot Cupcakes into a show-stopping layer cake.

I found the idea of browning butter for carrot cake especially compelling. Since nuts are a common fixture and a clear complement to carrot cake, the idea of adding more sweet nutty flavor in the form of browned butter just made sense. Plus by browning the butter you only have to use your mixer for the icing.

Not to mention the brown butter helps make the cake super rich and moist. That plus the brown sugar, applesauce, and carrots (of course!).

Slices of carrot cake ready to serve

Some warm spices in the batter and then another extra dash of cinnamon in the cream cheese frosting really round everything out.

Plus, slicing the two cake layers in half for a four layer cake isn’t just impressive to look at. It means MORE FROSTING!

Perfect Brown Butter Carrot Cake Recipe Tips

How to brown butter for cake:

A skillet works better than a saucepan for browning butter because there’s more surface area for the brown bits to develop.

In a medium skillet set over medium heat, melt the butter. Swirling the pan occasionally, continue to cook the butter. It should become foamy with audible cracking and popping noises. Once the crackling stops, continue to swirl the pan until the butter develops a nutty aroma and brown bits start to form at the bottom. Once the bits are amber in color, about 2 to 3 minutes after the popping stops, remove from heat and pour into a mixing bowl. Let cool completely.

Carrot cake batter in cake pans ready for the oven

What are the best cake baking pans?

Never use dark colored nonstick cake pans. They conduct heat too aggressively and often lead to hard dry edges and undercooked or sunken centers.

My favorite cake pans are the Fat Daddio’s pans.

How to *properly* prepare carrots for carrot cake:

Shred fresh carrots, no pre-shredded packaged ones. Freshly grated carrots are more flavorful and moist! Better yet, buy your carrots at the farmer’s market. They’re SO much sweeter!

3 cups freshly shredded carrots equals about 4 medium carrots, but definitely buy extra just in case. Don’t grate your carrots too finely, you want to have carrot ‘confetti’ in your cake so the bigger holes on your box grate would work better. You can also use your food processor’s grating attachment to make it quicker and easier.

Nuts in carrot cake?

I added pecans or walnuts as an option for this carrot cake since that’s fairly traditional. You can totally leave them out if you prefer. They add crunch, but also a bit of savory flavor to contrast the sweetness.

Applesauce in carrot cake?

This isn’t here as a healthy addition, necessarily. But it does allow us to get away with using a little less butter. Applesauce in carrot cake helps provide tender moisture and a nice sweet fruity flavor to complement the carrots. You don’t really taste ‘apples’ – just freshness.

How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting

Bowl of creamy and smooth cream cheese frosting ready for carrot cake layers
Arguably the best part of carrot cake!

For the best and creamiest frosting, be sure your cream cheese and butter are at room temperature. Beat them together until completely smooth, scraping down your bowl often, until there’s no lumps. Even if you have a paddle attachment that scrapes the sides as it goes, I would still recommend scraping down the paddle and especially the bottom of the bowl to ensure no lumps.

Don’t skip sifting the powdered sugar! It’s a pain, but you’ll regret it if you don’t.

How to assemble brown butter carrot cake:

Layer of carrot cake being spread with cream cheese frosting
In this recipe, we take 2 cake layers and cut them in half for a total of 4 layers. Because if carrot cake is one thing, it’s a vehicle for cream cheese frosting. Now you can totally skip this step (and you likely won’t need all the frosting), but that’s no fun 🙂

To cut each cake layer, use a cake leveler or serrated knife. A cake leveler makes your layers absolutely perfect. If you bake cakes often, consider investing in one!

How to decorate carrot cake:

The cream cheese frosting is a little looser than your classic buttercream, so you won’t be able to do intricate detailed designs. I personally prefer a more basic or even ‘naked’ look for carrot cake anyways.

A border of chopped nuts on top of the cake makes a simple yet elegant final garnish.

If you want to have a little fun, check out my article on how to make decorative edible carrots.

Can you make this recipe into cupcakes?

Almost any cake recipe can be turned into cupcakes. Check out my full guide on how to convert a cake into cupcakes (and vice versa!)

How can I make carrot cake ahead of time?

Wrap uncut unfrosted cooled cake layers completely in several layers of plastic wrap. Place inside a freezer bag. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge. Don’t defrost at room temperature or you will end up with mushy sticky cake.

How do I store carrot cake?

Cover with a cake keeper and store at room temperature for up to 6 hours then refrigerate for up to 3 days.

More Spring Cake & Cupcake Recipes:

More Brown Butter Recipes:

4.82 from 93 votes

How to make
Brown Butter Carrot Cake

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Brown Butter Carrot Cake is so moist, tender, sweet, and delicious that even carrot cake haters will LOVE it! Tons of cream cheese frosting, this recipe is perfect for Easter, Mother's Day, or whenever you need to impress.


For the cake:

  • 10 tablespoons (142 grams) unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups (318 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 cups (400 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (250 grams) unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups (296 grams) finely shredded carrots (about 4 medium carrots)
  • 3/4 cup (84 grams) finely chopped walnuts or pecans

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 24 ounces (680 grams) cream cheese, completely softened
  • 2 sticks (227 grams) unsalted butter, completely softened
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla paste or extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 5 cups (625 grams) powdered sugar, sifted


Make the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Thoroughly grease two 8-inch round cake pans and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium skillet set over medium heat, melt the butter. Swirling the pan occasionally, continue to cook the butter. It should become foamy with audible cracking and popping noises. Once the crackling stops, continue to swirl the pan until the butter develops a nutty aroma and brown bits start to form at the bottom. Once the bits are amber in color, about 2 to 3 minutes after the popping stops, remove from heat and pour into a mixing bowl. Let cool completely.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
  4. To the browned butter, whisk in the brown sugar then the eggs. Stir in the applesauce, vanilla, and carrots. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in the nuts.
  5. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cake pans. Bake until a cake tester inserted comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely.
  6. Slice each cake layer in half for four layers using a cake leveler or serrated knife. Place layers in the fridge while you make the frosting.

Make the frosting:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt on medium-high speed until very light, creamy, and smooth. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. On low speed gradually add in the sugar and beat until creamy.

Assemble the cake:

  1. Place one cake layer cut side up on a cake stand or platter. Spread about 1/4 of the frosting all over the cake layer, pushing it out over the edge just slightly. Repeat with the remaining layers. With an offset spatula, spread the remaining frosting evenly all over the cake, smoothing the edges.
  2. Serve or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: carrot cake, easter, mother's day

Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.

March 2020 Baking Challenge

This recipe was the selection for the March 2020 baking challenge! Check out the entries below, then click here to find out what the current month’s challenge recipe is!

March 2020 Baking Challenge

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Emily Leishman — March 1, 2020 at 8:45 am

    I’m wondering if I could make this cake into a 9×13 and if it would still count for the baking challenge? It looks really good, but I also bake for friends, and bringing a layer cake would be super messy and fragile.

    • #
      Tessa — March 2, 2020 at 10:07 am

      Sure, however I’m not sure what the baking time would be and you’ll likely need to reduce the amount of frosting!

      • #
        Emily Leishman — March 2, 2020 at 11:50 am

        Thank you so much! I can’t wait to try it!

        • #
          sadiqa — August 19, 2020 at 1:16 am

          hi Tessa,
          can i skip the applesauce?

      • #
        Armie Cañeda — March 7, 2020 at 5:11 pm

        thanks tessa for sharing your baking knowledge i learned a lot from you

        • #
          Flor — April 20, 2020 at 6:14 am

          Hey tessa! I don’t have applesauce, how can i replace it?

  2. #
    Joanne johnsen — March 1, 2020 at 7:20 pm

    This cake is awesome. I made it gluten free by using King Arthur measure for measure and it turned out great. Like most cream cheese frosting this one is pretty soft. I took out a chunk to taste but I’m chilling the cake now before slicing. Can’t wait to dig in.

    • #
      Jenny — March 22, 2020 at 6:46 pm

      Hi Joanne! I’m planning to make gluten free too, did you use the xanthan gum or was it fine without? I’ve never used gluten free flour for cakes before and not quite sure what to expect

  3. #
    Sue Galbraith — March 2, 2020 at 4:44 pm

    I liked this recipe. I wanted to try a carrot cake revipe with browned Butter instead of oil. Mine didn’t look as pretty so I put pecans around the outside. My family loved it!

  4. #
    Maggie — March 3, 2020 at 9:47 am

    Can’t wait to try this!! If I don’t want to splurge on vanilla paste, should I substitute it with something? Or can I just leave it out?

    • #
      Tessa — March 3, 2020 at 5:31 pm

      You can just use regular extract!

  5. #
    Sarah Carver — March 3, 2020 at 1:50 pm

    When I saw this month’s challenge was a browned butter recipe, I couldn’t wait to make it! I love the texture, the moistness, and the taste was superb-just sweet enough!

  6. #
    Ilsse — March 3, 2020 at 6:05 pm

    My New favorite carrot cake in the World! Simply delicious

  7. #
    Cindy — March 5, 2020 at 9:55 am

    Love the addition of brown butter in this carrot cake! I baked this in 2, 5″ round tins and the rest in cupcake liners. The cupcakes required about 20 minutes in the oven. The frosting is the best part!

    • #
      Michelle — April 21, 2020 at 9:25 am

      My cake came out with more of a banana bread type consistency. I’m not sure if this was correct or not. I’m not a carrot cake fan myself. I made it for Easter dinner. The flavors were great. It was moist. People liked it. I just thought it was rather dense and almost muffin like. Curious if others experienced this? If I did something wrong or is that the outcome of this recipe?

  8. #
    Maggie — March 6, 2020 at 11:14 am

    This cake is so good!! I love the subtle nuttiness the brown butter adds. And the recipe is so easy. I just did 2 layers and the cut the frosting in half and it was great!

  9. #
    güvenlik kamerası — March 7, 2020 at 7:28 am

    It has been a great recipe, thank you

  10. #
    Jessica — March 7, 2020 at 2:49 pm


  11. #
    Jorjean Murphy — March 9, 2020 at 8:50 pm

    This cake was awesome. I cut down the icing by one third but was a bit too thin for the decorating I wanted to do. Next time I’ll add more powdered sugar. I also skipped the nuts. So moist and delicious, however.

  12. #
    Ilsse — March 10, 2020 at 4:45 pm

    This cake is the Best carrot cake I had tried!!!
    All my family love it!

  13. #
    Shannon Baker — March 11, 2020 at 9:51 am

    This recipe is a winner. The cake is moist and the frosting isn’t overly sweet. Love it

  14. #
    Heather Rainey — March 11, 2020 at 3:29 pm

    Very great cake! A crowd pleaser for sure.

  15. #
    Leonie — March 12, 2020 at 9:02 am

    I will be making this cake for my mothers birthday this weekend. As there will be many young children at the festivities i wanted to ask: Do I really need to use that much sugar for this recipe? I mean 400 grams brown sugar plus apple sauce plus the optional 600 grams in the frosting seem to be a lot. Can I reduce the sugar in the dough with no problems or will I have to substitute it with some dry ingredients?
    Thanks in advance 🙂

  16. #
    Sim — March 12, 2020 at 9:11 pm


    What Can I use instead of apple sauce?

  17. #
    Hayley Sklar — March 13, 2020 at 8:21 am

    This recipe is GORGEOUS. My first ever carrot cake, and I don’t think I will ever use another recipe. I didn’t make it a layer cake, instead kept them separate and brought one to a dinner party, and kept the other to myself! I used 9-inch rounds and they came out perfectly fine. The frosting is to die for. I found that the cinnamon got lost, so I added probably double the amount, along with ginger and nutmeg to mirror the flavors of the cake. I was literally licking it off the spatula. So. Good.

  18. #
    PJ Bibby — March 13, 2020 at 12:32 pm

    Not your ordinary carrot cake, the browned butter really makes a difference!
    I had to make my own brown sugar (granulated sugar + treacle) which I think added another layer of taste.

  19. #
    Aniko — March 14, 2020 at 2:32 am

    I made this cake last weekend, I used purple and orange carrots to make it, it turned out amazing and soft! We are two in a household but it was gone within 3 and a half day! Thank you for this recipe, definitely making it again!

  20. #
    Amber Cockrum — March 14, 2020 at 8:58 am

    Very delicious. Loved the frosting. Not a big fan of the carrots but that is my own personal preference. I’m not sure if I did something wrong. My cake took alot longer to bake: 45 minutes and the center never really baked all the way :(. Really really good frosting though:)

  21. #
    Katrina Matijczyk — March 14, 2020 at 10:15 am

    I usually have a different carrot cake recipe I follow but gave this a go. Much moister than my old recipe. Will be switching to this one. I did get a new oven this week and this was my maiden test run. Had to cook a few minutes longer. Also the 8 inch pans were a touch small and the cakes developed a lip. I would use 9 inch pans next time. Overall a great baking and decorating experience.

  22. #
    Katrina Matijczyk — March 14, 2020 at 10:19 am

    I usually have a different carrot cake recipe but tried this one and it is better than my old one

  23. #
    Thuy — March 14, 2020 at 2:18 pm

    Can you substitute the apple sauce for something else? My sibling is allergic to many fruits.

  24. #
    Cynthia — March 15, 2020 at 10:11 pm

    I love carrot cake and this is the best I’ve ever had. Thank you, Tessa. You knocked this out of the park again.

  25. #
    Sarah — March 16, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    Yummiest cake

  26. #
    Emily — March 17, 2020 at 9:47 am

    Total game changer. This cake is phenomenal. Super most and flavorful. Made it for our anniversary. I do want to add that it took me 6.5 carrots to shred to equal the weight called for in the recipe. Also, I think I’d add a little more spice to the frosting next time.

    • #
      Emily — March 17, 2020 at 9:50 am

      Forgot to mention, didn’t check my cake pans before making the batter, and turns out I had the wrong ones. I had dark metal 9 inch rounds. Still delicious!

      • #
        Rob — February 16, 2021 at 6:28 pm

        I reduce the temperature by 25 degress when I bake with the dark nonstick pans. I never have any problems.

  27. #
    Steele T — March 17, 2020 at 11:10 am

    Hi Tessa, I’m wondering if it is possible to substitute vegetable shortening for butter in the cake and/or the cream cheese frosting.

    • #
      Emily Leishman — March 24, 2020 at 5:21 pm

      I’ve made frosting with vegetable shortening before (because of food allergies) and it turned out great! Not sure if it applies to this cake, but just sharing my experience

  28. #
    Adam Breitbach — March 17, 2020 at 3:15 pm

    These were delicious! I made mine as cupcakes for easier portion control and sharing. The browned butter added great flavor, and the applesauce added great moisture.

  29. #
    Kaitlin — March 17, 2020 at 5:55 pm

    So delicious and easy to make! This is the perfect carrot cake recipe. It just melts in your mouth!

  30. #
    Jayne Smith — March 17, 2020 at 8:05 pm


  31. #
    Jayne smith — March 17, 2020 at 8:06 pm

    Cake is moist and beautiful!

  32. #
    Myreen — March 18, 2020 at 7:57 am

    The idea of using brown butter for carrot cake is genius! I love it!

  33. #
    Iman — March 18, 2020 at 9:59 am

    We dint have apple sauce available in there an alternative any suggestion?

  34. #
    Debbie — March 19, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    Wonderful cake

  35. #
    Ally — March 19, 2020 at 3:05 pm

    What can I do if I don’t have applesauce? It’s quite hard to find in my country

  36. #
    angie beasley — March 19, 2020 at 3:56 pm

    So good!!!!

  37. #
    Andrea Saunders — March 20, 2020 at 4:14 am

    I would give it 4.8 stars if I could. The cake tasted amazing and it worked well the only thing I didn’t like is that since I made a large two tiered cake with it it was a ton of work to mix up. But it was worth it for the taste.And even though I never have stocking issues with cakes in my pans with the method I use ( I put a thin layer of a mixed combo of flour, oil, and shortening that has been beaten smooth) it always stuck to the pan and I had to work at it to get it out so make sure to use parchment on the bottom.

  38. #
    Andrea Rodriguez Sanna — March 20, 2020 at 3:31 pm

    This recipe is A M A Z I N G! I made it for my birthday and everyone loved it

  39. #
    Rose Kovach — March 20, 2020 at 8:50 pm

    Seriously the best carrot cake I’ve ever made. And I’ve made quite a few carrot cakes. Incredibly moist and flavorful. Love the frosting as well!

  40. #
    Laura — March 21, 2020 at 8:35 am

    Delicious – and so sweet!
    My very first buttercream.

  41. #
    Rebecca Small — March 21, 2020 at 5:03 pm

    Fantastic recipe. The cake was perfect. I didn’t add nuts inside because of allergies and was so good without them. I didn’t have 4 blocks of cream cheese either so just used 2 and kept everything else the same in the frosting. Still had extra but it was a perfect frosting for this carrot cake. I will for sure make again and I don’t normally like carrot cake 🙂 Thanks!

  42. #
    Aimee Grey — March 21, 2020 at 5:34 pm

    Delicious! My husband, who is not a big cake eater and definitely not an icing person, put extra icing on his piece. Our daughter said,”Dad, I’ve never seen you add icing to anything.” His response-“Other icings aren’t this good!” Thanks for a great recipe!

  43. #
    Judith Bruesch — March 21, 2020 at 9:44 pm

    Baked up beautifully and tasted great. I used pecans, not walnuts.

  44. #
    David de Beer — March 22, 2020 at 1:43 am

    This carrot cake is the best ever! I used Pecan nuts from a tree in my garden 🙂 To thicken the runny icing, I placed the bowl with icing in the fridge for 15 minutes before assembling the layers.

  45. #
    Barb — March 22, 2020 at 5:29 pm

    This cake was amazing! I normally don’t like carrot cake but this one was so good. I will definitely be making this one again.

  46. #
    Barb — March 22, 2020 at 5:31 pm

    This cake was amazing! I normally don’t like carrot cake but this one was so good. I will definitely be making it again.

  47. #
    Sherry — March 23, 2020 at 7:17 am

    You guys! This is hands-down the best carrot cake I’ve ever had. I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out so incredible. After debating back and forth, I decided to add chopped walnuts and it was a great choice. Such a flavorful, moist cake and the frosting is so light and delicious. To die for!!

  48. #
    MaryBeth Patterson — March 23, 2020 at 1:23 pm

    This is now one of my two favorite carrot cake recipes ever. So simple, so much moisture and flavor and that cinnamon cream cheese frosting!! Aaaaaaah-mazing!!!

  49. #
    Michele Randle — March 24, 2020 at 12:36 am

    I Love the use of brown butter!!! It is what drew me into this carrot cake recipe. I have the fortunate ability to have my Mother’s homemade applesauce 🙂 along with toasted pecans, to really elevate flavors in this delicious carrot cake!!
    Thank you for this one

  50. #
    Nancy E Clark — March 25, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    I think it is dry compared to one I make with oil. That being said I made it into 4 6 inch cakes to put together 2 cakes and my other recipe would not have held up to layering like this one. I definitely would make again if a two layer cake is what I wanted. The flavor was excellent

    • #
      Nancy Clark — March 26, 2020 at 8:19 am

      As a follow-up, my comments were a little confusing. I baked the cake into 4 6 inch cakes. I took two and layered them and saved the other two for later This morning I cut a wedge from the saved layer and it was much better the day after baking. The spices have a chance to mingle It was much more moist too. It had a very good texture and taste. I’m not a frosting fan so my wedge I tasted this morning was not frosted so it was more like a muffin. I plan to use the other two layers to serve as snack cakes with no frosting or a glaze.

  51. #
    Rosanne Weiler — March 26, 2020 at 4:58 am

    Anything with brown butter is so yummy and this cake with that brown sugar as well made a delicious treat! And you just can’t go wrong with cream cheese icing!

  52. #
    Cheryle — March 26, 2020 at 11:51 am

    What’s substitute for applesauce ?

  53. #
    Karen — March 26, 2020 at 3:16 pm

    I couldn’t get out to the store to get more cream cheese, so had to half the icing recipe, but still turned out great!!!

  54. #
    Kristopher — March 27, 2020 at 7:52 pm

    The frosting is so incredible and the cake is just as amazing. This may be my favorite yet, and I have had carrot cake all over this country.

  55. #
    Christina — March 27, 2020 at 8:12 pm

    WOW!!!! This was amazing! Calorie bomb, but I felt like a professional baker, it was sooo good. This is my new go-to carrot cake recipe.

  56. #
    Mae — March 28, 2020 at 7:30 am

    The cake was a bit dense but very moist. Better than any carrot cake I ever tasted! Perfect for the holidays!

  57. #
    Home Nancy & Larry Remy — March 28, 2020 at 10:07 am

    My son does not like carrot cake but he did like this one, I think it wha the brown butter that made the difference. so very good!

  58. #
    Cassie — March 28, 2020 at 3:43 pm

    So good! How can it not be with brown butter? It’s the perfect spring dessert!

  59. #
    Marguerite Sterling — March 28, 2020 at 6:44 pm

    We love carrot cake and this was a bit different from the start with the browned butter. Wonderful aroma while baking. I did not need as much frosting as I made. The real test will be when my husband, who does not like carrot cake gets to try it tomorrow!

  60. #
    GAJ — March 28, 2020 at 7:22 pm

    Instead of applesauce, how much butter shld I use to substitute that?

  61. #
    Tessa Deyle — March 28, 2020 at 7:33 pm

    My husband commented that this is the best carrot cake he’s ever had. Love that it has weights included for some of the ingredients, easy to follow recipe, and great results. I definitely need to save this recipe!

  62. #
    Kennedy Carey — March 28, 2020 at 9:14 pm

    This Cake is amazing! I made this cake for the March baking challenge. My family came over for dinner and we ate half the cake the night I made it. Everyone said it was phenomenal and wanted a second piece. It was a HIT!
    Thank you so much Tessa for this recipe, it made a lot of people happy. I will say that I realized after putting 4 cups of powdered sugar in the frosting that it was just the right amount with the cake. Even though the recipe called for 5 cups. But then again everyone in my family likes cream Cheese!

  63. #
    Dor — March 29, 2020 at 3:50 am

    Best carrot cake i ever made ! Tnx !!

  64. #
    Kenny — March 29, 2020 at 7:34 am

    This cake was great. Super moist and the icing was delicious. I only used 4 cups of sugar but it was just right

  65. #
    Mandi Summers — March 29, 2020 at 8:47 am

    Absolutely delicious!! Perfectly moist, the frosting is exactly the right amount of sweet and tangy. Beautiful recipe.

  66. #
    Kelly — March 29, 2020 at 9:43 am

    I love this cake! The texture and flavor are unbelievable!! I made a mini 6 inch version by scaling the recipe down by 2/3 and it worked out really well– I had some extra frosting which I’m not complaining about 🙂

    • #
      Arjun — July 4, 2020 at 12:54 am

      i am planning to use 2 6 inch pans too. I am assuming dividing everything by half will suffice to fill the two pans. Is my assumption right?

      What about the baking time?

  67. #
    Nicole Chiragali — March 29, 2020 at 9:52 am

    What a simple recipe for a cake with so much flavor! Just great …. and that frosting … yummy in my tummy!
    My husband and son loved this cake too!
    Many thanks for the recipe!

  68. #
    Nicole — March 29, 2020 at 9:56 am

    What a simple recipe for a cake with so much flavor! Just great …. and that frosting … yummy in my tummy!
    My husband and son loved this cake too!
    Many thanks for the recipe!

  69. #
    Kelly Scott — March 29, 2020 at 10:06 am

    Omg! The brown butter makes all the difference! We didn’t have applesauce so used buttermilk and mmmm!

  70. #
    Karen — March 29, 2020 at 12:25 pm

    This was a huge success with my family! I was asked if I could make it again as an ice cream carrot cake. Could I spread vanilla ice cream between the layers and freeze it?

  71. #
    Kimberly Dierker — March 29, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    This cake was so good! The brown butter brought a nice nutty flavor, and I loved the cinnamon in the cream cheese frosting! The cake was nice and moist, and not too sweet. My family and I loved this and would make it again!

  72. #
    Seraphina — March 29, 2020 at 2:19 pm

    My mom loves carrot cake, so of course she loved this recipe. But my dad isn’t the biggest fan of carrot cake and he LOVED this! Super moist and not too sweet. The browned butter is also a plus since I’ve never met a recipe with browned butter that I didn’t like!

  73. #
    Fithria — March 30, 2020 at 2:51 am

    Great recipe. Thanks Tessa

  74. #
    Kayla Burton — March 30, 2020 at 10:47 am

    This carrot cake is so delicious! I would not change a thing about it. Thanks, Tessa!

  75. #
    Regina Munoz — March 30, 2020 at 11:20 am

    I love browned butter anything! That irresistible nuttiness plus that wonderful cinnamon-y flavor in the frosting is heaven on a fork. A moist cake to be sure (I used grated apple since I didn’t have applesauce, and that always works well for me). I omitted pecans, which is a shame, but not everyone in my household likes nuts. If you can, though, add nuts! I halved the recipe and baked a smaller version using 6″ cake pans (my attempt at portion control–ha!), and I had a fun time decorating with candied carrot curls instead. A big hit with my family! I’ll keep this one in my rotation.

    • #
      Arjun — July 4, 2020 at 12:56 am

      Did you use 2 6 inch pans? I am planning to do the same?

      Will the baking time remain the same?

  76. #
    Elizabeth Anderson — March 30, 2020 at 11:24 am

    I hope I entered the challenge correctly! Haha 😀 It is so good 🙂

  77. #
    Clair — March 31, 2020 at 1:54 pm

    SO delicious! Made it for My birthday. “Really good“ comments from my niece and sister-in-law. They loved it! Easy to follow recipe and uses pantry staples! Lots of yummy cream cheese icing!

  78. #
    Kennedy Carey — March 31, 2020 at 2:08 pm

    Hey Tessa I was just wondering when will you do the drawing? For the prizes? I’m just curious

  79. #
    Pam — March 31, 2020 at 10:25 pm

    Very yummy! I’ve never made a carrot cake before. It turned out great!

  80. #
    Hannah — April 12, 2020 at 5:57 am

    The cake was delicious! The directions were super easy to follow. It turned out beautifully. However, my cake turned out really dense and a little spongy if that makes sense. I was wondering what I did wrong. This is my first carrot cake so maybe that’s just how the texture should be.

    The browned butter really set it off though! And the frosty is scrumptious.

  81. #
    Flor — April 20, 2020 at 6:05 am

    Hey Tessa! We don’t have applesauce, can i replace it with something else? Thank you!

  82. #
    Christopher Johnson — May 11, 2020 at 6:48 pm

    Made this for Mother’s Day. Best carrot cake I’ve ever had. Definitely a crowd pleaser!

  83. #
    Don — June 14, 2020 at 11:00 pm

    Can you sub the brown Butter with olive Oil

    • #
      Emily Leishman — September 18, 2020 at 4:57 pm

      I don’t think so. Brown butter adds a lot of flavor to this cake, and I don’t think olive oil would do the same thing. If you really don’t like brown butter you could just sub melted.

  84. #
    Lauren — June 28, 2020 at 3:13 pm

    This is the BEST carrot cake ever! I’ve made it 3 times during lockdown (in the UK) and it’s had rave reviews from my family and neighbours!! I followed the recipe exactly but did decrease the sugar to 300g, DIVINE!

  85. #
    Naomi — July 13, 2020 at 8:20 pm

    I made this! I’ve been testing out different recipes that I’ve found online. The cake is delicious! But the frosting is soup. I’ve never had such a soupy cream cheese frosting! I weighed all my ingredients and my ingredients were just slightly cooler then room temp. I’m thinking the cake will probably slide apart while in the fridge overnight!

  86. #
    Jennifer — July 24, 2020 at 10:04 am

    I made this for Easter and it was fabulous. I am grateful that I am the only one in my family that eats “vegetables in dessert” because I got it all to myself! thanks for the recipe

  87. #
    Lucia — August 6, 2020 at 3:26 pm

    This Carrot Cake was AMAZING! I made it for Easter and my family could not get enough of it. I was so nervous to make this as making cakes from scratch intimidate me but it came out perfectly!!! Everyone needs to make this carrot cake at least once. So DELICIOUS.

  88. #
    Cat — September 12, 2020 at 10:11 am

    Can you make this with almond flour for gluten free?

    • #
      Emily Leishman — September 18, 2020 at 4:59 pm

      No, you can’t substitute almond flour for all purpose. You can probably use a 1:1 gluten free flour blend though.

  89. #
    Ashley N — September 18, 2020 at 3:42 pm

    Can you use sweetened applesauce? I just realized I grabbed the wrong kind!

    • #
      Emily Leishman — September 18, 2020 at 5:00 pm

      Yes! It should work just the same. If you’re worried about it being too sweet you could probably reduce the sugar by a tablespoon, but I wouldn’t worry about it.

  90. #
    herbalife büyükçekmece — September 30, 2020 at 11:16 am

    It looks very nice. I will do it now

  91. #
    Karlin — January 9, 2021 at 6:44 pm

    I would like to add coconut to this recipe. How much would I add?

  92. #
    Irini — January 10, 2021 at 8:22 am

    I can t find applesauce, any alternative???

  93. #
    Edna Caterina — February 16, 2021 at 5:25 pm


  94. #
    Dee — February 26, 2021 at 9:58 pm

    I’ve made this half dozen times. The last time, I made enough carrot cake layers to freeze a couple! Even those, a couple months later when thawed and iced, were amazing!! This cake gets rave reviews each and every time I make it. The cake is fabulous and the icing takes it over the top to perfection!

  95. #
    Kara — March 14, 2021 at 4:52 pm

    I made this carrot cake for my MIL and she said “No joke it’s probably one of the best carrot cakes I’ve ever had and I’m a carrot cake a snob.”
    This was so easy to make and do delicious. I’ll definitely be making this again!

    • #
      Tessa — March 15, 2021 at 2:09 pm

      YAY! That’s absolutely amazing!

  96. #
    Michelle — March 18, 2021 at 10:19 pm

    This cake was absolutely amazing! It was moist, fluffy, light, and went perfectly with the frosting. The recipe was extremely clear and super easy to follow. I will 100% make this recipe again. Thanks for sharing Tessa!

    • #
      Tessa — March 19, 2021 at 8:36 am

      Hooray! I’m so glad you love this recipe!

  97. #
    Kaetochi — March 19, 2021 at 1:00 pm

    Made this in one 9×9 square tin. I cut the amount of sugar in half and skipped the frosting. This is the best carrot cake I have ever had! So so moist, great spices, and the browned butter is DIVINE. If I’m feeling more ambitious/less lazy in the future I’ll make it into an actual circular cake with frosting!

    • #
      Tessa — March 22, 2021 at 1:46 pm

      Yummy! So happy you loved this recipe!

  98. #
    Najla — March 23, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    Where’s the Apple sauce

    • #
      Tessa — March 24, 2021 at 9:07 am

      The applesauce is listed in the cake ingredients 🙂

  99. #
    Christine — March 24, 2021 at 12:48 am

    Am not sure that we have apple sauce in France. Is it possible to have a picture of the product, please?

    Thanks a lot and looking forward to make this cake


    • #
      Tessa — March 24, 2021 at 8:43 am

      Hi Christine! I’m sorry, I actually don’t have the ability to post photos in the comments section! If you don’t have applesauce available where you live, you could always make homemade! While I don’t have my own recipe to share with you, there are thousands online that you could use 🙂 Good luck, and let me know if you have any more questions!

    • #
      Judith — March 29, 2021 at 10:50 am

      Hi, Christine,
      when I lived in France, I found applesauce in the baby food aisle of a supermarket (in St. Girons).

  100. #
    emiegurl — March 26, 2021 at 3:25 pm

    thanks for the recipe… can i ask if i could use other alternatives for unsweetened apple sauce?

    • #
      Tessa — March 29, 2021 at 10:11 am

      I haven’t tried this recipe without the apple sauce, sorry!

  101. #
    Kennedy Carey — March 31, 2021 at 8:58 pm

    Hi Tessa!! I make this for Easter every year and for my family birthdays who love carrot cake!!! This recipe is AMAZING. I have one question, I have a Freind who is gluten free and if I used gluten free flour instead of regular flour would it make a difference? Please let me know!!! Thank you!!

    • #
      Tessa — April 1, 2021 at 9:41 am

      I’m sorry, Kennedy, I don’t bake gluten free, so I wouldn’t know how it’d turn out. Good luck!

  102. #
    Núria — April 4, 2021 at 11:19 am

    Hi Tessa!! I had a trouble baking white cake for layer cakes until I tried yours, not only they grew considerably in the oven but they turned out flat on top, no doom finally!! I have the same problem with carrot cakes, they never grow in the oven, NEVER! I’ve tried this recipe of yours hoping it would be THE ONE but my result is a dense and raw-like cake which combines great with the frosting, indeed, but it’s not fluffy and crumbly like it looks in your pictures. Is that the way it should be? Thanks!

    • #
      Tessa — April 5, 2021 at 10:34 am

      Hi Núria, no, this cake should definitely not be dense and raw! The raw cake is from not baking it long enough. Dense cakes normally happen due to overmixing, so I’d be extra careful paying attention to the directions where it says to “mix until just combined.” It could also be from a variety of other reasons: Did you make any substitutions? Is your baking soda fresh? What kind of pan did you use, light or dark-colored? Do you have an oven thermometer to see if your oven temperature is accurate? I hope I can help you figure this out, this cake is delicious!

  103. #
    Kristin Lanham — April 5, 2021 at 3:37 pm

    Made it for Easter, so missed the competition! Rave reviews for the cake, would upload my photo, but don’t think I can on here. The only thing I would have changed is I didn’t dig the cinnamon in the cream cheese frosting. I found myself wanting the more traditional frosting taste.

    • #
      Tessa — April 6, 2021 at 8:29 am

      I’m happy you loved this carrot cake, Kristin! You are more than welcome to switch out the frosting for regular cream cheese frosting 🙂

  104. #
    Jaki — April 16, 2021 at 1:08 pm

    It was delicious, sweet, moist….
    Thank you

  105. #
    melissa — April 18, 2021 at 7:11 pm

    I don’t have applesauce,
    how can i replace it?
    Is there any possibility to make our, own applesauce at home?
    why we should put applesauce in the Carrot Cake?

    • #
      Tessa — April 19, 2021 at 3:48 pm

      Hi Melissa, I talk about why the applesauce is important to this carrot cake in the pink box above the recipe 🙂 I haven’t tried this recipe with a replacement for the applesauce — If you don’t have applesauce available where you live, you could always make homemade! While I don’t have my own recipe to share with you, there are thousands online that you could use. Good luck!

  106. #
    Beth Sklar — May 30, 2021 at 10:48 am

    Can I make this as a sheet cake?

    • #
      Michael — September 14, 2021 at 5:18 pm

      Bath, I was just wondering if you made this as a sheet cake and what your results were? I was thinking of doing the same.

  107. #
    Stubborn Cook — May 31, 2021 at 7:44 am

    Thank you for pointing me to this recipe when l asked for a cake equivalent of the carrot cupcakes.
    The cake was sturdy enough to use in layering but moist of all moist and delicious!
    I used a mascarpone frosting instead as UK cream cheese is too soft for the layering cakes!
    Thank you for another fabulous recipe

    • #
      Tessa — June 1, 2021 at 3:02 pm

      Sounds absolutely delicious! I’m thrilled you loved this carrot cake 🙂

  108. #
    Beth Sklar — June 1, 2021 at 5:38 am

    I’ve made this twice now as a layer cake. It’s the best carrot cake I’ve ever had! My sister wants me to make it as a sheet cake for 30-50 people! I’m terrified! What size pan do I need? Do I have to adjust the amounts of ingredients and the baking time? And decorating it, oy! Help!!

  109. #
    Nagy — June 30, 2021 at 12:34 pm

    THE BEST CARROT CAKE! OMG You will not regret making this. Only thing better than this cake is the icing – super rich and creamy!

    • #
      Tessa — July 1, 2021 at 10:02 am

      This is a favorite for sure! I’m so glad you loved it!

  110. #
    Elizabeth Tran — July 26, 2021 at 8:27 am

    Can you freeze already frosted cake slices?
    Also I made this cake but I had a lot of frosting left over (an entire red topped rubbermaid container). My cakes didn’t rise much so I couldn’t really cut them in half. Did I do something wrong that I didn’t have enough batter or it didn’t rise enough?

    • #
      Emily @ Handle the Heat — July 26, 2021 at 4:12 pm

      Hi Elizabeth! We haven’t tried freezing cake slices, but it should work fine, according to The Kitchn, even with cream cheese frosting. We tend to have leftover frosting with this recipe but would rather have leftover frosting than not enough! It really depends on how thick you make each frosting layer. Have you checked the freshness of your baking soda? Click HERE to learn how to do so. Do you use a digital scale to measure your ingredients?

  111. #
    Lucia — August 1, 2021 at 2:43 am

    Hi Tessa! I loved this cake when I made it, but I made it without the cream cheese frosting. I want to make it again for my son’s first birthday and I wanted to ask you if the frosting is enough to cover the inside of three layers of a7 inch cake, the outside and also a few swirls on the top. Thank you!

    • #
      Emily — August 2, 2021 at 4:05 pm

      We haven’t tried making this as a three layer 7-inch cake, only two 8-inch layers. As what you’re attempting is a larger cake, we’d suggest making a double batch (or a single batch plus half of another batch). It’s best to have too much frosting rather than too little!

  112. #
    Lucia — August 1, 2021 at 5:43 am

    I forgot to add to my question (about baking it for my son’s first birthday), do you think it would look yucky if I added a little bit of green or blue coloring to the icing? any color you’d think would work out best?

    • #
      Emily — August 2, 2021 at 4:02 pm

      Hi Lucia! Totally depends on your color preference 🙂 I’d suggest making the frosting, then separating a small amount to another bowl and experimenting with the color prior to adding the coloring to the entire batch of frosting. Then you can easily make changes 🙂 Let us know how it goes!

      • #
        Lucia — August 3, 2021 at 1:53 am

        Thank you very much for your answer, Emily! ☺️

  113. #
    Sharize — August 6, 2021 at 6:25 am

    Do you have any substitute for applesauce? Thanks

    • #
      Emily — August 6, 2021 at 7:40 am

      Hi Sharize! We haven’t tried anything else! Other reviewers have used grated apples or crushed pineapple with success. Hope that helps! Please let us know what you end up trying and how you liked it!

  114. #
    Noorul Huda Khan — August 7, 2021 at 11:06 pm

    What can I replace with applesauce?

    • #
      Emily — August 9, 2021 at 8:51 am

      We haven’t tried anything else; however, other reviewers have reported success with either grated apples or crushed pineapple. Hope that helps! Please let us know how it goes 🙂

  115. #
    Megan — August 25, 2021 at 5:04 pm

    Can you store the icing before using it on the cake? That’s going to be the easiest for travel but not sure if the icing will dry up?

    • #
      Emily — August 26, 2021 at 9:05 am

      Hi Megan, absolutely! Follow the instructions in the pink top box above our Cream Cheese Frosting recipe linked here. They’re a different recipe, but same instructions apply 🙂 Enjoy your cake!

  116. #
    Carol — September 27, 2021 at 3:34 pm

    This recipe takes a little longer than some, but it is sooooo worth it. It is amazing!!! I make it as cupcakes and take them to work. I get rave reviews. If I can just get a raise from making them, that would be epic!!

    • #
      Emily — September 28, 2021 at 10:47 am

      So happy to hear this recipe is such a hit, Carol!

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