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Classic Carrot Cake

Make the best-ever carrot cake with this recipe for Classic Carrot Cake. Moist and packed with flavor from chai spice and cinnamon, this carrot cake, studded with pistachios, is a real winner.

Classic carrot cake

This classic carrot cake recipe is moist, perfectly-spiced and made with lots of fresh carrots and a cream cheese frosting.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Cooling1 hr
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: best carrot cake, Cakes, Classic carrot cake, Desserts, Easter, Easter Cake, low fat carrot cake, moist carrot cake, Summer Cake
Servings: 12
Calories: 710kcal


  • Three 8-inch (or 9-inch) cake pans
  • Parchment paper
  • Mixing bowls



  • 2 cups All-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking soda
  • 1 tsp. Baking powder
  • 1 tsp. Chai spice blend
  • 1 tsp. Ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. Table salt
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 ½ cups Granulated sugar
  • ½ cup Packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. Pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Vegetable oil
  • 3 cups Shredded carrots
  • ¼ cup Chopped pistachios
  • ½ cup Buttermilk


  • 1 ½ pkg. Cream cheese (12 oz. total), softened
  • 4 tbsp. Unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 tbsp. Pineapple juice
  • 6 ½ cups Sifted powdered sugar
  • ½ cup Ground pistachios


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Line three 8-inch (or 9-inch) cake pans with parchment paper; coat with nonstick spray. (If using a 9×13-inch pan, eliminate parchment paper but coat with nonstick spray.)
  • For the cake, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, chai spice blend, cinnamon, and salt.
  • Cream eggs, granulated and brown sugars, and vanilla in a bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until mixture forms ribbons, 5–7 minutes. Slowly drizzle in oil, while continuing to mix, until incorporated. Stir in carrots and chopped pistachios.
  • Fold half the flour mixture into creamed mixture. Once flour mixture is nearly incorporated, stir in buttermilk. Fold in remaining flour mixture until batter is combined.
  • Divide batter evenly among cake pans. Bake cakes until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 35–40 minutes (45 minutes if using a 9×13-inch pan). Cool cakes on a rack, 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and cool completely.
  • For the frosting, beat together cream cheese, butter, and pineapple juice in a bowl with a mixer until combined. Mix in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, scraping sides of bowl after each addition, until sugar is fully incorporated. Beat frosting until light and fluffy.
  • To frost cake, place one cake layer top side down on a serving plate or cake stand; spread frosting to edges. Top with a cake layer and more frosting; stack final cake layer on top. Spread frosting onto sides of stacked layers until covered. Spread frosting on top layer of cake, smooth with the sides, then press sides of cake with ground pistachio


Per serving, Calories: 710
  • Used three 8-inch layers for this cake, but one 9×13 or three 9-inch pans can work, too. Just note that you’ll need less frosting for a 9×13-inch cake.

Nutrition Facts

1 servings per container

  • Amount Per ServingCalories710
  • % Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 35g 54%
    • Saturated Fat 12g 60%
  • Cholesterol 87mg 29%
  • Sodium 361mg 16%
  • Total Carbohydrate 101g 34%
    • Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
  • Protein 7g 15%

    * The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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    Written by Lisa Yarde

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