The Best Pumpkin Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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The Best Pumpkin Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting — A marriage of pumpkin cake and carrot cake into one soft, moist, tender, and amazing cake!! The tangy cream cheese frosting is truly the icing on this easy cake!!

a slice of frosted pumpkin carrot cake on a white plate with a fork

Moist Pumpkin Carrot Cake Recipe

I love pumpkin cake and I love carrot cake. I married two of my favorite cakes into one super soft, moist, and tender cake that’s topped with tangy cream cheese frosting.

It’s one of the best cakes I’ve ever made. So, so good and if you’re a fan of either pumpkin or carrot cake, this is the cake to make. It’s a fast, easy, one-bowl, no mixer cake recipe. I used oil rather than butter, which keeps the cake extra moist and since both pumpkin and carrots make everything moister, there’s no chance of a dry cake here.

The cake is so moist, perfectly dense, and robustly flavored. There’s some texture from the carrots and from raisins. 

The thick layer of tangy cream cheese frosting is where it’s at. It complements the warming spices in the cake perfectly. My daughter adored this cake as much as I did and said she wants it as her birthday cake.

a slice of frosted pumpkin carrot cake with a bite missing on a white plate

What’s in This Cake? 

To make this ultra moist carrot cake recipe, you’ll need: 

  • Eggs
  • Pumpkin puree 
  • Granulated sugar, light brown sugar, and confectioners’ sugar 
  • Oil
  • Spices (pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, cloves) 
  • Vanilla extract
  • Grated carrots
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder and baking soda
  • Salt
  • Raisins 
  • Cream cheese 
  • Unsalted butter

How to Make Pumpkin Carrot Cake

Whisk together the wet ingredients, then mix in the dry. Fold in the raisins last. Turn the batter into a 9-inch springform pan, then bake until done. 

Let the cake cool completely before frosting. The carrot cake frosting is super easy to make — simply beat together the ingredients until fluffy. 

Do I Have to Use a Springform Pan? 

Yes! Don’t use a regular 9-inch round cake pan because it’s not deep enough and the cake will overflow.

The Best Pumpkin Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting - A marriage of pumpkin cake and carrot cake into one soft, moist, tender, and amazing cake!! The tangy cream cheese frosting is truly the icing on this easy cake!!

How to Store Carrot Cake

This pumpkin carrot cake from scratch will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 4 days or in the fridge for up to 1 week. I’m comfortable storing cream cheese frosting at room temperature, but if you’re not store in the fridge noting cake will be more prone to drying out in the fridge.

The Best Pumpkin Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting — A marriage of pumpkin cake and carrot cake into one soft, moist, tender, and amazing cake!! The tangy cream cheese frosting is truly the icing on this easy cake!!

Tips for Making Pumpkin Carrot Cake

I love raisins in carrot cake but not everyone does. You can omit them, use nuts instead, or use neither.

Make sure to grate your own carrots. The pre-packaged convenience bags of carrots have an odd texture that doesn’t do well in baking. It just takes a minute using a box grater to grate your own.

I used a full tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice to amp up the flavor. You can reduce it if you like but there’s nothing worse than bland pumpkin or carrot cake.

The Best Pumpkin Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting — A marriage of pumpkin cake and carrot cake into one soft, moist, tender, and amazing cake!! The tangy cream cheese frosting is truly the icing on this easy cake!!

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4.36 from 51 votes

The Best Pumpkin Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

By Averie Sunshine
A marriage of pumpkin cake and carrot cake into one soft, moist, tender, and amazing cake!! The tangy cream cheese frosting is truly the icing on this easy cake!!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 8
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Ingredients  

Cake

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (use the remainder in these recipes
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup grated carrots, loosely packed (grate yourself using the coarsest blade of a box grater; don’t use pre-packaged convenience bags of carrots)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 cup raisins, optional (or 1 cup chopped nuts, or 1/2 cup raisins and 1/2 cup chopped nuts)

Frosting

  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened (lite okay)
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste

Instructions 

 Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with floured cooking spray or grease and flour the pan; set aside. Don’t use a regular 9-inch round cake pan because it’s not deep enough and the cake will overflow.
  • To a large bowl, add the eggs, pumpkin, sugars, oil, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, and whisk to combine.
  • Add the carrots and stir to combine.
  • Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and stir until just combined, don’t overmix.
  • Optionally add the raisins and/or nuts and stir to combine. Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula. Bake for about 45 minutes or until center is set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, no batter. In the last 10 minutes, loosely drape a sheet of foil over the top of the springform pan to prevent the top from becoming overly browned.

Frosting:

  • To a large bowl (or to the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment) add the cream cheese, butter, and beat with an electric mixer on high-speedy until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, salt, and beat until smooth and incorporated, about 2 minutes.
  • Turn frosting out onto cake and spread into a smooth, even, flat layer using a spatula or knife. Unlatch springform pan, slice, and serve.

Notes

Baking Tip: Place springform pan on a baking sheet while cake bakes as ‘insurance’ against pesky leaky springform pans. Although this is a thick batter and not prone to leaking, better safe than sorry. Allow cake to cool completely in pan on a wire rack before frosting it so the frosting doesn’t melt.
Storage: Cake will keep airtight at room temp for up to 4 days or in the fridge for up to 1 week. I’m comfortable storing cream cheese frosting at room temp, but if you’re not store in the fridge noting cake will be more prone to drying out in the fridge.
Adapted from Easy Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 529kcal, Carbohydrates: 78g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 15g, Cholesterol: 69mg, Sodium: 508mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 59g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

More Easy Pumpkin Recipes:

Cooking With Pumpkin: Recipes That Go Beyond the Pie is my second cookbook and was released October, 2014.. There’s over 50 pumpkin recipes including sweets, savory, drinks, and a photo for nearly every recipe. I’d be super grateful if you headed over to Amazon.

Cooking With Pumpkin: Recipes That Go Beyond the Pie by Averie Sunshine

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
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  2. 5 stars
    This is my all time favorite cake. I used to do community service baking birthday cakes for military members who are stationed away from their families. A mom contacted me and gave me this recipe to bake for her son because it was his favorite. It’s my favorite recipe. I entered it in a bake off last year and won. 

  3. Hi! I have used some of your other recipes before. So I tried this one today,  but my cake is only about an inch thick. I did bake it in a 10 inch springform pan but it seems very dense and heavy. Should I have use a stand mixer to blend? Because I use my own arm powers to mix it. I’m not sure how dense it should be. I wonder if it’s right or my baking powder was to blame… Help! 

    1. Your cake is “short” because this isn’t a tall cake to begin with and the difference of a 9 vs 10-inch pan will make a noticeable difference in this case.

      Dense – yes it is a dense cake, heavier, and on the wetter side. That is to be expected when dealing with pumpkin and carrots, two very moist ingredients.

      Your baking powder – could be to blame, I am not sure.

      I recommend baking it in a 9 inch, with new baking powder, use King Arthur brand flour, no need for a stand mixer, that’s irrelevant here it wouldn’t have effected it one way or the other.