My favorite carrot cake + free printable recipe card

I have a million favorite desserts (#sweettooth), but my favorite of all favorites is forever and always carrot cake.

I’m a little bit particular about my carrot cake, though. I’m not a fan of spice cake; I prefer a true carrot cake. I like nuts in the cake for texture and a generous amount of cream cheese frosting.

Since I was a girl, I’ve been using my grandmother’s carrot cake recipe. I have tried others but always circle back to this one. It is moist, flavorful and delicious in every way.

I usually bake mine in two round cake pans for a layered cake, but this recipe also works well for cupcakes, if that’s more your style.

Also, know that leftover carrot cake for breakfast is a perfectly acceptable choice :)


4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups oil
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped nuts
3 cups grated carrots
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour two round cake pans.
Beat 4 eggs very well. Add sugar gradually, beating well. Add oil, continuing to beat.
Sift flour, soda, cinnamon and salt. Add to egg and sugar. Mix in nuts and carrots. Add vanilla.
Pour batter between two cake pans. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from cake pans and let cool.


1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
8 oz package cream cheese, at room temperature
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Beat well until spreading consistency.
Frost cake and enjoy!

I have a little series of recipe illustrations I’ve been creating and did a new one for this carrot cake and cream cheese frosting (I’m pretty smitten with that powdered sugar bag!).

You can find this recipe and the others (blueberry muffinschocolate chip cookiespumpkin bread and poppyseed bread) from THE ARCHIVE, our library of all the best free prints, templates, fonts and more. There are two 5×7 cards per sheet, so print them out, trim around the dotted lines and share with a friend (maybe with a freshly baked carrot cake?!).


If you are curious about how I make these illustrations, I created this video showing the process. Also, if you want to learn how to illustrate like this on your own, take my graphic design class! I am currently updating all of the content and videos and will have it available shortly!

18 Responses to My favorite carrot cake + free printable recipe card

  1. Jennifer Harley October 31, 2018 at 6:18 pm #

    So happy to see a true carrot cake recipe, NO PINEAPPLE!

  2. Sara October 31, 2018 at 3:40 pm #

    LOVE carrot cake! I usually substitute applesauce for the half the oil and it comes out delicious (and saves a few calories). :-)

    • linda October 31, 2018 at 4:18 pm #

      Yes save on calories! I love carrot🥕 cake too! Can’t wait to try Emily ‘s recipe.

  3. Cheryl October 31, 2018 at 1:47 pm #

    Yay! A pure carrot cake recipe with no coconut! Lots of carrots left in my garden so I will definitely try this recipe!

  4. Tricia October 31, 2018 at 12:18 pm #

    Emily – Carrot cake is my all time favorite – it was even our wedding cake. My old Southern neighbor gave me the best carrot cake hack ever – use 2 cups of carrot baby food instead of grating carrots. Try it next time – saves you from grating!

  5. Tara October 31, 2018 at 11:56 am #

    I love that black and white plate with the x’s! Where is it from?

    • emily October 31, 2018 at 12:07 pm #

      Isn’t it darling?! It came from the Magnolia Hearth + Hand line at target last year. I’m not sure if they still carry the plates but it is worth checking out!

  6. Beth October 31, 2018 at 11:35 am #

    I’m going to make this for my son’s first birthday. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Janet October 31, 2018 at 11:32 am #

    The download link doesn’t work. Looks so yummy!

    • emily October 31, 2018 at 11:35 am #

      Sorry about that! I just reloaded the page and it should show up now.

  8. cindy October 31, 2018 at 11:11 am #

    Thanks so much! Carrot cake doesn’t seem to want to download & I went to the Archive link & entered my email however gives me an invalid prompt saying something about merged fields?? Can’t wait to try these delicious recipes!

  9. Trish October 31, 2018 at 11:11 am #

    Thanks! I can’t get the download to work either.

  10. Carla Houwman October 31, 2018 at 11:10 am #

    not working for me either.

  11. Amy October 31, 2018 at 11:01 am #

    Thank you very much for sharing your recipe! What a delicious way to use up an abundant carrot crop. ;)

  12. Anne M Anzil October 31, 2018 at 10:58 am #

    Thanks cant wait to try it but I cant seem to download as well.

  13. Robin October 31, 2018 at 10:54 am #

    Thanks for the recipe, but I don’t think the download button works?

    • emily October 31, 2018 at 11:36 am #

      Hmm … sorry about that! It should be up now.

  14. LMG October 31, 2018 at 10:38 am #

    Very pretty recipe card! Do you happen to have any blank recipe card templates? I am always writing down favorite recipes that I use frequently on recipe cards which right in the kitchen.

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