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A Slice of Nostalgia: Grandma's Famous Carrot Cake

Carrot cake is a classic dessert enjoyed by many, and this recipe for Grandma's Famous Carrot Cake takes it to a whole new level. Packed with moist, shredded carrots, warm spices, and a creamy cream cheese frosting, this cake is sure to become a favorite in your own home.

A Celebration of Texture and Flavor:

This carrot cake offers a delightful textural contrast. The grated carrots add a subtle sweetness and a pleasant crunch, while the all-purpose flour and baking soda create a tender and fluffy crumb. The warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg complement the sweetness of the sugar and the tanginess of the cream cheese frosting perfectly.


  • For the Spiced Carrot Cake:

    • 3 cups grated carrots (about 6 large carrots)
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 cups white sugar
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 4 large eggs
    • 1 cup vegetable oil
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice, drained
    • 1 cup chopped pecans (divided)
  • For the Creamy Dream Cheese Frosting:

    • 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
    • 1 package (8 ounces) Neufchatel cheese, softened
    • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 cup chopped pecans


  1. Preparing for Perfection: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius). Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with butter or cooking spray and dust it with flour to prevent sticking. This ensures the cake releases easily from the pan after baking.

  2. Dry Ingredients First: In a large bowl, whisk together the grated carrots, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon. These dry ingredients form the base of the cake's structure and flavor.

  3. The Wet Ingredients Join the Party: In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. This creates a wet mixture that will bind the dry ingredients together.

  4. Combining for a Delicious Batter: Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Use a mixing spoon or electric mixer on low speed to gently combine everything until just incorporated. Be careful not to overmix, as this can result in a tough cake.

  5. Adding Chunks of Flavor: Fold in the drained crushed pineapple and ¾ cup of the chopped pecans. The pineapple adds a burst of juicy sweetness and brightness, while the pecans provide delightful textural contrast.

  6. Baking to Golden Perfection: Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. The cake is done when it springs back slightly when lightly pressed in the center.

  7. A Cooling Act: Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before frosting. This allows the cake to set properly and prevents the frosting from melting.

  8. Frosting Magic: While the cake cools, prepare the frosting. In a medium bowl, cream together the softened cream cheese and butter until smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in the vanilla extract and the remaining ½ cup of chopped pecans.

  9. A Frosted Dream: Once the cake is cool, spread the creamy dream cheese frosting evenly over the top and sides of the cake. You can use a spatula or offset icing knife to achieve a smooth finish.

  10. A Slice of Happiness: Slice the frosted carrot cake and enjoy! This delicious dessert is perfect for afternoon tea parties, potlucks, or simply as a sweet treat.


  • For an extra moist carrot cake, you can shred the carrots the day before baking and store them in the refrigerator covered in a damp paper towel.
  • If you don't have Neufchatel cheese, you can substitute it with an equal amount of softened cream cheese.
  • Leftover carrot cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.