The BEST Carrot Pumpkin Cake

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The BEST EVER, raved about Carrot Pumpkin Cake! Delicious, moist, easy to make! chelseasmessyapron.com

The most amazingly moist and flavorful carrot pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting.

The BEST EVER, raved about Carrot Pumpkin Cake! Delicious, moist, easy to make! chelseasmessyapron.com

My toddler is absolutely obsessed with carrot cake – he could inhale an entire (multiple-layer) carrot cake if I let him. So when it was getting close to his 4th birthday (which was two weeks ago), I was certain he’d ask for carrot cake. BUT when we started planning his “construction” party together and started looking at cake pictures on the internet, he got his heart set on a “dirt” (chocolate) frosted cake with construction cars. Maybe I’m wrong here, but carrot cake with milk chocolate frosting didn’t sound even a little bit good.

So we decided on the chocolate construction cake and spent the day before his birthday making the cake together. We had so much fun making it together — he ate way too much frosting and he couldn’t have been more thrilled at how the finished cake looked. He loved it.

The one thing he wasn’t too happy about? The taste. ? He doesn’t actually like chocolate cake (I don’t understand this at all), and told me it was “a little bit gross.” Haha!

Naturally, I had to make him a carrot cake the very next day. I was going to make tried and true favorite carrot cake recipe, but I had some leftover pumpkin in the fridge (yes, I’ve already been testing some pumpkin recipes for you all!) and thought it would be fun to experiment with combining the two. I’ve seen carrot pumpkin cakes floating around the internet in years past and thought now was my chance. So I took the exact amount of pumpkin I had leftover and that became my starting measurement for this cake.

The BEST EVER, raved about Carrot Pumpkin Cake! Delicious, moist, easy to make! I chelseasmessyapron.comI’ll tell you right now, adding that pumpkin to this carrot cake is one of the best decisions ever made. I adapted the rest of this cake around my other carrot cake and now I can’t honestly tell you which I like better. But I will say the husband and the toddler said this was the very best cake they’d ever had. And since it was literally gone within 2 days, I made another to take pictures of and share with you all here on the blog. And, not even kidding, we made a third carrot-pumpkin cake because my husband suggested I should probably make a video of it since we’d run out of the SECOND one (yes, in the same week).

To say we are obsessed with this cake is a complete understatement.
The BEST EVER, raved about Carrot Pumpkin Cake! Delicious, moist, easy to make! I via chelseasmessyapron.com

So while I am fully aware that summer is still in full swing and that pumpkin season is not here for a while, I had to share this cake recipe (mostly so when I make it three more times in a week I have a neatly written recipe to follow instead of my chicken scratch of notes?) . So, if you are the type of person that uses pumpkin all year round, you’ve got to try this cake ASAP and if you are not, file this recipe away to make the minute it is “pumpkin season.” ?

The BEST EVER, raved about Carrot Pumpkin Cake! Delicious, moist, easy to make! I Recipe via chelseasmessyapron.com

 

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Carrot Pumpkin Cake

5 from 7 votes
The most amazingly moist and flavorful carrot-pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting. 
Print Recipe

Carrot Pumpkin Cake

5 from 7 votes
The most amazingly moist and flavorful carrot-pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting. 
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 2 9-inch cakes and frosting
Author Chelsea

Ingredients

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 cup (about 2-3 medium sized) carrots, shredded
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 and 1/4 cups pure canned pumpkin (I recommend Libby's to keep it from being too watery) *DO not use an entire can of pumpkin or pumpkin pie filling
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, well drained
  • 1 cup flaked sweetened coconut

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Frosting

  • 2 packages 8 ounces EACH full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature, do not melt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature do not melt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4-5 cups powdered sugar
  • Optional: 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 cup chopped pecans,* optional

Instructions

Cake

  • Start by pre-heating the oven to 350 degrees F. Grab 2 9-inch round pans and generously spray with cooking spray and dust generously with flour. (Take your time preparing the pans so the cake doesn't stick) Set aside.
  • Peel and then grate the carrots on the small side of a grater to get very fine pieces of carrots. Shred the carrots carefully. Measure to ensure you have exactly 1 cup.
  • Whisk together the whole milk and lemon juice and set aside for 5 minutes (it will look curdled!). Grab a very large bowl and mix the pumpkin (make sure it isn't watery at all), white sugar, brown sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla, and milk/lemon mixture with a large whisk until completely combined and smooth. Add in the shredded carrots and crushed pineapple. Whisk until smooth.
  • Place a sifter over the bowl and sift in the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Add in the coconut. Mix until JUST combined (do not over-mix to avoid a denser/tougher cake.)
  • Separate the mixture evenly among the prepared pans and bake for 27-30 minutes or until a toothpick, when inserted into the center, comes out clean. Remove and allow to cool for 5-7 minutes before inverting the cakes onto a cooling rack for them to finish cooling.

Frosting

  • Meanwhile, prepare the frosting. In a large bowl fitted to a stand mixer, add in the cream cheese and butter. Make sure both are at room temperature and not at all melted or softened.
  • Beat the two until completely smooth. Add in the vanilla extract and a generous pinch of salt (if desired). Beat until smooth.
  • Add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time until you've added 3 and 1/2 cups. Remove 1/4 of the frosting now to go into the center of the cake. Add the remaining 1/2 to 1 and 1/2 cups of frosting until you have a good frosting consistency. If needed add in the heavy cream. The frosting won't be as firm as a buttercream, but firm enough to frost the cake.
  • To decorate: place a little frosting on the bottom of a cake pan (just to hold the bottom cake in place) and top with 1 completely cooled cake. Add the reserved 1/4 of the frosting into the center and smooth it.
  • Top the frosting with the other cake.
  • Use the remaining frosting to generously frost the cake. If the frosting is too soft, either refrigerate it or add an additional 1/2 cup powdered sugar. (You will likely have a bit of extra frosting, so don't feel like you need to use it all on the cake).
  • Once the cake is frosted, decorate the sides with the pecans if desired.

Recipe Notes

*You can also add a cup of chopped pecans to the cake batter if you like nuts in your cake!

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.

More Pumpkin Recipes:

Pumpkin Pecan Streusel Pie

Bakery Style Pumpkin Cookies

Streusel Pumpkin Caramel Cheesecake Bars 

Healthier Pumpkin Bread

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Recipe Rating




30 Comments

    1. 5 stars
      Hi CHELSEA!! How can we adapt this to a 9×13 pan? Cake & icing?? Looks lucious but I am horrible with layer cakes. THX!

  1. I just made a carrot cake for my coworker’s birthday (carrot cake is her favorite) and I think it’s time for a new recipe – it needs a little punch up! I’m so looking forward to trying your recipe instead. Thanks for posting!

  2. Oh my goodness this looks fabulous! I make this recipe for carrot cake w/o the pumpkin, so can’t wait to try this addition! Has anyone tried to make this in a 9×13 pan yet? Also, I have Thanksgiving and also friends coming over for dinner, what’s your opinion on the pumpkin cheesecake strussel bars vs. this cake? I know, not a fair question?!

    1. I hope you love this cake Thea! 🙂 I haven’t tried a 9 x 13 pan, but perhaps someone else could chime in. That is a tough call!! I do tend to pick cake over cheesecake though, so I guess I’d choose this one! Either way you can’t go wrong though 😉

    1. Thank you so much Fazia! Yes I think that would work great! You could also omit the pineapple if desired 🙂 Enjoy!

  3. 5 stars
    I made cupcakes using this tecipe. Very moist! In the future if I were to leave out the co onut, would I add more flour?

    1. So happy to hear that! I can’t answer that for sure without testing that substitution, but I don’t think it would be a 1:1 substitute. Wish I could be of more help!

  4. 5 stars
    Hi – just love your recipes (and your stories make me laugh) . Can I keep the same ingredient measurements the same making the carrot pumpkin cake into large cupcakes? How long would I bake them? Again my muffin pan is for a larger muffin & not the standard. I also have a muffin top pan I could use too. Would either work w/ this mouth watering recipe? Thanks.

  5. 5 stars
    Omg,… I really really enjoyed this recipe

    I baked this in a 4” deep 24 gauge, steam table pan. I used three of them and i scooped about 1 1/2 c of batter in each. U must make sure the bottom and edges are greased WELL

    I added walnuts to my batter but would have def preferred pecans
    I omitted the pineapple. I just felt weird to me. The cake was sooo moist. I was thinking of chocolate chips in the cake but hubby ate them all ?
    I didn’t have lemon so i sub lime and pumpkin spice seasoning.

    1. Wahooo way to work with what you have!! You’re awesome! And it’s that just the worst, my husband always eats the chocolate chips too hahaha. So glad you enjoyed. Thanks! 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    Hello! I made your cake last night and it was delicious. I followed your recipe but used a 9×13 pan instead. Figured it would be too much frosting so I just used half since I didn’t do layers…It was scrumptious!!! Has been added to my favorite cakes. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thanks for baking in 9×13. I agree sometimes two layers is a lot of frosting. I typically use less cream cheese and use heavy cream and it gives cream cheese icing fluffy lighter not so in your face cream cheese. I like cream cheese but not strong taste.

  7. 5 stars
    I really love your recipe all the great favor profiles i like, carrot, coconut, pineapples and pumpkin. I used the ingredients in the pantry so no pineapple but it still tasted fantastic. I made 4 small bread tins 3×6 with shaved walnuts on top. No frosting. Oh wow great recipe. Can’t wait to add pineapple next time and frosting lol

  8. 5 stars
    This was amazing. It was my first time making a cake in a long time and definitely my first time making a pumpkin carrot cake. I used gluten free flour and I roasted the pumpkin and mashed it once cool. Using a fork was fine. I halved the recipe for the icing and it was more than enough. I guess it depends how much of a sweet tooth you have but I found halving the recipe on the cream cheese and the icing sugar, keep the butter the same, you have enough for the inside layer and the top plus the sides of the cake. Thank you for this amazing recipe. Truly awesome.

    1. I am so excited to hear how great this went for you! Thanks so much for taking the time to write this comment! 🙂

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