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Pumpkin Carrot Cake

This moist and flavorful Pumpkin Carrot Cake combines two of the best spiced cakes into one! With warming fall spices and the best cream cheese frosting, what's not to love?!
Course Dessert, Vegetarian
Cuisine American
Keyword pumpkin carrot cake
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 1435kcal
Author Chelsea


Wet Ingredients

  • 1 cup (about 2-3 medium-sized, 100g) carrots shredded
  • 3/4 cup (165g) whole milk
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (302g) canned pumpkin *DO not use an entire can of pumpkin or pumpkin pie filling. (I recommend Libby's to keep it from being too watery)
  • 1/2 cup (102g) white sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (293g) light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (98g) vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 can (8 oz., 227g) crushed pineapple well drained
  • 1 cup (93g) flaked sweetened coconut

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups (260g) all-purpose flour spooned and leveled
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves


  • 2 packages (8 oz.; 226g EACH) full-fat cream cheese soften to room temperature, do not melt
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter soften to room temperature, do not melt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4-5 cups (453g) powdered sugar
  • Optional: 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 cup chopped pecans optional



  • PREP: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two 9-inch-round pans generously with cooking spray and dust with flour. (Take your time preparing the pans so the cake doesn't stick). Line cake pans with parchment paper (See Note 1). Set aside.
  • CARROTS: Peel and 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 (100 grams).
  • MILK: Whisk together the whole milk and lemon juice and set aside for 5 minutes (it will look curdled!).
  • WET INGREDIENTS: 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.
  • DRY INGREDIENTS: 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 overmix to avoid a dry, dense cake.)
  • BAKE: Separate the mixture evenly among the prepared pans (See Note 2) and bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick, 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.


  • CREAM CHEESE AND BUTTER: Meanwhile, prepare the frosting. In a large bowl fitted to a stand mixer, mix the cream cheese and butter. Make sure both are softened to room temperature and not at all melted. Beat the two together until completely smooth and creamy.
  • VANILLA AND SALT: Add in the vanilla extract and a generous pinch of salt (if desired). Beat until smooth.
  • POWDERED SUGAR: 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.
  • 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. Add the other cake on top.
  • DECORATE CONT.: 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 chopped pecans if desired.
  • STORAGE: Store cake in the fridge, tightly covered. Frosted cake does not freeze and thaw well, but unfrosted cake freezes nicely for up to a month.



Note 1: There's an easy to way to do line the pans with parchment paper; check out this photo slideshow or read the directions in the blog post.
Note 2: Pour even amounts into each pan and then check the accuracy with a kitchen scale. Adjust the batter in each cake pan so that each pan contains perfectly even amounts. 


Calories: 1435kcal | Carbohydrates: 246g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 29g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 727mg | Potassium: 511mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 189g | Vitamin A: 11208IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 121mg | Iron: 5mg