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Carrot Cake with Raisins

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Prep Time: 20 mins    Cook Time: 1 hr

5 from 10 votes

Carrot cake with raisins is a moist and delicious spice cake featuring carrots, toasted nuts, and a sweet cream cheese icing. The unique color and texture of the cake is a treat that makes it wonderful for serving at gatherings and special occasions.

A carrot cake with raisins on a cake stand.
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What Goes Into Carrot Cake with Raisins?

Can’t get your kids to eat their veggies? Perhaps making carrot cake is in order. It combines freshly grated carrots, chopped walnuts, crushed pineapple, and raisins for an elegant dessert no one can resist. Carrot cake only looks complex, for it takes just 20 minutes to prep and presents so beautifully, they’ll think you stopped at the bakery for it.

Once you get the batter ready, you’ll distribute it amongst 2 cake pans. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, then let it cool and top with cream cheese frosting (either homemade or ready-made) to finish it off.

A carrot cake with a slice cut out showing the inside.

Common Questions

Can carrot cake be frozen?

Carrot cake is one that freezes beautifully, even after being frosted. You should keep it in the fridge for 8 hours first to firm up the frosting. Then wrap it well and it will stay good in your freezer for up to 4 months. Thaw it overnight in the fridge before you plan to serve it.

Is carrot cake gluten-free?

No, this recipe isn’t gluten-free, however, you can swap the all-purpose flour for a gluten-free version. Choose your gluten-free flour wisely with a brand that measures cup for cup so you won’t have to add any binding agents.

How was carrot cake invented?

According to historians, carrot cake came about in the Middle Ages. Sugar wasn’t very common so the natural sweetness of the carrots was a hit for using in cakes. On written record, the earliest known recipe hails from a French cookbook from 1827.

Is carrot cake better with oil or butter?

You’ll want to use oil in your carrot cake as the recipe shows. This keeps everyone’s favorite spiced cake moist and delicious.

A slice of carrot cake on a plate with a fork.

Chopnotch Tips

  • Take your time. The carrots need to sit in the brown sugar for an hour before you get going on the rest of the batter.
  • Use vegetable oil. Butter can be used in other cakes, but for a spiced cake like carrot cake, that extra moisture makes it so delicious.
  • You can omit the nuts if you have a nut allergy or plan on serving someone that does.
  • Make sure your cake layers cool completely before frosting. Cream cheese frosting will become a melty mess if you’re not patient.
A carrot cake on a cake stand with a slice cut out of it.

You don’t have to be a rabbit to love carrot cake!

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How to Make

Carrot Cake with Raisins

Everyone will think this beautiful carrot cake came from the bakery, but the recipe is surprisingly quick and easy.
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 20 mins
Servings: 16 slices


  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 6 cups carrots, grated
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
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  • Combine together 1 cup brown sugar and 6 cups of grated carrots. Leave it for an hour, then stir in 1 cup raisins.
  • Grease and flour 2 cake pans (10 inch).
  • Beat eggs in a bowl, then add in 1 cup vegetable oil, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 1 ½ cups white sugar. Stir in 1 cup crushed and drained pineapple.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together 1 teaspoon salt, 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 3 cups all-purpose flour, and 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda. Stir this mixture into a bowl with wet mixture.
  • Once absorbed, stir in carrot mixture and 1 cup chopped walnuts. Pour this mixture into the cake pans evenly.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 350 F until a toothpick inserted comes out clean from the center, for 45 to 50 minutes.
  • Once done, take out from the oven and let it cool. Top with cream cheese frosting once cool.
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  • Give the carrots and brown sugar ample time to sit. This really gets the wonderful rich sweetness of the sugar into every shred of carrot.
  • Not in the mood for walnuts? Pecans are also really good here or try hazelnuts or even some of each. Not sure if anyone is allergic to nuts? You can also just leave them out.
  • It's important to let the cake layers cool before adding the frosting or else things might get messy!
  • If you're grating your own carrots rather than using the ready-shredded kind, don't grate them too thick, or else they might not be soft and tender in the finished cake.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 449kcal (22%), Carbohydrates: 66g (22%), Protein: 6g (12%), Fat: 20g (31%), Saturated Fat: 12g (75%), Cholesterol: 41mg (14%), Sodium: 304mg (13%), Potassium: 337mg (10%), Fiber: 4g (17%), Sugar: 37g (41%), Vitamin A: 8086IU (162%), Vitamin C: 5mg (6%), Calcium: 54mg (5%), Iron: 2mg (11%)
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Comments & Ratings

  1. Thank you for this recipe

    • You're welcome, Leah!