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Carrot Cake

Posted on March 26, 2024

This layered Carrot Cake with a homemade cream cheese frosting always turns out perfectly moist. Packed with flavor, you can easily use a 2-section pan extender to bake both layers at the same time for a convenient and easy cake recipe!

Why You’ll Love this Layered Carrot Cake

Featuring a rich and creamy homemade frosting, this sweet and comforting carrot cake recipe results in a moist, layered dessert that’s perfect for celebrations, special occasions, and more!

Thanks to MFG Tray’s 2-section Pan Extender, you can bake both layers of the cake at the same time. This tool turns any ordinary baking sheet into a double cake pan, and it’s simple to use and easy to clean. Using the extender, both layers will come out of the oven the same exact shape and size, which makes them easy to stack and frost.

About the Ingredients

This recipe includes instructions for making both the carrot cake and the cream cheese frosting. For the carrot cake, you’ll need both baking powder and baking soda for a light and lifted cake with lots of flavor. You’ll need about 4 large carrots, and you can use a food processor to blend them down to the size of couscous.

For the optional ingredients—the coconut, raisins, and pecans—feel free to omit them or use just the ones you like. If you’re using any of these, fold them into the batter with the carrots and crushed pineapple.

When it comes to the refrigerated ingredients, namely the butter and cream cheese, allow them to come up to room temperature for best results. They’ll be easier to work with and mix into the batter and frosting if they’re not cold.

Carrot Cake Ingredients

For the Carrot Cake

  • 1 ¾ Cups Sugar
  • 2 ½ Teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 3 ½ Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 2 Teaspoons Salt
  • 2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 2 Teaspoons Ground Cardamom
  • 3 ½ Cups Finely Chopped Carrots (about 4 carrots)
  • 40 Ounces Crushed Pineapple (2 20-oz cans, drained)
  • ¾ Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Cup Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
  • 6 Large Eggs
  • 3 ½ Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 Cups Shredded Unsweetened Coconut (optional)
  • 1 Cup Golden Raisins (optional)
  • 1 Cup Chopped Pecans (optional)

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 24 Ounces Cream Cheese (room temperature)
  • ¾ Cup Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
  • 5 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt

Tools and Equipment

  • Mixing Bowls – Use a stand mixer or electric hand mixer to speed things up.
  • 13”x18” Sheet Pan
  • Parchment Paper
  • MFG 2-Section Pan Extender – This easy-to-use tool accommodates a wide variety of baking temperatures and splits any baking tray into 2 perfectly equal sections, perfect for baking two even layers of cake simultaneously.

How to Make Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake mix in MFG Pan extender trayCake Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom.
  3. Fold in the chopped carrots and drained pineapple chunks.
  4. Add the oil and softened butter and mix well.
  5. Crack in the eggs one at a time, mixing between each addition.
  6. Add the flour in 2 parts, mixing in between to combine.
  7. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and add the pan extender. Grease the sides to prevent the cakes from sticking.
  8. Evenly divide the batter between the two sections.
  9. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry.
  10. Cool as-is on the counter for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan extender and cool the cakes on a cooling rack.
  11. Graham Cracker Crust Instructions

Cream Cheese Frosting Instructions

  1. In an electric mixer on high speed, cream together the softened cream cheese and butter until fluffy.
  2. Stir in the powdered sugar a cup at a time.
  3. Mix in vanilla and salt until fully integrated.
  4. Once the cakes are cool, use an offset spatula to spread a thick layer of frosting on top of one layer.
  5. Add the other layer over top, then spread the remaining frosting over the top layer.

Expert Tips for Making Carrot Cake

  • Carrot Cake on a plateIf the cakes are slightly domed after baking and cooling, use a cake leveler or a large serrated knife to flatten the tops.
  • Each rectangular layer will be about 13”x9”. If you prefer a round cake, you can gently press a circular cake pan into the top of each layer to create an indent, then use a nice sharp knife to cut out the shape.
  • Be sure to drain the pineapple, but don’t worry about getting it perfectly dry. They’re one of the main sources of moisture and sweetness for this cake.
  • Coconut oil is a good substitute for vegetable oil, especially if you’re already adding the shredded coconut to the cake.
  • This carrot cake will last for about 3 days at room temperature, or it can be refrigerated for up to a week.
  • Adjust the amount of powdered sugar in the cream cheese frosting until it’s your desired consistency. More sugar will lead to a thicker result.
  • You can also use each of the two cakes as their own individual single-layer carrot cakes if you prefer.
  • Forgot to set out your cold ingredients to come up to room temperature? Microwave them in short bursts at 50% power until they’ve softened up.


Leading manufacturer of high-strength, glass-reinforced composite containers, trays, boxes, flats and totes for material handling in the metal working, plastics and electronics assembly industries, as well as in food service, confectionery and pharmaceutical processing.

MFG Tray continually develops customized solutions for specific material-handling challenges and applications. Customers are encouraged to contact MFG Tray to discuss any unique handling and design requirements.