Buttermilk Carrot Cake

We love carrot cake! In fact, we haven’t ever met a carrot cake that we didn’t love! But, this one is the best yet! Made with buttermilk, it is both light and moist, and the fluffy cream cheese frosting is blissful! You can make it as a layer cake or as a sheet cake, and the only difference is that for a layer cake you might want to double the frosting recipe, so you can plenty of the cream cheese frosting between the layers and over the entire cake.

When you make the cake batter, it will be very thick with all of the goodies like raisins, nuts, pineapple, coconut and carrots in the batter. Don’t worry it is a dense cake, bursting with flavor and crunchy bits in every bite.

5 from 1 vote

Buttermilk Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This cake holds very well for a week or more in the refrigerator and makes a delightful snack for the mid-afternoon munchies! You can opt to make this cake as a 9×13 rectangular cake or as a layer cake using either two 9-inch pans or three 8-inch pans. One day my dad, who is the original ice cream junkie, actually asked for a piece of this in lieu of a hot fudge sundae. That took me by surprise because I’m not sure if he’d ever chosen cake over ice cream before in his life! That's how delicious this cake really is!


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk no substitute for this
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups grated carrots can use the grater on a food processor or hand-held grater
  • 1 flat can 8 oz. crushed pineapple, drained
  • 2/3 cup walnuts or pecans quartered, not chopped
  • 6 ounces flaked coconut

Cream Cheese Frosting (for 9×13 or 2 9-inch layers)

  • 1 8- oz. package cream cheese softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cube butter 2 oz., softened to room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar sifted
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla


  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease or spray 9×13 rectangular baking pan. (*Can also use three 8-inch or two 9-inch round pans)
  • Sift flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and set aside.
    In a large mixing bowl, beat sugar with oil, buttermilk, and vanilla.
    Beat in eggs, one at a time.
    Add dries and mix well.
    Add pineapple, carrots, coconut, and nuts. Mix thoroughly.
    The batter will be very thick.
    Pour batter into prepared pans.
    Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
    Cool completely before frosting.
  • *Reduce baking time for layer cake rounds by about 10 minutes.


  • Beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy.
    Add vanilla and sugar and beat until smooth.
    Frost on top of cooled carrot cake.
  • *Frosting adjustments for layer cakes: 2 layers of 9” – use 1.5 times the recipe and for 3 layers of 8”- use 16 oz. cream cheese, 1 cube butter and 6 cups sifted powdered sugar.
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  1. 5 stars
    Needed an easy cake for a womens luncheon served it with butter pecan ice cream. It was a smash.

    1. Suz Author says:

      Hi Carol! Thank you so much for your comment. We are so happy that your cake was a big hit! We love that cake, too. Serving it with butter pecan ice cream is such a great idea! We’ll have to try that next time. I happens to be my dad’s very favorite ice cream! Please let us know if you try any other recipes of ours. We’d love to hear from you again!

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