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Carrot Cake From Scratch – I Made That!


I know it’s hard to believe for some of you that I didn’t just make a pie, but also a cake!  And the cake was 100% from scratch!  I made a carrot cake from scratch!!!  Does repeating it make it more real? 

Carrot Cake from scratch with Cream Cheese Icing - The Learner Observer

This cake has a little bit of history in our household.  It’s the cake I made Alex for his birthday when we had just started dating.  He requested a carrot cake, and I very reluctantly agreed to make it.  I had NEVER made one before.  I even bought a box mix just in case this didn’t turn out.

But it did!

I’ve made this cake about 4 times now.  I know… that’s not a lot of times, but I feel like a bit of an expert already.  So, if you love carrot cake (and cream cheese icing) get ready for the following array of pictures as I take you step by step through this process.  It’s a bit of a long one!


By the way, this recipe is Canada’s Best Carrot Cake as tested in The Canadian Living Test Kitchen.  I take NO credit for coming up with this amazing recipe!

Canada's Best Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
Serves 8
Carrot cake with pineapple and pecans.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
For the cake
  1. 2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
  2. 2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
  3. 2 tsp (10 mL) cinnamon
  4. 1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
  5. 3/4 tsp (4 mL) salt
  6. 1/2 tsp (2 mL) nutmeg
  7. 3/4 cup (175 mL) granulated sugar
  8. 3/4 cup (175 mL) packed brown sugar
  9. 3 eggs
  10. 3/4 cup (175 mL) vegetable oil
  11. 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
  12. 2 cups (500 mL) grated carrots
  13. 1 cup (250 mL) drained crushed canned pineapple
  14. 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped pecans or walnuts
For the icing
  1. 2 8 oz (250g) package cream cheese, softened
  2. 1/2 cup (60 mL) butter, softened
  3. 1 tsp (2 mL) vanilla
  4. 2 cups (250 mL) icing sugar
  1. Grease and flour a bundt cake pan (I use a silicone one and it's amazing so I highly recommend that); set aside.
  2. In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.
  3. In separate bowl, beat together granulated and brown sugars, eggs, oil and vanilla until smooth; pour over flour mixture and stir just until moistened. Stir in carrots, pineapple and pecans. Spread in prepared pan.
  4. Bake in centre of 350°F (180°C) oven for 45 minutes or until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean. Let cool in pan on rack.
  5. (Make-ahead: Cover with plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 2 days. Or overwrap with heavy duty foil and freeze for up to 2 weeks; let thaw before continuing.)
  1. In bowl, beat cream cheese with butter until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Beat in icing sugar, one-third at a time, until smooth. Spread over top of cake.
  2. (Make-ahead: Cover loosely and refrigerate for up to I day.)
  1. This cake is DELICIOUS! I made a few changes to the original recipe since I used a bundt cake pan, so the icing amount is doubled. I have also tried it with both pecans and walnuts and both are great!
Adapted from Canadian Living
Adapted from Canadian Living
The Learner Observer


Carrot cake from scratch: the making in pictures!

Carrot Cake ingredients and tools - The Learner Observer

Carrot Cake ingredient mix in first bowl - The Learner Observer

Carrot Cake ingredient mix in second bowl - The Learner Observer

Carrot Cake ingredient mix in third bowl - The Learner Observer

Carrot Cake main ingredient - The Learner Observer

Carrot Cake third ingredient mix - The Learner Observer

Carrot Cake before the icing - The Learner Observer

Carrot Cake Cream Cheese Icing - The Learner Observer

Carrot cake with cream cheese icing - The Learner Observer

That’s it!  That’s how I made carrot cake from scratch.  All by myself.  Looks pretty easy, right?

Trust me, if I can do it, ANYONE can!  I did sprinkle some walnuts and coconut on top of the iced cake as well, just to add a bit of texture and make it a little prettier.

I really wish I hadn’t made this cake for Thanksgiving because I could totally go for a piece of it right now!


Any suggestions on how to make Canada’s Best Carrot Cake better?

P.S. The smell of this baking was oh-so-yummy and made my house smell super duper homey and amazing. 

Now I’m off to dream about cream cheese icing…

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  • Reply Steph

    That looks so good! I haven’t attempted carrot cake before, but I love it so I’m going to keep this recipe in mind for the next time I need a dessert for something!

    October 30, 2013 at 9:21 am
    • Reply Thalita

      Thanks, Steph!!! It’s a pretty big hit with anyone who has tried it so far – I think the icing has a lot to do with that!!

      October 31, 2013 at 9:07 am
  • Reply Amy | Love On Sunday Blog

    Whaaaaaaaat! Girl, you are on a roll! This looks amazing and I need to try it. Also, you have such pretty bowls! Love it!

    October 30, 2013 at 9:47 am
    • Reply Thalita

      haha Amy, you’re too funny. Thanks, though! I can hardly believe it’s me doing all of this baking!! Bowls are care of Indigo and Anthro – can’t go wrong, right?

      October 31, 2013 at 9:08 am
  • Reply Becky

    That looks amazing!!!! I want some!

    Pinned for future baking :)

    October 30, 2013 at 1:27 pm
    • Reply Thalita

      Woo hoo! I too, want some now!

      October 31, 2013 at 9:09 am
  • Reply Anonymous

    Omnomnomnomnom….. this cake looks delicious!! Definitely adding it to my recipe file under “things to cook IMMEDIATELY”. I’m thinking as a second holiday dessert. Thanks for the details! (also, great photo, dude!)

    November 4, 2013 at 1:11 pm
    • Reply Thalita

      Is it entirely terrible that the thing that stuck with me of all things said in your comment was the part in brackets at the end? For reals… photo taken with iPhone and in a mad rush, so a million thanks for saying that!!!!!!!

      November 4, 2013 at 3:27 pm
  • Reply Debi and Charly @ Adorned From Above

    Thanks so much for sharing with Wednesday’s Adorned Link Party. Have a great Thanksgiving.
    Debi and Charly @ Adorned From Above

    November 26, 2013 at 2:31 am
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