This easy carrot cake using spice cake mix comes together quickly with just a few simple ingredients! It’s super moist, full of flavor and texture, and the cream cheese frosting melts in your mouth! If you’re looking for similar recipes, try our pumpkin bread with cream cheese frosting or our cakey pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- VERSATILE: This shortcut carrot cake is delicious all year round and is perfect for sharing with friends and family. Whether you’re bringing something to a dinner party or gathering, or you’re making dessert for Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter, this decadent carrot cake is a show stopper that’ll have everyone asking for a second slice!
- EASY: Using a boxed cake mix makes this recipe super easy because all the dry ingredients are already combined! The cream cheese frosting is also very easy to make with just three ingredients!
- LOTS TO GO AROUND: This 8-inch double-layered carrot cake makes 12 big slices, so there’s lots to share!
- BOXED SPICE CAKE MIX: Betty Crocker Spice Cake Mix is used in this recipe and adds a warm and inviting spice flavor to the cake.
- WATER: Water is used to make the cake batter, but you can also use milk as well!
- VEGETABLE OIL: Vegetable oil is used in the cake batter mixture and contributes to the moistness of the cake. It makes it so scrumptious!
- EGGS: The eggs help give the cake its structure and make the cake moist.
- CARROTS: Shredded carrots add color, sweetness and moisture to the cake. It also compliments the spiced cake mix ingredients.
- PINEAPPLE: Crushed canned pineapple adds a ton of moisture and sweetness to the cake.
- PECANS: Pecans add a crunchy texture and nutty flavor to the cake, and they compliment the other cake batter ingredients as well as the decadent cream cheese frosting.
- CREAM CHEESE: Softened cream cheese is used in the frosting to give it a tangy flavor that pairs well with the spiced carrot cake.
- BUTTER: Butter is also softened and mixed with cream cheese to make the frosting extra creamy, provide texture, and add a rich flavor it.
- POWDERED SUGAR: Powdered/confectioners/icing sugars is mixed into the frosting to sweeten it up and because it dissolves well compared to granulated sugar.
See the recipe card below for the ingredient measurements.
- MIXING BOWLS: You’ll need one for making the cake batter, and another for making the icing.
- BAKING DISHES: Two 8-inch round cake pans are used to make this carrot cake recipe.
- ELECTRIC HAND MIXER: For mixing the cake batter.
- POTATO PEELER: If you plan to peel your carrots.
- CHEESE GRATER: For shredding the carrots.
- CAN OPENER: For opening the canned pineapple.
- KNIFE: For chopping the pecans.
- MEASURING SPOONS AND CUPS: For measuring the ingredients.
- Prepare: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans with oil spray and set them aside.
- Mix: To a mixing bowl, combine the boxed cake mix, water or milk, vegetable oil, and eggs and mix with an electric hand mixer until smooth. Fold in the shredded carrots, crushed pineapple, and pecans with a rubber spatula.
- Bake: Evenly distribute the cake batter into each cake pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean with a few crumbs. Once the baking is complete, remove from the oven and wait 5-10 minutes before transferring the cake to a cooling rack.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Mix: To a mixing bowl, add the softened cream cheese and butter and mix on high speed until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and mix on low speed until smooth. Do not over-mix.
- Frost: Once the cake is completely cooled, transfer it to a serving tray to frost.
- Serve: Serve by the slice and refrigerate any leftovers.
Storage and Leftovers
You can store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container. This carrot cake can also be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months in an airtight container.
- Finely shred the carrots. Use the smaller holes of the grater to shred the carrots finely. If you use the bigger holes, the strands of carrots will be too apparent and have a chunky texture.
- Drain the pineapple juice. You’ll want to drain any liquid from the canned pineapple to ensure the cake isn’t over-moistened and can be baked properly.
- Toast the pecans. If you want some more flavor for this carrot cake, consider toasting the pecans before folding them into the batter. Just be sure to let them cool down before adding them to the cake batter mix.
- Soften the cream cheese and butter. Make sure the cream cheese and butter are both softened at room temperature before mixing them together. If they’re cold and solid, they won’t mix easily, and the frosting won’t be smooth and creamy.
- Make this cheater carrot cake even easier. Although the cream cheese icing is very easy to make, you could also use store-bought cream cheese frosting if you prefer!
- COCONUT: Consider adding in some shredded or flaked coconut for a delicious tropical flavor and texture addition to carrot cake.
- RASINS: Throw in some raisins for a chewy texture and punch of sweetness that pairs well with the other ingredients.
- WALNUTS: Walnuts are a great nut alternative if you don’t have pecans! They’re full of flavor and you will still get that crunchy texture.
The alternative ingredients are just suggestions and have not been tested.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does carrot cake need to be refrigerated?
Yes, any leftovers should be refrigerated, covered in plastic wrap or transferred to an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Can you freeze carrot cake?
You can freeze carrot cake in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
What to decorate carrot cake with?
You can decorate the carrot cake with frosting, food coloring, chopped nuts, raisins, and or coconut flakes, etc.
How to shred carrots?
If you’re trying to figure out how to grate carrots for carrot cake, one of the best ways is to shred the carrots using the smaller hole side on a box grater.Print