Carrot Sheet Cake with a rich and creamy Cream Cheese Frosting is so unbelievably moist and perfectly spiced. Perfect for entertaining, learn how to make this easy Carrot Sheet Cake Recipe and enjoy all the flavors of traditional layered carrot cake, in a fraction of the time.
Carrot Sheet Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting
Before I learned to cook, I learned to bake. I baked everything from layered cakes, to cookies, to scones, to biscotti. These days, I find myself cooking much more than baking, but occasionally I’ll pull out my mixer and mix up something sweet (though I’ve yet to master a homemade pie crust- perhaps sometime soon). In the spirit of Easter – which is right around the corner – and my neverending love for all carrot recipes (like this tropical carrot smoothie or this carrot ginger soup), I thought I would make a super EASY carrot sheet cake with cream cheese frosting. Moist, delicious, and perfectly spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, you’d never know that this carrot cake is filled with an entire pound of finely grated carrots.
Carrot Sheet Cake Ingredients
For the full list and amounts of ingredients, scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
For the cake:
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda and baking powder
- Salt, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg
- Granulated sugar
- Brown sugar
- Canola oil (or vegetable oil)
- Canned crushed pineapple
- Vanilla extract
- Chopped pecans
For the frosting:
- Cream cheese
- Salted butter
- Vanilla extract
- Powdered sugar
How to Make Carrot Sheet Cake
The first step to making this cake is to first remove the eggs (for the cake) plus the cream cheese and butter (for the frosting) from the refrigerator and allow them to come to room temperature. This is really important. Using room temperature eggs guarantees that they will mix evenly in the matter and result in a lighter, fluffier cake.
- Pro-tip – Bring your eggs to room temperature by placing them in a bowl of warm water for 10-15 minutes. Careful that the water isn’t too hot, we want to gently bring them to room temperature, not cook them.
With the eggs, cream cheese, and butter at (or coming to room temperature), preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and lightly flour a large rimmed 18 by 13-inch baking sheet. I usually melt a bit of butter in a bowl and use my fingers to cover the inside surface of the baking sheet. Then, I’ll sprinkle with a light coat of flour, tapping the sides to cover the entire surface and remove any excess.
Now we can start mixing the batter,
Grate your carrots first. I highly recommend doing this by hand as you want your carrots to be shredded nice and small. This ensures that they will mix evenly throughout the entire cake and you won’t end up with any stringy bits of shredded carrot.
You want 3 cups of finely shredded carrots. For me, this was just over one pound of carrots.
Next, whisk together your dry ingredients: the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg. Add the carrots and mix well to combine (use your fingers to break up any large clumps).
Grab your stand mixer (or electric hand mixer) and beat the sugars with the oil until it is light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Finally, add the vanilla and pineapple and continue to mix until thoroughly combined.
Now we want to combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients. Simply add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and beat on low until just combined.
If you’re adding nuts to your cake, fold them into your batter using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
Pour the batter into your prepared baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Bake in a preheated oven for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool completely before decorating.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream cheese frosting is my favorite kind of frosting. It’s also the only type of frosting that belongs on carrot cake if you ask me, so that’s exactly what you’ll see slathered all over the cake below. Not a fan? Use whatever frosting YOU love.
Anyway, cream cheese frosting takes about 4 minutes to make and requires just 4 ingredients – cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar. It’s super easy to make.
One thing you may notice about my cream cheese frosting recipe is that I add significantly less powdered sugar when compared to many other recipes. Don’t worry- this was completely intentional (and delicious). After all, more powdered sugar means a sweeter frosting. I didn’t want that. I also didn’t want my frosting to taste as if it belonged on top of a bagel, so some sugar needed to be added.
The result was a perfect compromise.
Decorating Carrot Sheet Cake
I knew I wanted to add some chopped pecans to the top of my cake. Originally I had planned to add them as a border, but that quickly changed once I started adding them to the cake. Also, as you can clearly see, I am not a professional cake decorator. As such, I went with a more “rustic” look. The frosting isn’t perfect, but certainly better than what my 6-year-old would do. And the pecans? Well, those are crushed into varying sizes and pieces rather than ground into an even dust.
I also wanted cute (and edible!) carrot toppers for each slice of cake. I couldn’t find anything that I liked pre-made but felt inspired to try these itty bitty candy melt carrots by Life in the Lofthouse. To make them, you’ll need orange and green colored candy melts. Melt each in separate bowls and transfer to individual piping bags with a small round top. Pipe onto parchment paper and allow it to harden before removing and placing on the cake.
Prefer to go a more natural route? Try these adorable carrot tops made from real carrots.
More Delicious Easter Recipes
This carrot sheet cake makes for a delicious Easter dessert, but what about the rest of the meal? I highly recommend my Slow Cooker Ham with Marmalade Glaze, Cheesy Baked Asparagus Gratin Recipe, Honey Glazed Carrots with Ginger, and Mashed Potatoes (or Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes).
More Dessert Recipes,
If you try making this Easy Carrot Sheet Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
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Carrot Sheet Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 large eggs - at room temperature
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 3 cups peeled and finely shredded carrots - (this was just over 1 lb of carrots for me)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar - packed
- 3/4 cup canola oil - or vegetable oil (see notes)
- 1 (12 ounce) can crushed pineapple - drained well
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup pecans - chopped fine (plus more for topping)
- Chocolate carrot candy toppers - made from orange and green candy melts (see notes)
- Remove eggs (for the cake) plus the cream cheese and butter (for the frosting) from the refrigerator and allow them to come to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and lightly flour a large rimmed 18 by 13-inch baking sheet.
- In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg. Stir in the grated carrots until they're coated and no more lumps remain.
- Using an electric stand mixer (or hand mixer), beat the sugars with the oil until light and fluffy (approximately 2 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and pineapple, continuing to mix until thoroughly combined.
- Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture ad beat on low until just combined. Stir in the chopped nuts (if using).
- Pour the batter into your prepared baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Bake in a preheated oven for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool completely. Frost with cream cheese frosting and sprinkle with additional pecans or chocolate candy carrot decorations, if desired.
For the frosting
- Using an electric stand mixer (or hand mixer) whip the cream cheese with the butter until smooth.
- With the mixer running, add the vanilla and powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, and beat until smooth, light, and fluffy.
- You may substitute the crushed pineapple for applesauce, if needed.
- I really wanted a cute and edible carrot topper for each slice of cake. I couldn't find anything that I liked pre-made but felt inspired to try these itty bitty candy melt carrots by Life in the Lofthouse. You'll need orange and green colored candy melts. Melt each in separate bowls and transfer to individual piping bags with a small round top. Pipe onto parchment paper and allow it to harden before removing and placing on the cake.
- Store leftovers wrapped in plastic wrap and in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)