carrot cake slice with cream cheese frosting
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4.34 from 6 votes

Farmer's Carrot Cake

Farmer's Carrot Cake gets its richness and moisture from real, simple ingredients - sweet carrots, golden raisins, and chopped walnuts. A sheet cake makes this classic dessert accessible to eat and decorate. Coconut sugar replaces refined sugar in the cake for a richer flavor and golden color, making it sweet but not overly so.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cake, carrot, cream cheese frosting, vegetarian
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 503kcal
Author: Chef Sara Furcini


Wet Ingredients

  • 2 cups light golden coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (half a stick) room temperature
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup refined coconut oil (melted) or canola oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 cups finely grated carrot 4 medium carrots
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 1/4 cup walnuts (4.75 oz) roughly chopped

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 8-oz packages cream cheese room temperature
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar


Carrot Cake

  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a 9 by 13-inch metal cake pan with parchment paper, leaving the ends hanging over the edges of the pan.
  • Cream the sugar with the butter in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until smooth. Add remaining wet ingredients and mix until emulsified.
  • Add the dry ingredients and mix briefly. You don't want to see dry flour at this point, but you also want to avoid developing the gluten - hence the "don't over-mix" phrase.
  • Fold in carrots, raisins, and walnuts to distribute evenly. Pour into cake pan and tap on the counter to release air pockets. Bake 40 minutes until the cake is deeply golden, springs back to the touch, and a toothpick comes out crumb free.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Mix all the cream cheese frosting ingredients in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment for several minutes until very smooth and lump free. Apply the frosting to the carrot cake after it is cool in gobs. Spread gently with a flat spatula. Serve fresh and refrigerate leftover cake, covered for up to 5 days.


While I tried to make this carrot cake as healthy as possible using unrefined sugar and coconut oil, you may easily substitute granulated sugar or canola oil in this recipe. All measurements are exact, so for best results, level the flour, carrot, and sugar.
This recipe has not been tested in circular cake pans. To use round cake pans, you should check the cake earlier. I suggest setting the timer for 30 minutes to test the center of the cake with a toothpick.


Calories: 503kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 521mg | Potassium: 281mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 6844IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 2mg