Easy and Moist Carrot Cake with Pecans and Cream Cheese Frosting

So, how was everyone’s weekend!? How excited are we that it’s Monday?! I for one am not excited that it is Monday, but I am super excited to share this easy and moist carrot cake with you! It is everything you crave in a carrot cake, with a little bit of crunch and a whole lot of sweetness. I know it’s true that many find carrot cake a very grandmotherly kind of cake, but it is by far one of my favorites. Not only is this recipe super duper easy, but it is ready in under an hour. It really is the best of the best!


So, about our weekend: we had a great one actually. Zach, being the boy that he is, got himself a tap system for tapping beer. Oh, boys. I love beer. We all should know this by now, but one thing is for sure, I do not like kegerators.

Well, let’s backtrack a second. I don’t MIND a kegerator, but I do mind it sitting in my kitchen. Therefore it is is the basement, and this, I can deal with. We want to eventually have some kind of “bar” in the basement, but that will be down the road … a long, long way down the road, since our living room still doesn’t have drapes and our kitchen still doesn’t have a backsplash. Priorities.

This is how we spent our Friday night (Halloween): with food from a local BBQ joint, TV and beer freshly poured from a brand new keg.

Let’s just say that he was like a kid in a candy store.

Sunday was the big day this weekend, and this is when I whipped up this easy and moist carrot cake. We had a mock Thanksgiving. If you are wondering why we put ourselves through the torture of preparing Thanksgiving on our own TWICE, well there are a couple of reasons! First of all, you guys! I have been slacking lately. I didn’t want to even think about Thanksgiving recipes until Halloween passed, and because I’m kind of an obsessive planner I like to have tried the meals first before I actually make the real deal! You know, so I can work out all of the kinks!

It’s weird. I know.

The day went pretty smoothly, except for some minor mishaps. I may have dropped an entire carton of eggs on the floor (every single one of them breaking). I knocked a whole container of chicken stock onto, you guessed it, the flour. I then dropped the first batch of my batter for this carrot cake all over my cleanly mopped, yup, floor. In my defense, the bottom of the springform pan fell out. What a disaster!

Someone should have told me NOT to mop before preparing this dinner.

Other than these mini ordeals, everything went great. I have a whole gaggle of Thanksgiving-inspired recipes ready to hit the internet waves, and I’m pretty darn excited about it.

*Note* Not to sure why I’ve decided to start using the word “gaggle.” *End Note*

The cake is pretty self-explanatory. I’ve mentioned before that I have a very difficult time baking cakes at altitude. I’m not sure why I can not grasp this skill. I mean I’ve lived here for quite a few years now! I never have any problems with this moist carrot cake though. It comes out perfectly each and every time. The recipe is below, so check it out, and make it for Thanksgiving. It’s what all of the cool kids are doing.


Beer Love:
I decided to go with an oatmeal stout (once again) for this carrot cake. I just paired my french toast sticks with an oatmeal stout, but I could think of no other way to go. An oatmeal stout is just perfect for this moist carrot cake. Oatmeal stouts have a subtle earthiness that I just love, and that earthiness really compliments this carrot cake. It also has just enough sweetness to really take this moist carrot cake over the top!
Mikkeller’s Beer Geek Breakfast

Troeg’s JavaHead Stout

Firestone Walker’s Velvet Merkin

Elysian’s Dragonstooth

Rogue’s Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout

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Easy and Moist Carrot Cake with Pecans and Cream Cheese Frosting

Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8


Carrot Cake

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup coconut oil vegetable or canola oil may be substituted
  • 1/3 cup sour cream plain Greek yogurt may be substituted
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk milk, coconut milk or almond milk may be substituted
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups carrots finely grated
  • 1 cup pecans toasted and chopped


  • 4 ounces cream cheese 1/2 package, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups confectioner's sugar more as needed
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt


  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and spray a springform pan with non-stick spray (preferably 9-10 inches).
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, with paddle attachment fixed, cream together the sugars and oil until smooth and creamy. Add the sour cream and buttermilk and mix again to incorporate. Add each egg, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and mix again.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix until just moistened. Do not overmix. Fold in the carrots and 1/2 cup of chopped pecans.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from heat. Place the pan directly on a wire rack to cool completely.
  • While your cake is cooling, prepare your frosting.
  • In your stand mixer, with paddle attachment fixed, cream together the cream cheese and butter. Add the confectioner's sugar, in 1 cup increments until combined. Add more as needed. Add the milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt. Mix again.
  • Frost the cake once it has cooled completely. Sprinkle with the remaining pecans and enjoy!
  • The carrot cake will store in an airtight container for 3-5 days.