Iced Carrot Cake

Garnished with toasted walnuts, a slice of this Iced Carrot Cake makes for a great mid-morning treat along with a cup of coffee!

Garnished with toasted walnuts, a slice of this Iced Carrot Cake makes for a great mid-morning treat along with a cup of coffee!*sniff sniff*  Hmm.  Something smells like it’s burning.  That’s when I turned around and found my skillet of walnuts still on the stovetop.  I only needed a handful of toasted walnuts for garnishing this cake, and I’d tossed ’em into a small skillet.  Then I got distracted and totally forgot about them…until I smelled them.  The general rule of thumb for toasting nuts in a dry skillet is to toast them over medium-low heat until you can smell them.  Well, I could smell them alright.  They smelled burnt.  And the bottoms were black.  Ugh!

Those burnt walnuts went into the trash and I quickly toasted up another handful for garnishing this Iced Carrot Cake.  The cake went into the oven, and I retreated back to my office to do some work.  *sniff sniff*  Hmm.  Something smells like it’s burning.  I just discounted this as the burnt nuts sitting in the trash can.  That is until I went into the kitchen to see if my cake was done.

Garnished with toasted walnuts, a slice of this Iced Carrot Cake makes for a great mid-morning treat along with a cup of coffee!That cake had oozed up and over the top of the pan and all into the bottom of my oven.  Talk about a burnt mess!  So that was the burnt smell.  I was super annoyed at this, and I couldn’t figure out what had gone wrong.  The Iced Carrot Cake was just a variation of the carrot cake that I’ve been making for years.  Oh.  Pan size.  In my eagerness to bake (and eat!) this cake, I had completely forgotten to adjust the recipe for the pan size.  And when you pour enough batter for a 2-layer round cake into a bread pan?  Well, it overflows.  And burns.  And creates a mess.

Once I got over being super annoyed at myself, I got right back up on that horse and made this Iced Carrot Cake again…with the correct amount of batter.  I had been thinking about a slice of carrot cake for the entire day, darn it all!

Garnished with toasted walnuts, a slice of this Iced Carrot Cake makes for a great mid-morning treat along with a cup of coffee!Iced Carrot Cake

The inspiration for this Iced Carrot Cake came from the airport of all places.  A while back, I was walking to my next gate when I passed a coffee shop advertising slices of Iced Carrot Cake.  Well that sounds delicious, I thought.  I didn’t have time to stop, but I did make a mental note to bake up one of these delicious loaves once I returned home.

Garnished with toasted walnuts, a slice of this Iced Carrot Cake makes for a great mid-morning treat along with a cup of coffee!As noted above, I used my go-to carrot cake recipe as the base for this cake.  I reduced the volume of batter (on the 2nd attempt!) and I baked it for a lot longer since the bread pan is deeper than a cake pan.  Other than that, I simply added a bit more milk to the frosting so that it would be pourable rather than spreadable.  Easy peasy!

Garnished with toasted walnuts, a slice of this Iced Carrot Cake makes for a great mid-morning treat along with a cup of coffee!I know carrot cake is one of those things where folks have strong opinions.  To add raisins, or not to add raisins.  What about nuts?  Or pineapple?  I personally like walnuts and raisins in my carrot cake, so that’s how I rolled with this recipe.  However, you do you.  Put in your favorite ingredients.  Just make sure to adjust the recipe for the new pan size!  (Or just use this recipe as a base – it’s a really good one.)  Happy baking, my friends!

Did you bake a loaf of this Iced Carrot Cake at home?  Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog).  I’d love to see your version!

Garnished with toasted walnuts, a slice of this Iced Carrot Cake makes for a great mid-morning treat along with a cup of coffee!

Iced Carrot Cake

Garnished with toasted walnuts, a slice of this Iced Carrot Cake makes for a great mid-morning treat along with a cup of coffee!
5 from 9 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 10 slices
Calories: 391kcal


For the Cake

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • cups shredded carrots ~3-4 medium carrots
  • 1 cup walnuts chopped
  • ½ cup raisins

For the Icing

  • 4 oz. cream cheese softened
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter softened
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1½-2 Tbsp milk
  • {garnish} ½ cup walnuts toasted and chopped


For the Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Grease and flour a 9”x5” loaf pan; set aside.
  • Using a large bowl, add sugar, oil and eggs; mix until well combined. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt; mix until well combined.
  • Add dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet ingredients; mix until well combined.
  • Add carrots, walnuts and raisins; mix until well combined.
  • Pour batter into greased pan. Bake at 350°F for 65-75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out mostly clean.
  • Allow cake to cool at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before removing from pan.

For the Icing

  • Using a countertop mixer, add the cream cheese and butter; mix on medium speed until well combined.
  • Add brown sugar, vanilla extract, and cinnamon; mix until smooth.
  • Add the powdered sugar ½ cup at a time.
  • Add milk until frosting loosens enough to be pourable (but still thick).
  • Pour frosting on top of cake.
  • Garnish with toasted chopped walnuts.

Garnished with toasted walnuts, a slice of this Iced Carrot Cake makes for a great mid-morning treat along with a cup of coffee!

Looking for more carrot cake recipes?  Check out these other fun twists on the classic:

These Easy Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls are perfect for breakfast...especially when topped with a cream cheese frosting!Easy Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls

Can't decide between carrot cake and cheesecake? Then this Carrot Cake Cheesecake is the perfect solution!Carrot Cake Cheesecake

The Easter Bunny stopped by with a batch of these tasty Carrot Cake Cupcakes. Topped with brown sugar cream cheese frosting, these cupcakes will be a huge hit in your house!Carrot Cake Cupcakes

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  1. 5 stars
    Oh, man, I think we’ve all had those days. I was on a roll burning bread, lol. It looks like everything turned out perfectly after all! Wish I had a huge slice right now with my coffee 🙂 Delish, my friend!

    1. I hate when I burn things in the oven! And this was all because I missed the simple fact that the pans were different sizes. Ugh. Oh well. The next round worked out well! 🙂 Thanks, Dawn!

  2. 5 stars
    Oh that noxious burning smell – it’s the smell of wasted effort and ingredients, always frustrating! Happens to all of us…I’ve actually set bread on fire with our broiler, lol. That smelled lovely.

    And speaking of lovely – just look at this iced carrot cake! I bet this beauty made up for the snafus. 🙂

    1. Perfect description there, Marissa. I hated having to toss the walnuts…and then the cake. Ugh! But the second round worked out quite well. 🙂 Also, bread on fire? I didn’t realize that was even possible!

      Everything worked out in the end with this Iced Carrot Cake, though, so I can forget the snafus along the way!

  3. 5 stars
    Oh noooo! I’ve had those days in the kitchen where everything goes wrong. A slice of this carrot cake would certainly help me get over it when that happens! This looks DELICIOUS!

    1. Kelsie!! Yes, I know you could identify with my baking issues. We’ve all been there. The good news is I was able to salvage most of that first burnt loaf – all of the middle parts were delicious. I just couldn’t take pictures of it. Haha! And then the second loaf was just lagniappe! 🙂

    1. Yeah, we’ve all been there, right? I was like “Wait, what’s that smell?” By then you know it’s too late! It all worked out in the end, though…this Iced Carrot Cake is delicious. 🙂 Thanks, Alex!

  4. I’ve never met a carrot cake that I didn’t like and I know I would enjoy a slice of yours. My personal preference (at least at Easter) is pecans, pineapple and raisins as I’ve been making it for so long, it is a tradition.

    1. Haha! I’m with ya, Karen. Carrot cakes and I get along quite well…although I would say that the friendship doesn’t last long. 🙂 Hope you are doing well and staying safe, my friend!

    1. Hah! If you like to bake (and I know you do, too), then days like that are inevitable. They just happen. Oh well. It was totally worth it to get back in there and make another loaf of this iced carrot cake. 🙂 Thanks, Kathy!

  5. 5 stars
    When I need to toast just a little bunch of nuts or seeds, most often I’d do that on a dry pan too…and very often I’d overdo them, just until black from one side. But you know what? I love the taste of burnt nuts (Again, that’s all about the stage – I’m not talking about a charcoal situation), so I’d snack on most of them. Weirdo 😉
    Anyway this carrot cake looks and sounds delightful. But wait…you didn’t use that confusing combination “coffee cake” in the name. That’s strange too! 🙂

    1. Well where were you when I burned that pan of walnuts, Ben? You could’ve eaten them as a snack! Hah. Also, you’ve inspired me to make another coffee cake… 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    Lovely David! You can’t beat a good slice of carrot cake. It’s one of my favourite bakes. Sorry for all your trouble in having to make it again, but I bet it was worth it. And at least you had an excuse to treat yourself to more than 1 slice! I like raisins in mine too!!

    1. Oh, it was so worth it to bake this one again, Neil. I was really annoyed at myself for the math error with the pan sizes, but what can you do? It happens. At least there was a delicious cake at the end of the day! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Dawn! Yes, I was quite disappointed at the cake catastrophe, but at least this version turned out well. 🙂 It’s a great cake!

  7. Hi David – been ages since i’ve been on site

    Carrot cake sounds yummy and I like it makes a 9x 5 with just the 2 of us, a full size cake is too much and I love carrot cake !

    Happy Easter to You, Laura and Robbie – stay safe and well !!!

    1. So glad you stopped back by, Mar! It has indeed been a minute or two. 🙂 I love carrot cake like you, and this iced version was fun! Of course, it didn’t last long around here. Haha. Hope you and the family had a great Easter weekend as well! Stay safe, my friend!

  8. yep walnuts are essential in a carrot cake along with loads of icing, esp. cream cheese icing. i constantly burn nuts when toasting them; they always get the better of me, little devils, looking so untoasted then whammo – done – to black! i can identify! i loathe making kitchen mistakes, so i would be really cheesed off with ruining a cake. mm pineapple in a carrot cake – sounds fab!

    1. Exactly! Nuts are so tricky when it comes to toasting them perfectly without burning. Like you said – looking good, looking good, BLACK. Ugh! And I support your vote for cream cheese icing, too. Carrot cake without cream cheese icing just isn’t right!

  9. made a small change to the icing. cooked brown sugar, butter and cream just about a minute past full boil, cool and add vanilla, cheese and powdered sugar and cinnamon. delicious and sugar is fully dissolved and not grainy

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