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Naked Carrot Cake

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Delicious and perfectly moist Naked Carrot Cake for any celebratory occasion. It is made with fresh carrots, a perfect blend of spices, and topped with heavenly cream cheese frosting.

naked carrot cake

I should admit that the carrot cake will forever and always be my favorite kind of cake for birthdays. In fact, I have made the steamed version of this a year ago for my birthday to show you how I love carrot cake. But this time, I made the recipe into a smaller three-layered cake rather than a bigger two-layered cake instead. You can check out the recipe at my previous Steamed Carrot Cake post. I think the recipe will be perfect who those who want to bake carrot cake without an oven.

There are a lot of things I love about carrot cake. Firstly, carrot cake is extra moist and not dry like any other cake. Furthermore, it is full of flavor from the grated carrots, brown sugar, and the spices that make it almost impossible to stop at one piece. I always love the spices in my carrot cake. They bring such a wonderful flavor to this cake without being too overpowering. Not too little and not too much warming spices make the flavor of all of those fresh carrots shine through.

The other good news about this recipe is how easy to make than it looks. You can make both the cake and frosting without a mixer if you like. Once you realize how easy it is to make this from scratch, you will want to make it over and over again like me.

Tips for Making Naked Carrot Cake

Here are some helpful tips for making a perfect carrot cake.

1. Grate the fresh carrots finely

The carrot is the star of the cake and the key to making a moist cake. Therefore, make sure to grate the carrots at home to ensure their freshness. Do not use packaged pre-shredded carrots because they are hard and dry. My carrot cake recipe uses 300 gr of finely grated carrots. This is usually about 1 very large carrot or two medium carrots for me. Peel the carrot before grating them. You can shred the carrots using either a grater or a food processor. I like to hand grate my carrots since I prefer the texture. To make sure the carrots are cooked properly, they should be grated finely enough to be distributed throughout the batter evenly.

grated carrot

2. Make into a bigger and shorter cake

This Naked Carrot Cake recipe actually uses the same cake recipe in Steamed Carrot Cake but with half of the cream cheese frosting. You can make this recipe in two 8-inch pans instead of three 6-inch pans just like in Steamed Carrot Cake recipe. But you need to adjust the baking time to 30-35 minutes if you make it into two 8-inch pans. Make sure to bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of each one comes out clean.

carrot cake
leveling carrot cake

3. Soften the butter and cream cheese for the frosting

Cream cheese makes the ultimate frosting for this Naked Carrot Cake. You need to use room temperature cream cheese and butter for the smooth and velvety frosting. Cold cream cheese could be lumpy so you need to set out the cream cheese a couple of hours before making this recipe. Before frosting, I like to chill it in the refrigerator for 20 minutes first to make sure the creamy frosting will hold its shape.

4. Double the frosting to fully cover the cake

When I made the recipe, I only had about 8 oz of cream cheese in my refrigerator. The amount of cream cheese frosting in this recipe is just enough to make naked looking carrot cake. If you aim for the full-covered cake with cream cheese, just double the frosting.

naked carrot cake

Frosting and Decorating

I am apparently a beginner at frosting a cake so there is a lot to improve here. For the frosting, I just crumb coated or simply put a thin layer of cream cheese frosting applied to seal the cake layers. Then, I piped the frosting on the cake border with a round piping tip and covered the top center of the cake with chopped toasted walnuts. To add a contrast color, I finished with fresh sprigs of rosemary from my garden. Somehow it makes a nice earthy feel to the cake. In fact, my brother told me this cake looks like a planter and I could totally relate to that.

naked carrot cake
naked carrot cake

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naked carrot cake
5 from 3 votes

Naked Carrot Cake

Delicious and perfectly moist Naked Carrot Cake for any celebratory occasion. It is made with fresh carrots, a perfect blend of spices, and topped with heavenly cream cheese frosting.
Author: Jaja Bakes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1 6-inch/15 cm cake
Tap or hover to scale!
Prep Time45 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes


Carrot Cake

  • 1 1/4 cup (300 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cup (300 gr) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 gr) granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups (300 gr) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 10.5 oz (300 gr) finely grated fresh carrots, about 2 medium carrots

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz (225 gr) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (113 gr) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (125 gr) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • Toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • Rosemary sprigs


Carrot Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350F/180°C. Grease three 6×3-inch/15×7.5 cm round pan and line the bottom and side with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, combine all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until well combined. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, and vanilla extract until well combined.
  • With a spatula, fold dry ingredients into the batter until well incorporated. Stir in the grated carrots.
  • Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans. Bake until the tops of the cake layers are springy when touched and when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean for 40 to 45 minutes.
  • Cool cakes in pans for 15 minutes then turn out onto cooling racks, peel off the parchment paper and cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium-high speed until smooth.
  • Beat in the powdered sugar, a 1/4 cup at a time until fluffy. Adjust the sweetness to your liking. Beat in heavy cream and vanilla extract until well incorporated. Chill covered until ready to frost cake.


  • When the cake layers are completely cool, level the tops of each cake with a knife or cake leveler. Place one cake layer on your cake stand or serving plate. Evenly cover the top with frosting. Place the second layer and frost the top again. Place the third layer and spread the remaining frosting all over the top and sides. Crumb coat the side of the cake and decoratively pipe the border-top of the cake using a round piping tip with remaining frosting.
  • Scatter the toasted walnuts on the top center of the cake and place rosemary sprigs for decoration.


Serving: 1whole cake | Calories: 8247kcal | Carbohydrates: 850g | Protein: 86g | Fat: 516g | Saturated Fat: 161g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 199g | Monounsaturated Fat: 122g | Trans Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 1238mg | Sodium: 5064mg | Potassium: 2654mg | Fiber: 23g | Sugar: 573g | Vitamin A: 56977IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 1365mg | Iron: 25mg
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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I have tried both baked and steamed Carrot can from your blog and I love them. Definitely prefer the steamed version because it is a lot moister than the baked one. Thank you so much for the recipe jaja!