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Layered Carrot Cake

I never liked carrot cake until I tried this one. The rich, moist cake with orange-flavored frosting is now a family tradition for special occasions. Sometimes I add cranberries with the raisins. —Anna Morgan, Eatonville, Washington
  • Total Time
    Prep: 50 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    16 servings


  • 1 package yellow cake mix (regular size)
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour two 9-in. round baking pans. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix and cinnamon. In another bowl, whisk eggs, orange juice and oil; add to dry ingredients. Beat until well blended. Stir in carrots, raisins and nuts (batter will be thick).
  • Pour into prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30-35 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add confectioners' sugar, orange juice and zest; beat until smooth. Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake. Store in the refrigerator.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 462 calories, 22g fat (9g saturated fat), 76mg cholesterol, 395mg sodium, 64g carbohydrate (46g sugars, 2g fiber), 4g protein.

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  • wendy
    Dec 3, 2019

    Excellent! Made as directed and it was delicious! I made it for Thanksgiving and it was a definite hit!

  • debpenns
    Dec 15, 2018

    i made this for a friends bday! she loved it!! so easy and moist i will make it again!!

  • mamaknowsbest
    Apr 9, 2018

    Yummy! No one will guess this starts with cake mix. Was even speedier to make by using a carrot cake mix and omitting additional spices. I too, used baby carrots speedily shredded in food processor. If you have extra chopped walnuts garnish the top of the frosted cake. Beautiful! As a volunteer feild editor with Taste of Home magazine I love recipes that use classic flavors in speedy, quick recipes!

  • 5986princessa
    Apr 15, 2017

    Made this cake exactly as the recipe instructed. Turned out fabulous!! Guests loved it. Will definitely be making this again and again!

  • rllewis7
    Apr 7, 2015

    This recipe made a denser cake than I typically like; however, the flavor was really nice. I liked the fact that you use box mix and the pudding really added to the moisture of the cake.

  • allieneelizabeth
    Nov 20, 2014

    GREAT! I used packaged peeled baby carrots grated through a food processor. Added 1/4 C dark brown sugar and omitted raisins ( 1/2 C coconut instead). Next time I will use orange liquor in the icing as Grand Marnay. Best carrot cake ever!

  • yamale
    Jul 28, 2014

    I MADE THIS yesterday for my family reunion. It was a HIT! Everybody, mentioned how it was better than the carrot cake they've purchased at bakeries. As much as possible, I followed the recipe, but I was short on orange zest and confection sugar for the frosting.... it still came out great. For the cake, I added a few dried cranberries, some sweetened coconut and a few Medjool dates and finally instead of just crushing them, I creamed my Walnuts. It made for a denser cake, yet still VERY moist and fragrant. I loved the experience. I loved the accolades. I loved the taste....however, I cant help but wish there was something else I could have done to the batter to add a bit more "humph" to it. Like a kick or something? LOL! Thanks for this recipe!

  • emsijo
    Jun 15, 2014

    WOW! I decided to make this for my 90 year old dad for Father's Day. It is by far the best carrot cake I have ever made. I made the base cake as written. I adjusted the frosting as follows:I added an extra 1/3 package of cream cheese and 2 T of butter. I also added a tad more confection sugar. I used 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1 teaspoon of OJ for the liquid. The key to this great frosting is to use a stand mixer and once all ingredients have been put together mix on medium speed for 4 to 5 minutes. It is the key to fluffy cream cheese frosting. I will never go back to a scratch carrot cake again. None of the others had the flavor and moistness of this one.

  • JennTats
    Mar 13, 2013

    I usually won't make a dessert recipe unless I make it from scratch. However when I was in a bit of a jam this recipe was quick, easy and did taste good for a boxed cake mix. So thank you for opening my eyes to sometimes boxed cake can be good.

  • Wetherallc6
    Apr 10, 2012

    This is the best carrot cake I have ever made. It has been 2 days since I made it and it is even more moist than the first day!