Five Incredible Carrot Cakes You can Make with a Mix

Five Incredible Carrot Cakes You can Make with a Mix

Dennis Weaver Dennis Weaver Sep 22, 2023

These are not your ordinary carrot cakes Whenever we served them in the store, our customers would go crazy over them. And they're remarkably easy.

Before the pandemic, when we had the store open, every fall, we would have a “Carrot Cake Saturday”. We made all five of these carrot cakes, cut them into little pieces, and customers would sample as much as they wanted. It was a grand time.

Stock up on the mixes and have a grand time at your house.

About the cream cake mix:

Cream cake is essentially what they advertise as, “pudding in the mix.” It’s a very moist, well-flavored cake. The best I can describe it is, “halfway between a fluffy cake and a pound cake.”

Inclusions, like chocolate chips or nuts, will suspend in the thicker batter of a cream cake while in the lighter batter, they sink to the bottom. Cream cakes make moist, wonderful carrot cakes.

About the cream cake frosting for carrot cakes:

Cream cheese frostings are traditional for carrot cakes. The flavor is okay but the cream cheese makes the frosting heavy, rich, and overwhelming. Using a base of whipped cream in the frosting makes the frosting much lighter.

This recipe makes the best cream cheese frosting for carrot cake that we have found. It has the flavor of cream cheese frosting but it is light and fluffy and has volume to it.

Use this as an all-purpose frosting. Keep the recipe in your drawer or online and use it often.

About the carrots:

Be sure to use whole carrots and grate them finely in your kitchen. Getting a package of grated carrots in the store and using them in the receipe,will leave your carrot cake chunky and lumpy. The carrots don't cook until they are soft.

An Easy Carrot Cake Recipe with a Cake Mix

The cream cake mix gives the cake substance and moisture. It's the pudding in the mix. Add grated carrots, cinnamon, and nuts and you have a traditional carrot cake.

Add cinnamon chips, coconut, candied ginger, or pineapple to make scrumptious variations. They can be made as carrot cupcakes or a sheet cake.

Carrot Cake

Grandma’s Original Carrot Cake Recipe

This is the classic carrot cake made with shredded carrots and nuts, usually walnuts or pecans. The carrots add moisture and a little color to the cake but hardly any flavor.

The cake is flavored with cinnamon. If your cinnamon is good, the recipe can handle more cinnamon, three teaspoons.

The cake mix is vanilla flavored, flavored with ground vanilla beans, vanilla specks. The frosting is made with vanilla extract. With the whipping cream, the frosting is very light and delightful.

  • 1 Vanilla Bean Cake Mix
  • 3/4 cup grated carrots
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup nuts


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

1. Mix the cake batter in your stand-type mixer, per package instructions.
2. Add the 3/4 cup grated carrots, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, and 3/4 cup nuts to the cake batter. Mix just until combined.
3. Spread the batter in a greased or parchment-lined 9 x 13-inch cake pan and bake for 23 minutes at 325 degrees or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
4. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Remove the cake (if you are using parchment paper) and transfer it to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling.


Cream cake frosting for carrot cakes
  • 1 four-ounce package of cream cheese (or 1/2 of an eight-ounce block), softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions for the frosting:

Cream the granulated sugar with the cream cheese. Add the other ingredients and beat until light and fluffy.


Cinnamon Chip Carrot Cake

Make the cake exactly as above but add one cup of cinnamon chips. Reduce the cinnamon to one teaspoon.

The cinnamon chips gives this cake a bright, spicy taste. There are enough cinnamon chips in the recipe for a burst of cinnamon in every bite. The cinnamon chips are made with Vietnamese cinnamon which has a stronger, brighter flavor than Korintje Cassia cinnamon.

The cake mix is vanilla flavored, flavored with ground vanilla, vanilla specks. The frosting is made with vanilla extract. With the whipping cream, the vanilla frosting is very light and delightful.

Coconut Isle Carrot Cake

This is a delightful carrot cake. With coconut flavor in both the cake and frosting, this is a very tropical, flavorful cake.

Delete the 3/4 cup of nuts from the original recipe and replace it with 3/4 cup of shredded coconut firmly packed into the measure.

For the frosting, delete the vanilla and add coconut flavor.  Add one teaspoon and taste the frosting. Add another if needed.

Candied Ginger Carrot Cake:

This is a delightful carrot cake, my favorite. The candied ginger pieces add a  ginger flavor but it’s more sweet than tart. The ginger in the frosting is optional, but ginger cream cheese frosting is very, very good.

I love these ginger pieces in my baking.  For this cake, add 3/4 cup of the candied ginger pieces and drop the 3/4 cup of nuts in the ordinal recipe. I suppose you could try both but I've never tried it.

A teaspoon of ground ginger will absolutely transform your frosting.  I seem to be more tolerant of ginger than many; try one-half teaspoon first.  Add more if it tastes right.


Carrot Cake

Hawaiian Pineapple Carrot Cake

This is one fun carrot cake and always a hit in the store. Pineapple carrot cake is a popular variation

This is like the other recipes but uses pineapple juice instead of water for the mix along with the 3/4 cup of crushed pineapple.  

Drain a can of crushed pineapple, reserving the juice. Replace the water in the instructions with the juice. Fold in 3/4 cup of well-drained pineapple into the batter.

You can use the vanilla in the original carrot cake recipe. But pineapple is versatile. A teaspoon of orange extract works well. Pineapple flavor works well too.

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Comments (4)

  • The carrot cakes are made with a Vanilla Bean Baby Cake mix. I’ll ask Jeff to put the nutrition facts on that page.

    Dennis Weaver
  • Can you give me the nutrition break down on the carrot cake

  • Diane, that sure does! How did it turn out?

    Laura Harter
  • I want to try the Hawaiian Pineapple Carrot Cake with Macadamia nuts! Sounds like Aloha to me!! 😋😋

    Diane Enyeart

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