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Easy Carrot Sheet Cake

Nothing is easier for a springtime dessert than this Easy Carrot Sheet Cake. Using a boxed cake mix as a base and sprucing it up with additional spices, carrots and, of course, covered in cream cheese frosting, this one is a MUST MAKE!

a slice of carrot sheet cake covered with cream cheese icing on a plate next to a cookie sheet

This carrot cake starts with a spiced cake mix and adds shredded carrots, extra cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg plus a simple homemade cream cheese frosting for a cake that tastes like something that didn’t come from a box.

Making a sheet cake is also ideal for parties or a big crowd since a sheet cake can easily feed 24 people.  It’s also a fantastic cake to frosting ratio, because let’s be honest- the frosting is possibly the best part!

My grandma always makes this Easy Orange Pound Cake that gets rave reviews which just goes to show you that it doesn’t have to come from scratch for everyone to love it.

Any event can be stressful to plan for and whenever you are called on to make a cake for a party that stress can magnify a lot.  That is why I LOVE using boxed mixes as a base for amazingly easy desserts like my all time popular Nutella Poke Cake and Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream Brownie Cake or my new favorite Apple Spice Poke Cake

ingredients to make the cake
ingredients shown: milk, spice cake mix, vanilla, powdered sugar, shredded carrots, butter, cream cheese, and eggs

Ingredients you need

  • spice cake mix
  • ingredients called for on box to make cake (water, oil, and eggs but see my substitutions below)
  • shredded carrots
  • cinnamon
  • ground cloves
  • ground ginger
  • ground nutmeg
  • vanilla
  • cream cheese
  • butter
  • powdered sugar
  • milk

Possible substitutions or additions

Whenever I make a boxed mix I ALWAYS swap the water for milk and the oil for melted butter.  This swap was recommended by a friend who makes the most incredible cakes and I’ve found it makes the cakes taste that much better.

Freshly shredded carrots will be the best addition since store bought shredded carrots can be a little dry.  But when things are busy, the last thing you may want to be doing is shredding carrots.  Use a food processor to make the shredding as easy as possible or go ahead and soak the bagged shredded carrots in some water and then pat dry before adding to your cake mix.

You can also choose to add crushed pineapple, raisins, or chopped walnuts to the mix. If you want to, you could even add all three!

The pineapple adds a lot of moisture to the carrot cake, raisins add a nice pop of sweetness amidst all the spices, and chopped walnuts add a nice bit of crunch.

Other easy springtime recipes

collage of the cooked cake and the cream cheese frostings
on the left, the baked cake in a cookie sheet next to a bowl of frosting; on the right, smooth cream cheese icing swirled in a clear glass bowl

How to make this

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a cookie sheet with baking spray.  Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or large bowl, add cake mix, shredded carrots, spices, milk, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla (plus any additional optional ingredients if using).  Beat until well combined.
  3. Pour batter into the prepared cookie sheet. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean.  Allow cake to cool completely.
  4. While cake is cooling, beat cream cheese and butter together until light and fluffy.  Add powdered sugar and vanilla and beat well.  If needed, add milk a little at a time to thin to spreadable consistency.
  5. Once cake has cooled, frost the top with the cream cheese frosting.

Top Tips

Because this cake is so thin and ovens can vary so much, watch the cake carefully once it has cooked for 15 minutes.  Watch for the cake to pull away from the sides of the pan and to be a light golden brown color on top.

How to store leftover carrot cake

Store leftovers in the fridge covered with plastic wrap. You can also freeze any leftover cake either in a freezer safe container or wrapped in plastic wrap and then placed in a freezer ziploc bag.

a green plate with cake next to the cookie sheet with a slice missing

How can kids help make this

  • adding ingredients to the mixing bowl
  • turning on and off the mixer
  • scraping the bowl
  • beating the cream cheese and butter
  • frosting the cake

What kids can help with will vary depending on how old they are and what their skill level is.  See my list for a breakdown of age appropriate cooking tasks.

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Recipe

cake on a plate next to a half sheet cookie sheet

Easy Carrot Sheet Cake

Nothing is easier for a springtime dessert than this Easy Carrot Sheet Cake. It is so easy to make and is always a crowd pleaser! Using a boxed cake mix as a base and sprucing it up with additional spices, carrots and, of course, covered in cream cheese frosting, this one is a MUST MAKE!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24 servings
Calories: 275kcal
Author: Jade Jones

Ingredients

For cake:

  • 1 box Spice Cake Mix with ingredients called for on box directions (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups shredded carrots

For cream cheese frosting:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • 1/2 cup butter room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 5 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 Tablespoons milk as needed

Instructions

For cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a cookie sheet with baking spray. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add Spice cake mix, milk, melted butter, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, ground cloves, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, shredded carrots, and any other optional ingredients. Beat on medium speed for two minutes or until mixture is well combined.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake begins to pull away from the edges. Allow cake to cool completely in the cookie sheet before frosting.

For frosting:

  • Beat cream cheese with butter until completely smooth. Add vanilla and powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy. If needed, add 1 Tablespoon of milk at a time to thin frosting to spreadable consistency.
  • Frost cooled cake. Top with additional chopped nuts or shredded coconut if desired.
  • Store leftovers in the fridge covered with plastic wrap. You can also freeze any leftover cake either in a freezer safe container or wrapped in plastic wrap and then placed in a freezer ziploc bag.

Notes

I always recommend substituting milk for the water and melted butter for the oil called for on the box.
You can add any or all of these optional additions:
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup coconut

Nutrition

Calories: 275kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 214mg | Potassium: 122mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 2027IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1mg
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3 Comments

  1. Recipe looks great but you left out the exact size sheet pan used??? I’m making this today anyway. Just hope I get the right size pan…..

  2. 5 stars
    It was delicious! We were surprised it called for a spice cake and not a carrot cake box mix. But it was for my birthday and we all loved it!

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