How to Make a Magnolia Bakery Carrot Cake at Home

Hello, Good News! Welcome to our blog, where we share with you the best recipes, tips and tricks for baking delicious cakes. Today, we are going to show you how to make a magnolia bakery carrot cake at home, using simple ingredients and easy steps. This is one of our favorite cakes, because it is moist, tender, spiced and topped with a creamy cream cheese frosting. It is perfect for any occasion, from birthdays to holidays, or just as a treat for yourself.

If you have ever been to the famous Magnolia Bakery in New York City, you know how amazing their carrot cake is. It is one of their signature desserts, and it has a loyal fan base all over the world. But you don’t have to travel to the Big Apple to enjoy this cake. You can make it in your own kitchen, with our foolproof recipe that will give you the same results as the bakery. You will love the rich flavor and texture of this cake, and the compliments you will get from your family and friends.

What Makes a Good Carrot Cake?

Carrot cake is a classic dessert that has been around for centuries. It originated in Europe, where carrots were used as a substitute for sugar in cakes and puddings. Carrots are naturally sweet and add moisture and color to the cake batter. They also provide some health benefits, such as vitamin A, fiber and antioxidants.

But carrots are not the only ingredient that makes a good carrot cake. There are other elements that contribute to the taste and texture of this cake, such as:


A good carrot cake should have a warm and aromatic spice flavor, that complements the sweetness of the carrots and the tanginess of the cream cheese frosting. The most common spices used in carrot cake are cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. These spices add depth and complexity to the cake, and also have some anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.

You can adjust the amount and type of spices according to your preference, but we recommend using at least 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg for a 9-inch cake. You can also add some vanilla extract or lemon zest for extra flavor.


Nuts are another optional but delicious addition to carrot cake. They add some crunch and texture to the cake, as well as some healthy fats and protein. The most popular nuts used in carrot cake are walnuts and pecans, but you can also use almonds, pistachios or hazelnuts. You can chop them finely or coarsely, depending on how much nuttiness you want in your cake.

You can stir about 1/2 cup of chopped nuts into the batter, or sprinkle some on top of the frosting. You can also toast them lightly in a skillet or oven before adding them to the cake, for more flavor and aroma.


Raisins are another common ingredient in carrot cake, especially in traditional recipes. They add some sweetness and chewiness to the cake, as well as some iron and fiber. Raisins also help keep the cake moist and soft, by absorbing some of the liquid from the batter.

You can use regular or golden raisins in your carrot cake, or even other dried fruits such as cranberries, cherries or apricots. You can soak them in some water or juice before adding them to the batter, to plump them up and prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the cake. You can use about 1/4 cup of raisins for a 9-inch cake.

How to Make a Magnolia Bakery Carrot Cake

Now that you know what makes a good carrot cake, let’s see how to make a magnolia bakery carrot cake at home. This recipe is adapted from the original one published by Magnolia Bakery in their cookbook “More From Magnolia”. It is very easy to follow, and it will yield a moist and fluffy 9-inch layer cake that serves 12 people.

Here are the ingredients you will need:

| Ingredients | Amount |
| ———– | —— |
| All-purpose flour | 2 cups |
| Baking soda | 2 teaspoons |
| Baking powder | 2 teaspoons |
| Salt | 1 teaspoon |
| Ground cinnamon | 1 teaspoon |
| Ground nutmeg | 1/4 teaspoon |
| Granulated sugar | 1 3/4 cups |
| Vegetable oil | 1 1/2 cups |
| Large eggs | 4 |
| Grated carrots | 3 cups |
| Chopped walnuts | 1 cup |
| Raisins | 1 cup |
| Cream cheese | 8 ounces |
| Unsalted butter | 1/2 cup |
| Powdered sugar | 4 cups |
| Vanilla extract | 2 teaspoons |

And here are the steps you need to follow:

Step 1: Preheat the oven and prepare the pans

Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C) and position a rack in the center. Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans, or line them with parchment paper. Set them aside.

Step 2: Whisk together the dry ingredients

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg until well combined. Set aside.

Step 3: Beat together the sugar and oil

In a large bowl, beat the sugar and oil together with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended, about 2 minutes. You can also use a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.

Step 4: Add the eggs one at a time

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.

Step 5: Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined. Do not overmix.

Step 6: Fold in the carrots, walnuts and raisins

With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, fold in the grated carrots, chopped walnuts and raisins until evenly distributed throughout the batter.

Step 7: Divide the batter among the prepared pans

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans, smoothing the tops with a spatula. Tap the pans lightly on the counter to release any air bubbles.

Step 8: Bake the cakes for 25 to 30 minutes

Bake the cakes in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Rotate the pans halfway through for even baking.

Step 9: Let the cakes cool completely

Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely. You can also wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate them overnight, if you want to frost them later.

Step 10: Make the cream cheese frosting

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Gradually add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, and mix until smooth and creamy. Add the vanilla extract and mix well.

Step 11: Assemble and frost the cake

Place one cake layer on a cake plate or stand. Spread about one-third of the frosting over the top. Place another cake layer on top and repeat with another one-third of the frosting. Place the third cake layer on top and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake. You can also pipe some swirls or rosettes on top of the cake for decoration, if you like.

The Benefits of Carrot Cake

Carrot cake is not only delicious, but it also has some benefits for your health and well-being. Here are some of them:

It is rich in vitamin A

Carrots are one of the best sources of vitamin A, which is essential for your vision, skin, immune system and reproduction. One slice of carrot cake can provide you with more than half of your daily requirement of vitamin A. Vitamin A also has antioxidant properties that can protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals.

It contains healthy fats

The vegetable oil and nuts in carrot cake provide you with some healthy fats that can lower your cholesterol levels, improve your heart health and reduce inflammation. The cream cheese frosting also contains some healthy fats from dairy products that can support your bone health and calcium absorption.

It has fiber and protein

The carrots, nuts and raisins in carrot cake also add some fiber and protein to your diet, which can help you feel full longer, regulate your blood sugar levels and aid your digestion. Fiber can also lower your risk of developing colon cancer and other digestive disorders. Protein can help you build and repair your muscles, skin, hair and nails.

Frequently Asked Questions About Magnolia Bakery Carrot CakeWhat is the difference between Magnolia Bakery carrot cake and other carrot cakes?

One of the main differences between Magnolia Bakery carrot cake and other carrot cakes is the amount and type of oil used in the batter. Magnolia Bakery uses 1 1/2 cups of vegetable oil, which is more than most recipes, and gives the cake a very moist and tender crumb. Other recipes may use less oil, or use butter instead, which can result in a drier and denser cake.

Another difference is the use of raisins in Magnolia Bakery carrot cake. Raisins are not a common ingredient in carrot cake, but they add some sweetness and chewiness to the cake, as well as some iron and fiber. Other recipes may omit raisins, or use other dried fruits such as cranberries, cherries or apricots.

How do you store Magnolia Bakery carrot cake?

Magnolia Bakery carrot cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can also freeze the cake for up to 3 months, either whole or in slices. To freeze the cake, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, and place it in a freezer-safe container or bag. To thaw the cake, let it sit at room temperature for several hours, or in the refrigerator overnight.

Can you make Magnolia Bakery carrot cake vegan or gluten-free?

Yes, you can make Magnolia Bakery carrot cake vegan or gluten-free, with some substitutions. To make it vegan, you can replace the eggs with flax eggs (1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons of water per egg), the cream cheese with vegan cream cheese, and the butter with vegan butter. To make it gluten-free, you can replace the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend, and add 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum to help bind the ingredients.

Can you add pineapple or coconut to Magnolia Bakery carrot cake?

Yes, you can add pineapple or coconut to Magnolia Bakery carrot cake, if you like. Pineapple and coconut are common additions to some carrot cake recipes, and they add some tropical flavor and moisture to the cake. You can add about 1/4 cup of crushed pineapple (drained) or shredded coconut to the batter, along with the carrots, walnuts and raisins. You can also sprinkle some toasted coconut on top of the frosting for decoration.

How do you grate carrots for Magnolia Bakery carrot cake?

The best way to grate carrots for Magnolia Bakery carrot cake is to use a food processor with a shredding blade. This will give you fine and uniform shreds of carrots that will blend well with the batter and bake evenly. You can also use a box grater or a mandoline slicer, but be careful not to cut yourself. You will need about 4 to 5 medium carrots to get 3 cups of grated carrots.

How do you make Magnolia Bakery cream cheese frosting?

Making Magnolia Bakery cream cheese frosting is very easy and simple. All you need are four ingredients: cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. You just have to beat them together with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. You can adjust the consistency of the frosting by adding more or less powdered sugar. You can also add some lemon juice or zest for some extra tanginess.

Why is Magnolia Bakery carrot cake so popular?

Magnolia Bakery carrot cake is so popular because it is one of the best carrot cakes you can find. It has a moist and tender crumb, a warm and spiced flavor, a crunchy and nutty texture, and a creamy and tangy frosting. It is also made with simple ingredients that you can easily find in your pantry or grocery store. It is a classic dessert that appeals to many people of different ages and tastes.

Where can you buy Magnolia Bakery carrot cake?

You can buy Magnolia Bakery carrot cake at any of their locations in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Washington DC or Honolulu. You can also order online from their website [] or from delivery platforms such as [Goldbelly] or [DoorDash]. You can choose from different sizes and shapes of cakes, such as 9-inch round, 10-inch square or sheet cakes. You can also customize your cake with different messages or decorations.

How much does Magnolia Bakery carrot cake cost?

The price of Magnolia Bakery carrot cake depends on the size and shape of the cake, and the location where you buy it. According to their website, a 9-inch round cake serves 12 people and costs $48, a 10-inch square cake serves 16 people and costs $60, and a sheet cake serves 24 to 48 people and costs $120 to $240. The prices may vary slightly depending on the city or state where you buy the cake.

How do you cut Magnolia Bakery carrot cake?

The best way to cut Magnolia Bakery carrot cake is to use a sharp serrated knife and a cake server. You should also chill the cake for at least an hour before cutting, to make the frosting firmer and easier to slice. To cut the cake, start by cutting it in half, then cut each half into equal wedges. You can also cut the cake into smaller squares or rectangles, if you prefer. Use the cake server to lift and transfer the slices to plates.


We hope you enjoyed this article about how to make a magnolia bakery carrot cake at home. This is one of our favorite recipes, and we are sure you will love it too. It is easy, delicious and satisfying, and it will impress your guests with its beautiful appearance and taste.

If you liked this article, please check out our other articles on our blog, where we share more recipes, tips and tricks for baking amazing cakes. You can also follow us on social media and subscribe to our newsletter for more updates and offers. Thank you for reading, and happy baking!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *