Carrot cake is a classic dessert that many people enjoy, but sometimes it's nice to add a little twist to a favorite recipe. This lemon carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is the perfect way to do just that! The zesty lemon juice adds a bright and fresh flavor to the traditional carrot cake, while the creamy and tangy cream cheese frosting brings everything together for a truly delicious dessert.


For the cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

For the frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Gradually mix in the oil and lemon juice. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix until just combined.
  5. Fold in the grated carrots and chopped walnuts (if using).
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and smooth out the surface.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  8. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting

  1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Mix in the lemon juice and vanilla extract.
  3. Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating until smooth and creamy.
  4. Once the cakes have cooled completely, place one layer on a cake plate or stand.
  5. Spread a generous layer of frosting on top of the first layer.
  6. Place the second layer of cake on top and frost the top and sides with the remaining frosting.
  7. Garnish with lemon zest and additional chopped walnuts, if desired.

Tips and variations

  • You can add more or less lemon juice depending on your preference for the level of tartness in the cake.
  • If you're not a fan of walnuts, you can substitute them with pecans or leave them out altogether.
  • To make cupcakes instead of a cake, divide the batter into muffin cups and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  • For an extra special touch, you can add a layer of lemon curd in between the cake layers before frosting.
  • This cake can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


This lemon carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is a delicious twist on a classic dessert that is sure to be a hit with anyone who tries it. With its bright and fresh lemon flavor and creamy, tangy frosting, this cake is perfect for any occasion. Try making it for your next family gathering or special event and watch as everyone raves about how delicious it is!

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