Saturday Sweets: Pumpkin Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Is there anything better than a cake just begging for a giant dollop of cream cheese icing?

Pumpkin Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting |

Spread it all over…and I just want to dive in face first.

Pumpkin Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing - perfect healthy snacking cake! |

This cake was my first foray into pumpkin this season, and, just when I thought I had enough pumpkin recipes to love, this one came along and expanded the list.  Not a word of a lie, I think I’m going to make this for my own birthday next week, it’s that good.  I also love that it makes an 8″ cake – the perfect size for our family to enjoy for a couple days and leave us still loving it.  (Of course, you could easily double it for a 9×13″ pan or to make two 8″ cakes and layer ’em up).

Pumpkin Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting |

I’ve now been given a couple more recipes I cannot wait to try, so I went ahead and bought a couple big pumpkins and made my own pumpkin puree this week, which was amazing fun, using this entertaining tutorial by the Pioneer Woman.  It really doesn’t get any easier or fresher (or cheaper!) than that.

All my favourite fall flavours came together in this perfectly-textured cake – pumpkin, carrot, ginger, and cinnamon.  Of course, those things all love cream cheese.  I don’t include cloves and nutmeg in my recipes as a general rule because I find they take away from the flavours I really love, but if you like the depth those add you could certainly add a bit of each to this recipe.

Pumpkin Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing - perfect healthy snacking cake! |

Our whole family loved this, and the kids have even asked me repeatedly to make it again. Would you believe it’s also incredibly healthy (if we aren’t talking about the icing)?  This recipe is adapted from one I found in a stack of old Cooking Light issues I got from from my aunt a few years ago, and, like every recipe I’ve tried from the magazines, it was a big winner.

Pumpkin Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing - perfect healthy snacking cake! |

Scroll to the bottom for the recipe, but if you love pumpkin, make sure you check out these recipes as well:

Pumpkin Donut Holes


Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins with Streusel Topping

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Pumpkin Toffee Cheesecake (Chelsea made this again for Thanksgiving and it is STILL amazing)


Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Pumpkin Spice Breakfast Cakes

Pumpkin Breakfast Cake

Pumpkin Gingersnaps

pumpkin gingersnaps

Pumpkin Graham Muffins


Pumpkin Spice Scones

pumpkin spice scones

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Banana Muffins


Pumpkin Layer Cake

Kraft Pumpkin Layer Cake

Pumpkin Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
Total time
A moist, healthy cake that tastes best with a slathering of cream cheese icing - a family favourite recipe!
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 9
  • CAKE:
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour (or additional all purpose flour)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup pumpkin purée
  • 4 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp grated orange zest OR 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • ½ cup grated carrot (1 smallish carrot)
  • ¼ cup cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp milk or cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8" square baking dish and set aside.
  2. In medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In another bowl, whisk eggs for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, pumpkin, oil, and orange zest, and mix until very smooth.
  4. Add flour mixture to egg mixture and stir just until moist. Stir in carrots.
  5. Scrape batter into prepared baking dish and smooth top, then bake for 23-25 minutes, until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.
  6. Set on wire rack to cool before icing.
  7. For icing: With electric mixer, beat together cream cheese and butter. Add icing sugar, vanilla, and milk and mix until smooth and creamy. Store cakes iced with cream cheese icing in fridge.
1) Add ½ cup golden raisins to batter
2) Top with chopped pecans or walnuts





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