Cake / Sweet Recipes

Carrot Cake with Lime Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake with Lime Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Fluffy yet moist Carrot Cake with a sweet and tangy Lime Cream Cheese Frosting. This is my take on Carrot Cake and probably the recipe which I’m most proud of. My family and friends kept asking me for the recipe so it was about time to put it on paper. The secret ingredient in this cake is buttermilk. In the Netherlands, we are not used to baking with buttermilk (we drink it and that seems like a weird habit in a lot of cultures) but it really makes a magical difference for the texture of your cake.

Ingredients for 10-12 pieces of Carrot Cake

For the Carrot Cake
450g grated carrots
• 400g all-purpose flour
300ml sunflower oil
• 150g white sugar
• 125g light brown sugar
• 4 eggs
• 85g buttermilk
• 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp ground sea salt
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1 tsp gingerbread spices (Speculaas)
• Optionally 100 – 150g chopped walnuts

Tip: If you want to make a layer cake with 2 layers, use half of the frosting recipe extra.
Want to go big with 3 layers, double the frosting recipe.

For the Lime Cream Cheese frosting
• 200g good quality cream cheese
100g soft butter
• 70g powdered sugar 
Zest of one lime 
½ tsp lime juice
½ tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

For the topping 
50g chopped walnuts 
Little leftover Lime zest

23 cm/9 inch springform  
• Grater or food processor
Electric mixer or whisk
• Baking paper
2 mixing bowls
• Spatula
• Zester

How to prepare the Carrot Cake

1. Start with peeling the carrots and freshly grating them by hand with a grater or with a food processor. (Please do not use pre-packed grated carrots as they are less juicy and give a dry cake.)

2. Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F. Line the bottom of the springform with baking paper and grease the inner sides of the springform with butter or oil.

3. Mix the sugars and the eggs a couple of minutes until foamy.

4. Add the vanilla extract, buttermilk, and the sunflower oil and mix until combined. Add the grated carrots and mix through the batter. 

5. Mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and add them bit by bit to the batter while mixing. If you like chopped walnuts in your cake, stir them through the completed batter. 

6. Pour the batter in the prepared springform and bake the cake on a wire rack in the middle of the oven for about an hour. (If you bake the carrot cake on a baking sheet, the cake will not bake evenly and will take longer to fully cook in the middle.) The carrot cake is well baked when an inserted toothpick comes out clean. 

How to prepare the Lime Cream Cheese frosting

1. To make the Cream cheese lime frosting, make sure the butter is really soft because we don’t want any lumps. Stir the butter with a spatula until creamy. Add a spoon full of the cream cheese and mix in with a spatula until it is fully combined. Repeat with the rest of the cream cheese. 

2. Zest almost the entire lime above the frosting but leave a little for later. Add the vanilla extract, lime juice, and salt and mix until combined. (Adding a little lime juice gives that nice fresh and tangy note but please do not overuse as the frosting will become runny. This is also the reason you should use good quality cream cheese. Most low budget cream spreads get really runny when they get in contact with lime juice.) 

3. Add the powdered sugar bit by bit until fully combined. If you like your frosting sweeter you can add some more powdered sugar to taste. But I like to aim for a nice balance of sweet and sour. Let the frosting set in the fridge until ready to use.

How to Decorate the Carrot Cake 

1. Let your Carrot cake cool down on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before frosting it. I know that sounds like ages but big cakes need more time to cool down. And if you are a little too impatient and put the frosting on too soon, it will definitely melt off and drip down. But if that’s the style you want to go for, that’s cool too! 

2. Once your carrot cake is completely cooled down, spread the frosting on top of the cake with a spatula. Sprinkle the chopped walnuts on top of the cake and zest the last bit of leftover lime on top of the cake for a fresh green touch. 

How to store the carrot cake

Usually, a carrot cake does not last very long as it fastly disappears into people’s mouths. Yet you can keep this cake up to a week in an airtight container in the fridge. But if you want to keep some for later you can easily freeze the frosted carrot cake in an airtight container. 

I hope my recipe for Carrot Cake with Lime Cream cheese Frosting will also steal the show at your cake occasions. Please share them with me @TalesofPastry or #TalesofPastry. Or drop a comment down below. I’d love to hear from you. 😀

About Author

Jamie is dreaming about flavors, aromas, and textures from dusk till dawn. ''There's no better distraction than a food memory.'' It is her passion to share with you the tales of her best food experiences and recipe secrets.


  • Jamie Penders
    June 7, 2020 at 5:26 pm

    I’m so happy to hear that your family were a fan of the carrot cake too! 🥕🍰 Happy birthday to your brother 😊🎉

  • Dar
    June 7, 2020 at 6:58 pm

    I baked this for the birthday party of my little brother and it was such a succes that even my aunts wanted the recipe!

    Thank you.


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