Hey guys! This has been a long-requested recipes on my website, and I’m so excited to share this one with you! If you love carrot cake, this is your perfect recipe for high-altitude. Of course, topped with a ton of cream cheese frosting too!

The Best High-Altitude Carrot Cake

One of my favorite things in developing recipes is when I’m working on a dish that I don’t really love, but then find that I do actually love the recipe that I land on, and that’s the case here. I’ve never been a huge fan of carrot cake until today, it’s such a great recipe guys!

How to Make High-Altitude Carrot Cake

I love a good oil-based cake recipe because they come together super easily. But first we’re starting with the grated carrot. This is one of my most hated chores, so if you have a food processor with a grater attachment, this is a good time to use it! You can still definitely grate your carrots by hand in a box grater if you need to though! Here’s everything you need:

Ingredients for High-Altitude Carrot Cake

Once your ingredients are prepped, this cake comes together just like most cakes. We’re starting by mixing together the oil and sugars, and then adding in the eggs, vanilla extract, and carrots. Finally, add in the flour mixture and buttermilk in alternating additions until everything has been added.

High-Altitude Carrot Cake Batter

Make sure you give your batter a good mix, and scrape the bowl to get any bits that haven’t been mixed in from the bottom. Then it’s off to the cake pans and your oven!

High-Altitude Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

The cream cheese frosting is super simple as well, and it comes together fast. We’re just beating together the cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar until smooth and thick, and then add in the vanilla, salt, and heavy cream until everything is super fluffy and spreadable.

Best High-Altitude Carrot Cake
Easy High-Altitude Carrot Cake

I like to go for a simple frosting design for this cake because cream cheese frosting doesn’t hold up very strongly to anything intricate. And then you’re ready to slice this baby and enjoy!

Perfect High-Altitude Carrot Cake

Tips & Tricks for High-Altitude Carrot Cake

Here are my tips and tricks to help make sure your High-Altitude Carrot Cake comes out perfectly!

  • Be sure to grease your cake pans properly. I like to use a baking spray with a flour base, and then cut out parchment paper rounds to put on the bottom of each tin. You can use a generous amount of regular cooking spray, or cake goop if you have it.
  • Use freshly grated carrots NOT the pre-shredded carrots you can buy in the store. The pre-shredded options don’t have the moisture that fresh carrots have, and you won’t end up with the right texture in your cake.
  • Can you bake this carrot cake in other sizes of cake pans? Yes! This amount of batter is perfect for 2 8-inch rounds like I’ve done here, 3 6-inch rounds (which you can bake for 5-10 minutes less time), or even in a bundt pan (baked for 50-55 minutes).
  • Use any spices that you love. I’m using a classic mixture of warm spices, and you can mix it up by using anything you prefer, or omitting anything you don’t like here.
  • How do I make the layers of my cake flat? I prefer to trim my cakes after they bake. I use a long, sharp, serrated knife and gently cut off any domed top. You want to go slowly in a gentle sawing motion, which will help to avoid tearing the cake, and it will help you keep it level. Don’t do this step until the cake is completely cooled!
  • My cream cheese frosting is too soft. Cream cheese frosting is not nearly as stable as some other frosting options. If it’s a bit warm in your house, you may find it to be too soft. If this happens, pop your bowl of frosting into the fridge for 5-10 minutes, and then re-whip it. You can repeat this process a couple of times to cool the frosting back down a little bit without breaking it.
  • I’m at about 5,000 ft. above sea level and I find that most people who live between 3,000-7,000ft above sea level do not need to make any adjustments to my recipes!

Hope you guys love this one as much as I do!

4.67 from 3 votes

High-Altitude Carrot Cake

Servings 8 slices


For the Carrot Cake:

  • 2 2/3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 cups shredded carrot about 6-8 large carrots
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 2 8 oz pkgs cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbs. heavy cream


For the Carrot Cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and generously grease two 8-inch round cake pans. Optionally, line the cake pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves until combined, and set aside. In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the oil, sugar, and brown sugar until combined. Add in the eggs, vanilla extract, and shredded carrot, and stir until just combined.
  3. Add in the dry ingredients and the buttermilk in alternating additions, starting and ending with the flour mixture, and mixing well between each addition until all the ingredients are added. Pour the batter evenly between your two prepared cake pans, and bake for 35-38 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  1. In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and softened butter. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, mixing well to incorporate it completely. Stir in the vanilla extract, salt, and heavy cream, and beat the mixture for several minutes, or until thick and spreadable. Frost your cake as desired and enjoy!


  1. Corey West

    October 7, 2021 at 8:06 pm

    5 stars
    First time I made a carrot cake that didn't sink and was perfectly moist! The spices were perfect and the cream cheese frosting is to die for! As a Denver born, Aurora raised girl who now lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico…your recipes are my Bible and this one is no exception! Thank you!

    • Dough-Eyed

      October 10, 2021 at 2:31 pm

      Thank you so much for the kind words! And I'm so glad you loved the cake too!

    • Julie

      March 4, 2022 at 9:25 am

      4 stars
      I live at about 8300 feet in Evergreen,, CO. The cake came out great! But the frosting was soupy. I put it in the fridge overnight,, added tapioca flour, plus gelatin, and still couldn't really get it to a spreadable consistency. It also made a ton – I'd probably cut it in 1/2 next time.

      • Dough-Eyed

        March 8, 2022 at 3:01 pm

        Hi there! Glad to hear the cake turned out great for you! Cream cheese frosting can definitely be finicky depending on your cream cheese, the temperature in your home, and how long it's mixed for. I'll work on adding in some tips to help out with this one!

  2. Brooke Meoli

    November 22, 2021 at 8:23 am

    Hi. I was wanting to add some crushed pineapple to your recipe. Do you have any thoughts on if I need to make adjustments to the recipe?
    Thanks in advance-broke

  3. Carol

    December 12, 2021 at 12:41 pm

    Can I substitute applesauce for the buttermilk? Are there any disadvantages to this substitution?

    • Dough-Eyed

      December 12, 2021 at 4:44 pm

      Hi there- I would not consider applesauce a substitute for buttermilk. The buttermilk is acidic, which reacts with the baking soda as it bakes and it affects how the cake rises. Substitutes for buttermilk that work well are whole milk mixed with a tsp. of vinegar or lemon juice, or yogurt or sour cream that has a little milk or water added to it to thin it out. You want something that offers the acid found here. However, if you're looking for a dairy free option, you can use dairy free milk with vinegar or lemon juice as well. I hope that helps!

  4. Lee Filardo

    February 10, 2022 at 9:46 pm

    5 stars
    This recipe is perfect and have gotten tons of positive feedback. Live at 8,500' elevation near Nederland, CO. Only change I made was icing. Could not, in good conscience, use 6 cups of sugar. Two cups were fine here. I'm a sugarholic, admitted, but cut corners where I can. Great blog. THX!

  5. Megan

    April 3, 2022 at 1:22 pm

    Can you use this recipe to make cupcakes? And recommendations on baking time for cupcakes?

    • Dough-Eyed

      April 11, 2022 at 11:10 am

      Hi there- yes, this recipe would make about 24-30 cupcakes, or you can cut it in half as well. I would suggest checking them around 15 minutes, but I suspect they will take about 20-25 minutes in total to bake as cupcakes. Hope that helps!

  6. marthahillegas

    June 25, 2022 at 9:51 am

    Can I use this recipe in a Bundt pan? Any suggestions?


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