Best Carrot Cake Recipe With Buttermilk Glaze & Orange Cream Cheese Frosting by Donna John

Best Carrot Cake Recipe With Buttermilk Glaze & Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

The sweet buttermilk glaze drenches every inch of this carrot cake and makes it incredibly moist. The creamy orange cream cheese frosting is really the icing on the cake. Delish! It is my all-time favorite carrot cake recipe. This incredible carrot cake recipe does take a little time to prep, but the end result is worth every minute. Wow your friends and family by serving this classic cake on Easter.

The cake batter is a combination of flour, baking soda, cinnamon, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, canola oil, sugar, crushed pineapple, flaked coconut, grated carrots and chopped walnuts. The batter is baked in the oven in two round cake pans. When the cakes come out of the oven, immediately pour the butter milk glaze over them so it can soak in the hot cake. The glaze is made with sugar, baking soda, buttermilk, butter, light corn syrup and vanilla.

The icing on the cake is a creamy combination of butter, powdered sugar, cream cheese, vanilla, grated orange rind and orange juice. Frost in between the layers and on the outside of the moist, glazed-soaked cake. Incredible. 

You could cut the cake layers in half and make a four-layer cake. Be sure to wait until the layers are completely cool so they don't fall apart when you cut them with a serrated knife. This is one carrot cake you will not soon forget.

Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Servings: Makes 1 two-layer cake



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 bag (7 ounces) flaked coconut
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Buttermilk Glaze

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 1 teaspoon orange juice

Here's how to make it:

  1. For the glaze, combine all the ingredients except vanilla in a pot. Bring to a boil and cook about 4 minutes. Stir in vanilla. Set aside.
  2. For the icing, beat all the ingredients with an electric mixer until smooth.
  3. For the cake, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. In another bowl, combine the eggs, oil, buttermilk, sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir in the pineapple, coconut, carrots and nuts. Pour into two greased and floured round cake pans. Bake in a preheated 350-degree F oven for 30 to 40 minutes.
  4. Remove the cakes from the oven and immediately pour the buttermilk glaze over the layers. Cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then remove and cool completely.
  5. Frost between the layers and then the entire cake. Sprinkle with additional chopped walnuts, if desired.

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Round Cake Pans $10 & Up
Electric Mixers $15 & Up
Vanilla Extract $4 & Up
Walnuts $4 & Up
Baking Soda $1 & Up
Ground Cinnamon $3 & Up
Canola Oil $3 & Up
Flaked Coconut $2 & Up
Orange Juice $3 & Up

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Donna John
This cake is so freakin' good. I haven't made it in a while because it's usually just my husband and I. But it is the only carrot cake recipe I have ever made -- or will ever make. Delicious and worth every calorie.
Wow, this looks incredible. 😋
Debbie Howard
Wow - this looks relish! I remember loving carrot cake earlier in my life, but have cut many sweets over the years. Think I'm gonna rethink that!
Elisa Schmitz
This. Looks. Amazing. On my to-make list, Donna John !
The "cake" instructions say, "In another bowl, combine the eggs, oil, butter, buttermilk, sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth." But the ingredients don't indicate any butter. How much butter for the "cake". The glaze and frosting have butter, but not the cake?
Good point tcoots. I suspect the butter is for the glaze. The glaze would really make the cake over the top sweet +the cream cheese icing.
Donna John
"Butter" got in there twice. Was just buttermilk. Thanks for pointing that out. It has been fixed. I've been making this cake for years and years. It is delicious!
Lori Clemens
Is there butter in the glaze or just buttermilk?
The photo looks like each of the cakes are cut in half, giving four layers with icing between each layer. Recipe looks so good!!
Donna John
I always make mine two layers, but you could definitely cut the layers in half to make it a four-layer cake.
Donna John
Yes, there is buttermilk AND butter in the glaze.
This cake was delicious!
Donna John
I'm sitting here jealous because you're eating it! lol I love this cake and haven't made it in a while. That may have to change. So happy you enjoyed it!! boxnut
I have been making this recipe for years and it is a great recipe and everyone always asks for the recipe. For years I refused to give it out however, I now share it.

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