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Carrot Cake

This easy mini Carrot Cake recipe from scratch is incredibly moist and flavorful with extra creamy cream cheese frosting. It’s packed with carrots, pineapple, applesauce, coconut, and pecans.

This small carrot cake recipe makes an impressive and delicious small batch dessert perfect for 2 to 4 people. This recipe has been re-tested and updated slightly now using a 6 inch cake pan instead of a springform pan.

For more on the origins of carrot cake check out The History of Carrot Cake.

a graphic of a carrot cake topped with cream cheese on a cake stand and text reading carrot cake recipe at zonacooks.com
Mini Carrot Cake for Two

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How to make mini Carrot Cake from scratch:

For the cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, combine the cinnamon applesauce, sugar, and egg.

egg and applesauce mixture whisked in a bowl

Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon until just combined. Do not over mix.

cake batter whisked in a bowl

Stir in the grated carrots, coconut, chopped pecans, vanilla, and crushed pineapple with juice.

carrots, coconut, and pecans added to cake batter in a bowl

Spray a 6 inch round cake pan with non-stick spray.

Cut a 6 inch parchment paper circle and place in the bottom of the pan. Spray again with non-stick spray.

Pour the cake batter into the pan.

small batch carrot cake batter poured into a 6 inch cake pan

Bake for 35 – 40 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean it is done baking.

Let the cake cool for 10 minutes in the pan.

Remove from the pan, discard the parchment paper, and place the cake on a cooling rack to cool completely.

a mini carrot cake cooling on a wire rack

For the cream cheese frosting:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese until nice and fluffy using a hand beater or stand mixer.

Add in the vanilla and powdered sugar and mix until smooth and creamy.

cream cheese frosting mixed in a bowl

If the top of the cake is slightly rounded, cut a little of the top off horizontally to create a flat surface.

Invert the cake onto a cake plate or cake stand.

Spread the frosting on the cake to your liking.

a small batch carrot cake topped with cream cheese frosting

Garnish the tops with more coconut and pecans if desired.

a mini carrot cake topped with cream cheese, coconut, and pecans on a cake stand in the background

Cut the cake into 4 equal slices.

I highly recommend refrigerating for an hour to chill but you can serve immediately.

a close up of a slice of cake filled with carrots and pineapple and a small carrot cake topped with cream cheese on a cake stand in the background
Small Batch Carrot Cake

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a mini carrot cake topped with cream cheese, coconut, and pecans on a cake stand in the background
Yield: 4 small slices

Mini Carrot Cake

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Cool Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

This easy mini Carrot Cake recipe from scratch is incredibly moist and flavorful with extra creamy cream cheese frosting. It’s packed with carrots, pineapple, applesauce, coconut, and pecans.

Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cinnamon applesauce
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 small egg (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 1/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup Dole crushed pineapple in juice (do not drain)

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 Tablespoon butter (softened)
  • 2 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • Extra coconut and pecans for garnish (optional)

Instructions

For the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the cinnamon applesauce, sugar, and egg.
  3. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon until just combined. Do not over mix.
  4. Stir in the grated carrots, coconut, chopped pecans, vanilla, and crushed pineapple with juice.
  5. Spray a 6 inch round cake pan with non-stick spray.
  6. Cut a 6 inch parchment paper circle and place in the bottom of the pan. Spray again with non-stick spray.
  7. Pour the cake batter into the pan.
  8. Bake for 35 - 40 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean it is done baking.
  9. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes in the pan.
  10. Remove from the pan, discard the parchment paper, and place the cake on a cooling rack to cool completely.

For the cream cheese frosting:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese until nice and fluffy using a hand beater or stand mixer.
  2. Add in the vanilla and powdered sugar and mix until smooth and creamy.
  3. If the top of the cake is slightly rounded, cut a little of the top off horizontally to create a flat surface.
  4. Invert the cake onto a cake plate or cake stand.
  5. Spread the frosting on the cake to your liking.
  6. Garnish the tops with more coconut and pecans if desired.
  7. Cut the cake into 4 equal slices.
  8. I highly recommend refrigerating for an hour to chill but you can serve immediately.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 530Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 407mgCarbohydrates: 82gFiber: 5gSugar: 62gProtein: 6g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

Did you like this recipe?

Please leave a comment on this post and pin this recipe on Pinterest.

Two slices of Carrot Cake on plates.
Easy Carrot Cake from Scratch Recipe for Two

Gabrielle

Sunday 12th of December 2021

Hi could I use greek yogurt instead of the applesauce?

Zona

Monday 13th of December 2021

Hi Gabrielle, yes that should work fine. Thanks for your question :)

Terrie

Saturday 10th of July 2021

Hello Zona, Personally I really like the ingredients you use, but my daughter ( whom I’m making this for) doesn’t tolerate pineapple well. What would you suggest as an alternative.? I have apples, canned mango, and fresh bananas on hand. Thanks, Terrie

Zona

Saturday 10th of July 2021

Hi Terrie, personally I would try the banana because I love banana flavor. Let me know how it turns out for you :)

Jan

Sunday 21st of March 2021

I made this and it turned out great! I so appreciate having a smaller cake to share with my husband because we won’t be tempted to eat more than we should.

Zona

Monday 22nd of March 2021

Hi Jan, I feel the same way and I'm so glad you enjoyed this cake too! Thank you :)

Anita Goodman

Monday 3rd of August 2020

Must this cake be baked in a springform pan? Would you be able to use an 8" baking dish? My oldest grandson loves carrot cake and I would like to make this for him when he comes home in October for a break. He's a lineman apprentice and is located 2000 miles from home.

Zona

Monday 3rd of August 2020

Hi Anita, I have not tried making this in an 8 inch baking dish but I think that would work fine. Let me know if you try it and how it goes for you. Good luck and enjoy your visit with your grandson :)

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