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Mini Carrot Cake

A mini carrot cake topped with a rich cream cheese frosting. Everything you love about a carrot cake but in a smaller size. This easy to make cake is made with a delightful orange glaze which takes a traditional carrot cake to a whole new level. Bakes in just 30 minutes!

A square slice of carrot cake on a small plate with a fork

In my family, the cake that is always requested for birthday celebrations or other events is a carrot cake. I'm totally fine with that request because I happen to love carrot cake too.

A few months ago, for my son's 20th birthday, I made a "non-traditional style" carrot cake for him. I say it wasn't traditional because I baked it in a very small bundt pan instead of making a layer cake. I scaled down our recipe and made a small carrot cake, perfect for serving just a few people.

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I decided to make an orange glaze to drizzle over the top of the cake before I frosted it. This was an idea that was inspired by a lemon cake I recently baked which used a similar glaze. I loved how moist it made the cake!

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Why This Recipe Works

  • This mini carrot cake is incredibly moist and filled with tiny bits of chopped pecans and specs of carrots. It's incredibly delicious and so easy to make.
  • Although this is not a single serving cake recipe, it is substantially smaller than a traditional cake. I use a 6-cup Nordic Ware bundt cake pan and have also used a 1.5-quart baking pan to bake this cake. The pan measures 8 x 6 x 1.75 in. You could serve two or more people and not have very many slices leftover.
  • This carrot cake recipe is a bit unusual and is assembled differently than a standard carrot cake. Although there is an extra step in making the glaze, it is super easy to do and adds a tremendous amount of flavor.

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What You Need For The Cake And Glaze

the ingredients in a carrot cake labeled and on a brown table.

Ingredient Notes

See recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  • Sugar: Use granulated sugar which makes the cake light, delicious, and moist. We also use sugar to make the glaze.
  • Oil: I recommend using canola oil or vegetable oil which helps the cake stay soft and tender.
  • Eggs: Use 2 large eggs which create structure and add moisture.
  • Flour: I like using all-purpose flour.
  • Baking powder and baking soda: Both of these ingredients helps the cake to rise.
  • Ground cinnamon, ginger, and salt: Essential for great flavor.
  • Carrots: This carrot cake recipe calls for using 1 cup of grated carrots. I like to use a box grater to grate my carrots but you could also use a food processor or purchase pre-grated carrots from the supermarket.
  • Pecans: Optional, but recommended. I happen to love nuts in my carrot cake but you can leave them out if you want. You might also like to add a handful of raisins in your version. 
  • Orange juice: Use 1/4 of orange juice along with 1/4 cup of sugar to make the glaze.

What You Need For The Frosting

ingredients needed for frosting labeled and on a brown table next to a window.

Ingredient Notes

Although I love this creamy cream cheese frosting, if you don't have the ingredients on hand you could enjoy the cake as is, without any frosting at all. You might even like to sift a little bit of powdered sugar on top. This carrot cake is so incredibly delicious, even without frosting.

  • Butter: I recommend using softened salted butter. Softened butter should still be cool to the touch but when you press your finger into the butter, your finger will leave an indentation.
  • Cream cheese: Use block-style cream cheese.
  • Powdered sugar: This type of sugar incorporates better than granulated sugar.
  • Vanilla extract: For delicious flavor!
  • Cream (Optional): The cream will help to thin the frosting so that it drips down the sides of the bundt cake. If you are baking the cake in a small rectangular baking pan, there is no need to thin the frosting.

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How To Make This Recipe

  • Start out by mixing together sugar, vegetable oil, and eggs in a mixer.
mixing egg, oil and sugar in a red mixing bowl.
  • Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and ground ginger in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
mixing dry ingredients into wet ingredients in a red kitchenaid mixer.
  • Stir in grated carrots and chopped pecans and pour into a greased small baking pan or a small 6-cup sized cake pan.
two pictures side by side of carrots being stirred into a cake batter and the batter being poured into a baking pan.
  • Bake the cake for 30-35 minutes and set aside to cool.
  • Meanwhile, make the glaze by combining sugar and orange juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Spoon the glaze over the cake.
spooning orange glaze over the top of a bundt cake.
  • After the cake has cooled completely, make the frosting by combining softened butter, softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Spread over the cooled cake.
  • Note: If you're frosting a cake made in a baking pan, the consistency of the frosting should be perfect. However, if you want to frost a bundt cake, you may want the frosting to be lighter so that it will "drip" down the sides of the cake. If this is the case, add the extra teaspoons of cream to the frosting until you reach the desired consistency.
four squares of carrot cake on a clear plate next to a partially cut cake.

This carrot cake can serve more than one person if you're only looking for a slice or two each. If you're baking this for yourself to enjoy, it will keep fresh in the refrigerator for a week.

Expert Tips

  • Be sure to use softened butter in this carrot cake recipe. You can easily soften butter by taking it out of the refrigerator and placing it on your kitchen counter for a half hour before you want to use it.
  • You can grate the carrots ahead of time and keep them in the fridge until you are ready to make the cake.
  • Feel free to use chopped walnuts instead of pecans or add in a handful of raisins to your cake batter.
  • Some people love chopped pineapples in their carrot cake. If you do too, consider adding about a quarter cup of canned crushed pineapples. Keep in mind that pineapples will add moisture to the cake, so be sure to drain the pineapple before adding it in.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients left over from this carrot cake recipe, you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

A frosted carrot bundt cake with bits of chopped carrots on top

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Make Carrot Cake Cupcakes With This Recipe?

Yes! Just divide the batter evenly into a cupcake pan and bake as directed in the recipe.

What Size Baking Dish Should I Use For A Mini Cake?

For this carrot cake recipe, I use either a 1.5-quart compact oven baking pan or a 6-cup bundt cake pan. Both of these pans can be found on our Bakeware page. For best results, please use a pan of similar size.
For more information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.
Examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen can be found at our Store page.

How Should I Store Carrot Cake?

The frosted carrot cake can be stored in the refrigerator. It will keep well for up to 5 days when wrapped with plastic wrap or stored in an airtight container.

A square slice of carrot cake on a small plate with a fork

Other Mini Cake Recipes

If you like this mini carrot cake recipe, you might also like these mini cake recipes:

If you’ve tried this mini carrot cake or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

Also, if you take a picture please tag us on Instagram (@onedishkitchen) we’d love to see!

carrot cake for one | one dish kitchen

Mini Carrot Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Cooling Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Dessert
Keywords: cake
Servings: 6 slices
Calories: 550kcal
Author: Joanie Zisk

Ingredients

CAKE

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil , or vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1/4 cup pecans , chopped

GLAZE

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • 4 tablespoons salted butter , softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese , softened
  • 8 ounces powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-3 teaspoons heavy cream Optional: The cream might be needed if you would like to "drizzle" the frosting down the sides of a bundt cake.

Instructions

  • TO MAKE THE CAKE
  • Heat oven to 350 degree F (177 degrees C).
  • Grease or spray a 1.5-quart compact oven baking pan or a 6-cup bundt cake pan with butter or oil spray and set aside.
  • Mix together the sugar, oil and eggs in a large bowl. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well to combine.
  • Stir in the carrots and pecans.
  • Pour into the baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.
  • Set aside to cool.
  • TO MAKE THE GLAZE
  • Combine 1/4 cup sugar with 1/4 cup orange juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Spoon the orange syrup over the cake.
  • TO MAKE THE FROSTING
  • In a large bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese. Add the powdered sugar, and vanilla, and blend until smooth.
    Note: (If you're frosting a cake made in a baking pan, the consistency of the frosting should be perfect. However, if you want to frost a bundt cake, you may want the frosting to be lighter so that it will "drip" down the sides of the cake. If this is the case, add the extra teaspoons of cream to the frosting until you reach the desired consistency).
  • Spread on cooled carrot cake.

Notes

Expert Tips
  • Be sure to use softened butter in this carrot cake recipe. You can easily soften butter by taking it out of the refrigerator and placing it on your kitchen counter for a half hour before you want to use it.
  • You can grate the carrots ahead of time and keep them in the fridge until you are ready to make the cake.
  • Feel free to use chopped walnuts instead of pecans or add in a handful of raisins to your cake batter.
  • Some people love chopped pineapples in their carrot cake. If you do too, consider adding about a quarter cup of canned pineapples. Keep in mind that pineapples will add moisture to the cake, so be sure to drain the pineapple before adding it in.

Nutrition

Serving: 1large slice | Calories: 550kcal | Carbohydrates: 75g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 128mg | Potassium: 135mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 61g | Vitamin A: 3130IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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58 thoughts on “Mini Carrot Cake”

  1. I have not made this yet, but I intend to, as carrot cake is one of my favorites and I like some of your other recipes, so I know this will be good. Two things I want to tell you: thank you so much for your one person (possibly two) recipes. Finding food for one is difficult. I also want to thank you for your section on using certain items in other recipes; that is a fantastic help.

  2. 5 stars
    Delicious! I made a few small alterations but the base of this recipe is perfection.

    My alterations include; half granulated raw sugar, half brown sugar. I didn’t have walnuts or pecans so I used some pistachios I had in the pantry. I also didn’t have powdered ginger so I added a small amount of glacial ginger. Perfect.
    I found the cake to be very moist and lovely! Thank you!

    1. Hi Kelly,
      I’m so happy you enjoyed the carrot cake, thank you so much for taking the time to let me know.

      Also, thank you for mentioning your substitutions so that our readers might try them too.

      Joanie

    2. Mary joyce Dillon

      2 stars

      I was so disappointed with the end product. I baked the cake in a loaf pan and baked it for 37 minutes. I removed it from the oven after using a cake tester that was dry. As the cake cooled on a rack, it sank in the middle. What did I do wrong? The taste of the cake was delicious but certainly unpresentable to serve my guests. Pouring on the glaze only made it worse…a sloppy mess.

      1. Hi Mary,
        I’m so sorry to hear that. So many readers have made this cake with success. I’d love to try to figure out what went wrong. How old is the baking powder you used? Baking powder that has expired can ruin baked goods. Did you use all-purpose flour (not self rising or cake flour)? Is your oven calibrated? An oven that runs either too hot or too cold could easily cause a cake to sink. Opening and closing the oven door while the cake is baking can also dramatically affect the overall cooking temperature which will prevent the cake from cooking evenly. Also, was the uncooked cake put into the preheated oven immediately after it was mixed or did it sit in the fridge or counter before baking?

      2. 5 stars
        Hi!

        I made this cake three times so far and love it!
        Is it normal that it only rises halfway up the Bundt pan ? I do use a 6 cup one.

  3. Dr Sheeba Hussain

    4 stars
    Hi,
    I have tried ur recipe but without the glaze and cream frosting..but it still tastes great..next time will definitely try with frosting..Thanx for the lovely recipe..

  4. I didn’t see the link to a Bundt pan. How big of a Bundt pan did you use for the carrot cake recipe?

    Thank-you?

  5. I cannot find an 8×5 baking pan any where. And I really don’t want add the Bundt pan to my kitchen. Any other suggestions on a pan size I could use?

    1. Hi Brenda,
      I’ve only made this carrot cake using the pans recommended in the recipe but a bread loaf pan should work. You can also use a muffin tin and make carrot cake muffins. It will probably yield 6 muffins. The cooking temperature will stay the same but you will likely need to reduce the baking time. Check the muffins after 20 minutes and if not done, continue to check them in 10-minute increments. The pans I use hold about 6 cups.

      Joanie

  6. 5 stars
    Just made this using the small cake pan, it is outstanding! I ended up baking the cake for about 5-10 minutes longer than the instructions state. When I made the frosting I thought it was way too much frosting for this cake, but when frosting, it was a perfect amount. Highly recommend this recipe as I’ve discovered with all the recipes from this site I’ve also tried out.
    The only thing I did differently was I toasted the pecans in the oven for a few minutes and then chopped them, brings out more flavor.

    1. Great idea to toast the pecans, Debbie. I’ll do that the next time I bake this cake. I’m so happy you loved the recipe, thank you!

  7. 4 stars
    I made this. Easy to make. Great size. I would like it a little more spiceier next time. Also thought cake was just a tiny bit dry. So next time I will try adding some well drained crushed pineapple. This is a good cake. I like that you put the pan size in the recipe. Thanks again.

  8. I tried this. Very easy to make. Perfect size. I would have liked it to be a little bit more spices and a little more moist. Maybe next time I will put in some well drained crushed pineapple for variety. Good cake. Thanks.

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