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Who doesn’t crave a luscious slice of carrot cake? Perfectly moist, loaded with the goodness of grated carrots, and topped with creamy cream cheese frosting—this small carrot cake recipe gives you all the flavors you adore without the commitment of an entire cake. Best of all, this little treasure bakes up in a small ramekin and takes just 30 minutes from start to finish!

If you’re looking for more single serving cakes, you’ll absolutely love our tender White Cake, decadent Chocolate Lava Cake, and Mini Pound Cake!

Why This Recipe Works

  • Incredibly Moist and Delicious: Not only is this mini carrot cake moist, but it’s also chock-full of chopped pecans and fresh carrots. Made 100% from scratch, it’s an easy-to-make taste sensation!
  • Just the Right Size: Forget oversized cakes; this is the ultimate single serving recipe. Baked in a 10-ounce ramekin measuring 4-inches in diameter and about 1 ¾-inches tall, it’s the perfect size for one.
  • Creamy Dream: This cake is crowned with a small batch of our favorite cream cheese frosting. You won’t want to share!
  • Effortless: Seriously, if you can spare 30 minutes, this cake can be your reality.

RELATED: 20 Single Serving Breakfast Recipes Worth Waking Up For

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Carrot Cake Ingredients

ingredients needed to make a small carrot cake on a wooden cutting board.
  • Granulated Sugar: This is your go-to for a light and moist cake. It enhances the natural sweetness of the carrots.
  • Salted Butter: While I initially used oil, I found butter—specifically, salted butter—to produce a richer cake.
  • Egg Yolk: The yolk adds both moisture and structure to your mini carrot cake. I discourage using the whole egg, as that can mess with the cake’s texture. Save the egg white to use in one of our many egg white recipes like a small batch of Meringues or in a mini Texas Sheet Cake.
  • Vanilla Extract: A touch of vanilla elevates the entire cake’s flavor. It’s a small ingredient that makes a big impact.
  • All-Purpose Flour: This flour provides the backbone of the cake. Note: I haven’t tested this recipe with alternative flours.
  • Baking Powder: Essential for giving your cake that beautiful rise. Make sure it’s fresh for best results.
  • Ground Cinnamon and Salt: These add the iconic spiciness and depth of flavor that carrot cake is known for.
  • Milk: While I recommend whole milk for a creamy texture, 2% works just fine too.
  • Grated Carrots: You’ll need 1/4-cup (or 31 grams) of grated carrots for this recipe. Grate them with a mini food processor or a box grater, or buy pre-grated to save time. If you’ve got extra carrots, use them in a creamy Carrot Soup or in a delightful Carrot Soufflé.
  • Pecans: Though optional, I highly recommend them. They add crunch and richness. Feel free to swap them out with walnuts or add a sprinkle of raisins for variation. If you’d like, use any extra pecans in a single serving Crustless Pecan Pie or a small batch of Butter Pecan Granola.

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • Block-Style Cream Cheese: This is the foundation of your frosting. Ensure it’s at room temperature for smooth mixing. Use leftover cream cheese in a Spinach Turkey Wrap or in an indulgent single serving No-Bake Cheesecake.
  • Softened Salted Butter: The butter should be soft enough to leave an indentation when touched, but still cool. This aids in achieving that velvety frosting texture.
  • Powdered Sugar: Also known as confectioners’ sugar, this fine sugar ensures a smooth and lump-free frosting.
  • Vanilla Extract: A dash enhances the frosting, making it utterly irresistible.

Don’t forget, we’ve got suggestions below for utilizing any leftover ingredients. Optimize your kitchen resources while enjoying this single serving delight!

RELATED: Small Batch Egg White Recipes

Recipe Variations

Now that you’ve mastered this basic version of a small carrot cake, why not get a little adventurous? Here are some tasty tweaks to try next time.

  • Go Gluten-Free: Replace the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend. Just make sure it’s a 1-to-1 substitute to keep the measurements simple.
  • Spice It Up: Feeling adventurous? Add a pinch of nutmeg or cardamom to your cake batter for a different take on the traditional spice profile.
  • Coconut Flair: Mix in a tablespoon of shredded coconut into the batter for a tropical touch. Bonus: top the cream cheese frosting with a sprinkle of toasted coconut.
  • Chocolate Chips: For the chocolate lovers, fold in a small handful of mini chocolate chips into the batter. Because chocolate makes everything better, right?

How To Make A Small Carrot Cake

These step-by-step photos and instructions help you visualize how to make a single serving carrot cake. See the recipe below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

Make the cake batter:

  1. Gather your ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350° F (177°C). Lightly butter or grease a 10-ounce ramekin and set it aside. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, melted butter, egg yolk, and vanilla with an electric hand mixer on medium speed until well mixed, about 45 seconds.
  2. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix with a hand mixer on medium speed until combined.
  4. Add the milk and mix well.
  5. Fold in the grated carrots and chopped pecans.
  6. Pour into the ramekin.
six photos showing how to make a carrot cake.
  1. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
a mini carrot cake baked in a small ramekin.

Make the frosting:

Pro Tip: Our cream cheese frosting is the epitome of creamy goodness, effortlessly spreading over the cake’s surface. If you find yourself without frosting ingredients or just prefer a simpler approach, the cake tastes stellar on its own. Alternatively, a light dusting of powdered sugar can also work wonders.

  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine softened cream cheese and softened butter. Whip until well combined and smooth.
  2. Add powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth and well combined.
  3. Spread over the top of the cooled cake.
a small frosted carrot cake on a white plate.

Expert Tips

  • Butter Basics: For optimal results, use melted butter in the cake batter and softened butter for the frosting. Softening butter is a breeze—just let it sit on the kitchen counter for about 30 minutes before you intend to use it.
  • Advance Carrot Prep: Feel like getting a head start? Grate those carrots in advance and stash them in the fridge until you’re ready to make magic happen.
  • Nutty or Fruity Flexibility: Prefer walnuts over pecans? Go for it! A handful of raisins also complements the batter beautifully, adding another layer of texture and sweetness.

Serving Suggestions

So, you’ve baked this scrumptious single serving carrot cake, and you’re ready to dive into a full-on taste experience. But before you do, consider these sumptuous ways to elevate your treat to new heights.

  • A La Mode: A scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side is a classic that never fails. For a dairy-free alternative, coconut milk-based ice cream is divine.
  • Fruit Garnish: A handful of fresh berries or a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds can add a pop of color and a boost of antioxidants to your dessert plate.
  • Espresso Love: A shot of espresso or a cup of dark roast coffee is a delightful contrast to the cake’s sweetness. It’s like having your coffee and eating cake too!
  • Adult Upgrade: A small glass of dessert wine like Moscato or a spiced rum can complement the flavors of the cake and frosting beautifully.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the ideal baking dish to use for this mini carrot cake?

The go-to choice for this recipe is a 10-ounce ramekin that measures 4-inches in diameter and is about 1 ¾-inches tall. If the size isn’t printed on your ramekin, a quick way to measure is to fill it with water and then transfer the water to a measuring cup. You can also opt for mini loaf pans that hold about 8 to 10 ounces. For smaller ramekins, simply divide the batter accordingly.

How do I store frosted carrot cake?

Because of the cream cheese frosting, it’s best to store the cake in the refrigerator. Wrap it in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container; it’ll stay fresh for up to 5 days.

Is it possible to double this recipe?

Absolutely! Just double the ingredient quantities and divide the batter between two 10-ounce ramekins or a single 5×5-inch square baking dish. Alternative dish sizes for a double recipe include a 4×6-inch, 6×6-inch, or 6-inch round dish. The 6×6-inch option will yield a thinner cake that may require less baking time.

Can I add pineapple to this carrot cake recipe?

You bet! Adding pineapple will bring extra moisture, so either opt for fresh pineapple or drain canned pineapple before adding. Limit it to two tablespoons to keep the moisture level balanced.

Can this recipe be adapted to make carrot cake cupcakes?

This recipe is specifically designed for a single mini carrot cake. For cupcakes, it’s best to refer to our small batch carrot cake cupcake recipe, which will yield about 5-6 cupcakes.


carrot cake on a fork next to an orange napkin.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

Nutrition Insight: Calories And Portion Size

The calorie count provided in this recipe is just an estimate, generated from an online nutrition calculator. But let’s break it down a bit:

This isn’t your run-of-the-mill slice of carrot cake; this recipe gives you a complete, single serving carrot cake that’s definitely more generous than a typical slice. In fact, it’s baked in a 10-ounce ramekin, offering a heartier portion that can either be savored all at once or spread over a couple of days.

So, while the calorie count might appear on the higher side, remember that what you’re getting is more than just a mere slice—it’s a mini carrot cake designed specifically for your personal enjoyment.

Looking For A Larger Carrot Cake Recipe?

Absolutely, you’re in the right place! You may recall our carrot cake recipe designed for a 6-cup bundt pan or a 1.5-quart baking dish. Though still on the smaller side, it’s not a single serving like the one we’re focusing on here. Due to its popularity, we’re offering that beloved recipe below for anyone interested in a slightly larger cake.

Cake Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup 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

For the glaze

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

For the cream cheese frosting

  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 8 ounces powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Make the cake

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees 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 a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Set aside to cool.

Make the glaze

  • Combine ¼ cup sugar with ¼ cup orange juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Spoon the orange syrup over the cake.

Make the frosting

  • In a large bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese. Add the powdered sugar, and vanilla, and blend until smooth.

There you have it—your option for a larger yet still modest-sized carrot cake, complete with cream cheese frosting and an orange glaze. Enjoy!

For more information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.

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 it!


Your Cooking For One Source
Because you’re worth it

Carrot Cake For One

4.93 from 40 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
This small carrot cake is topped with a rich cream cheese frosting. It's everything you love about a carrot cake but in a smaller size. Topped with cream cheese frosting, this mini cake bakes in just 20 minutes!

Ingredients 
 

For the cake

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter , melted
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • ¼ cup grated carrots
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pecans

For the cream cheese frosting

  • 1 ounce cream cheese , softened
  • 1 tablespoon butter , softened
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions 

  • Make the cake
  • Preheat the oven to 350° F (177°C). Lightly butter or grease a 10-ounce ramekin and set it aside. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, melted butter, egg yolk, and vanilla with an electric hand mixer on medium speed until well mixed, about 45 seconds.
  • In a separate small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix with a hand mixer on medium speed until combined.
  • Add the milk and mix well.
  • Fold in the grated carrots and chopped pecans.
  • Pour into the ramekin.
  • Bake for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Make the cream cheese frosting
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and butter. Whip with an electric mixer until well combined and smooth.
  • Add powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth.
  • Spread over the top of the cooled cake.

Notes

  • Butter Basics: For optimal results, use melted butter in the cake batter and softened butter for the frosting. Softening butter is a breeze—just let it sit on the kitchen counter for about 30 minutes before you intend to use it.
  • Advance Carrot Prep: Feel like getting a head start? Grate those carrots in advance and stash them in the fridge until you’re ready to make magic happen.
  • Nutty or Fruity Flexibility: Prefer walnuts over pecans? Go for it! A handful of raisins also complements the batter beautifully, adding another layer of texture and sweetness.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 932kcal, Carbohydrates: 111g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 56g, Saturated Fat: 30g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 17g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 303mg, Sodium: 764mg, Potassium: 270mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 83g, Vitamin A: 7058IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 161mg, Iron: 2mg

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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78 Comments

  1. I made the bigger version in an 8” round pan. Perfect for two seniors! Really moist and delicious. Carrot Cake is a great treat! Thank you!

  2. This is the best carrot cake recipe I’ve ever made and eaten. I’ve taken it to numerous parties, birthdays, other occasions and it’s always a big hit!

  3. Delicious!
    Used olive oil. Worked well.
    Added 1/4 cup coconut. Yummy. Could add pineapple and/or raisins, too.

  4. This comment is about 6 months late, but if you can find one, a 7″ square cake pan will work, and I have used a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan (I simply turned the baked cake out onto a serving tray). I’ve been baking for 50 years, and when I don’t have the exact size pan, I try to match square inch surface area as closely as possible, as long as my substitute pan is the same depth or deeper. It works for me. (For this recipe the recommended pan size is 8×6 (48 sq inches). 7×7 square pan = 49 sq inches. 9″x5″ loaf pan = 45 sq inches (finished cake baked in this pan with be slightly taller than one baked in 8″x 6″ pan.)

  5. What would be the bake time for pan that makes mini bundtlets. I have a silicone ‘pan’ that is a great size for small servings.

    1. Cupcakes or mini bundtlets requre less baking time in the oven. Check to see if they are done after about 20 minutes. If they need to be baked longer, check in 5 minute increments.

    1. Hi Linda, I haven’t tested this recipe with any sugar substitutes so I don’t know how Stevia would work here.