Don't forget to check out the Tips & FAQ section in the post!
This carrot cake bundt cake is super moist and easy to make as the recipe calls for a carrot cake mix with added ingredients to make it taste just like it’s a homemade cake from scratch.
Table of Contents:
This carrot bundt cake is super quick to mix up because you’ll start with a box mix, which means you don’t need shredded carrots and that saves you lots of time.
You’ll then top off the baked cake with a yummy cream cheese glaze that actually comes together quickly even though it’s scratch-based. Be sure to see in the recipe card where I give an even easier option for glazing this cake.
Let’s talk a little bit about just some of the ingredients in this cake. The full list of ingredients will be in the recipe card below. Also, check out the FAQ section to see other tips and ingredient questions.
Carrot cake mix: The base of this cake is a cake mix, but because there are additional ingredients added in, the end result will actually taste homemade, like you made it from scratch, but in way less time and much easier.
Vanilla instant pudding: Adding pudding to cake just gives it an extra boost of flavor and pumps up the moisture.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon just makes everything better and although there is cinnamon in the cake mix, adding a little extra, just pumps up the flavor.
Melted butter and Vegetable oil: Oil will provide a lot of moisture, but the butter will give it more flavor and help to make it taste like it’s from scratch.
Sour cream: This is a great ingredient to add to cakes as it gives them a boost of flavor and adds moisture.
Crushed pineapple: Pineapple adds such a nice flavor to carrot cake. It just goes hand-in-hand with it, but if you really don’t like it, you can omit it.
Optional nuts and raisins: These mix-ins are optional. Walnuts go really well in carrot cake and if you’re a fan of raisins, you can add those as well.
Butter and cream cheese: These will be used for the homemade cream cheese glaze. Make sure these are room temperature so they’ll mix better. (I’ve also included an even easier glaze option in the actual recipe card below.)
Mixing Method Notes:
Here’s a summary of preparing this cake. The full instructions will be in the recipe card below.
The first thing to do for this carrot cake is to prepare the bundt pan. You’ll want to make sure it’s well-greased and floured as this cake is super moist and will easily stick if the pan isn’t prepared.
Next, mixing up this cake really couldn’t be easier. It’s one of those ‘dump and mix’ cakes. You’ll just add all the ingredients, except for the optional nuts and raisins, and mix well.
Then add in the nuts and or raisins and mix them in with a spoon.
The batter will be a little thick, but don’t worry and don’t add any additional liquid. Just spoon into the prepared pan and smooth.
Pop the cake in a preheated oven at 325 degrees F for about an hour. The cake will puff up quite high when baking.
Set the cake to cool on a wire rack in the pan for about 20 minutes. The cake will sink a little while it’s cooling. That’s okay.
Once about 20 minutes have passed, turn the cake out onto the cooling rack and let it cool completely.
You’ll then mix up the glaze by just adding all the ingredients to a bowl and mixing well.
Finally, add the glaze to the completely cooled cake.
You can also add crushed nuts to the top if desired. (Make sure to read the FAQ section below plus the notes section in the recipe to see how to store this cake.)
Easy & Moist Carrot Cake Bundt Cake (Cake Mix Based)
For the cake:
- 1 16 oz box carrot cake mix (dry mix, not prepared-I used Betty Crocker's)
- 1 3.4 oz box instant vanilla pudding mix (dry mix, not prepared)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup butter, melted (1 stick)
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
- 2/3 cup chopped nuts, optional
- 1/2 cup raisins, optional
For the glaze: (*see notes for an even easier glaze option)
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature (1 stick)
- 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature (1 block)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk or cream (may add another teaspoon if needed)
- *see notes for even easier glaze option
For the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Grease and flour a large bundt pan very well.
- Add all of the ingredients (except for the nuts and raisins) to a large mixing bowl and mix with an electric mixer on low until the ingredients are combined, then mix on medium to medium-high for about 1 minute.
- If using nuts or raisins, add them now to the cake batter and stir them in with a large spoon. The batter will be thick.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared bundt pan and bake for approximately 60-65 minutes. (When baking, the batter will puff up quite a bit, but once baked, the cake will sink down in the pan a bit when cooling.)
- Remove the cake from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes, then turn the cake out onto the rack to cool completely before adding the glaze.
For the glaze:
- This recipe makes a lot of glaze to cover the entire top of the cake and to drip down. If you don't want that much, you can cut the glaze recipe in half. Also see notes below for an even easier glaze option.
- Add the butter, cream cheese, vanilla and cinnamon to a medium sized bowl and mix with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth.
- Add the confectioner’s sugar and two tablespoons of milk. Mix well.
- Check the consistency. It may need another teaspoon of milk to get a glaze or drizzling consistency.
- Spoon the glaze onto the top of the cooled cake.
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Tips & FAQs:
You could probably use any type of cake mix, but I used Betty Crocker. My favorite cake mix brands are Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines.
Just add it dry. Do not add in the other ingredients that the cake mix box calls for. Only add in the ingredients on the recipe card.
Just add the pudding mix dry. You want to also use instant pudding, not the cook and serve type.
No. If you do not like pineapple, or just don’t want it in the cake, you can omit it.
No, you can omit one or both.
Make sure to either spray the pan very well with baking spray, or grease and flour the pan. This cake is super moist and will stick to the pan if the pan isn’t prepared.
That is normal with this cake. It will puff up quite high while baking and then will sink a bit when cooling. Nothing is wrong.
Make sure to cool the cake in the pan for about 20 minutes before trying to remove it from the pan completely.
Make sure that the butter and cream cheese are at room temperature before mixing, but don’t microwave them. Just set them out ahead of time.
Oh yes! To make an even easier glaze, add the contents of a container of store-bought cream cheese frosting to a bowl. Heat in the microwave for about 20 seconds at a time, stirring between heatings until it’s a drizzling consistency. Add 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and mix well, then pour or spoon over cake.
This cake can be made ahead of time and frozen if desired. Let the baked cake cool completely, then wrap in plastic wrap and foil and place in the freezer for up to a month.
To thaw, place the wrapped cake on the counter at room temperature and let thaw completely, then remove the wrapping. Once defrosted, add the glaze.
Keep this cake well covered and chilled, since it’s covered with a cream cheese glaze. This cake will last, covered and in the refrigerator, for about 5-6 days. Set it out about 15-20 minutes prior to serving so that it will soften a bit.
Possibly although I have not experimented and tried it at this point. If you’d like to try it, just add the batter to two, 8-inch cake layer pans and bake at 325 degrees F. Start checking at about 40 minutes.
This cake is best eaten close to room temperature. Set the cake out of the fridge about 20 minutes before serving.
This cake is done baking when a toothpick inserted into the center of each layer comes out with a few moist crumbs on it or clean, but no raw batter.
Carrot cake is the perfect Easter dessert. It’s also great in the spring, but it can be eaten any time you get a carrot cake craving.
This cake will travel well in a cake carrier.
Supplies used for this recipe:
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