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Playing How to Make Classic Carrot Cake | "Brunch with Babs" TikTok star Barbara Costello

Barbara Costello, known as TikTok's coolest grandma, has 1.9 million followers and more than 19 million likes for her videos showing easy family recipes. Affectionately known as Grandma Babs, she has parlayed her TikTok fame into her first cookbook at 73 years old, Celebrate with Babs. The book includes her simple, traditional carrot cake that's she's been making for 40-plus years! 

"This is my go-to carrot cake. There's not a lot of whistles and bells, but it is the moistest, carrot-filled cake I have ever made. For Easter, I make it in my mom's vintage lamb cake mold and decorate it with shredded coconut for the fleece and jellybeans for the eyes with a little ribbon collar. It always goes so quickly that I make a second cake, as well. The cool cream cheese frosting is a must for this all-American traditional dessert." —Babs 

Pro Tip from Babs: As a decorative element, add little squiggly carrots to the outside of the cake. 

For more sweet inspiration, check out this Floating Island Dessert by Rach's sister, Maria, and Molly Yeh's Coconut Macaroon Nest


For the Cake:
  • 2 cups (256 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
  • 3 cups (348g) grated carrot
For the Frosting:
  • 8 ounces (225 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (112 grams) salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 pound (450 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Serves: 8 to 10


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans. 

For the cake, in a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, and sugar until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture and carrots. 

Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then remove the cakes from the pan and cool completely on a rack. 

While the cakes are cooling, prepare the frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating well. Beat in the vanilla. Continue beating until it's a spreadable consistency. Decorate the cake. 

Store the cake covered at room temperature for up to 5 days. The frosted cake may be frozen for 2 months, wrapped in plastic and foil. Thaw your cake in the refrigerator the day before you need it. Loosen the wrap, allowing the cake to warm up slowly, so the naturally moist cake doesn't become mushy. 

This cake can also be baked a day ahead and frosted the next day. Just wrap the unfrosted layers in plastic wrap and store at room temperature. The unfrosted cake may also be frozen for up to 2 months. Wrap each layer separately in plastic wrap and then wrap in foil. 

Excerpted from Celebrate with Babs by Barbara Costello. Copyright © 2022 by Barbara Costello. Used with permission by Alpha. All rights reserved.