Cream Cheese Stuffed Carrot Cake with Orange Glaze

This Carrot Bundt Cake is filled with an irresistible cream cheese filling AND it’s topped with an orange-cream cheese glaze. Perfect for the holidays!

Super moist, spiced Carrot Bundt Cake stuffed with sweet cream cheese filling and drizzled with sweet and tangy Orange Cream Cheese Glaze that will have you drinking it straight from the bowl. 

a slice of cream cheese-filled carrot bundt cake on a piece of parchment paper. a cake stand rests in the background

Easy Carrot Bundt Cake Recipe

There are many reasons I get excited for spring, but one of the main ones is Carrot Cake! I looooove Carrot Cake in every form from my Carrot Cake Cookies to Carrot Cake with Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting to Carrot Cake Crepes,  I just can’t get enough – so I’m bringing you this epic Carrot Cake stuffed with Cream Cheese!

So I really love you guys.  I made this  homemade carrot cake 3 times this week (not counting the time I forgot the flour – it’s been that kind of week), to create the perfect carrot cake that’s super moist without being oily, spiced to perfection with hints of orange, and with a surprise sweet cream cheese filling.

The dreamy cream cheese layer is like a little slice of cheesecake nestled in between the layers of cake and is as easy as drizzling it over the batter, then topping it with the rest of the batter.

And after it bakes, a delectably delicious surprise awaits your happy eaters.  Very happy eaters.

The cream cheese layer is nestled in a shell of moist carrot cake spiced with allspice, nutmeg and a generous douse of cinnamon brightened by a splash of orange extract.  The pecans are coarsely ground so they are perfectly dispersed throughout the cake and add to the moistness created by the use of rich brown sugar, oil and yogurt.  

glazed carrot bundt cake on a white cake stand

I tried this cake with just oil, and it didn’t want to cook all the way through.  So I tried it with less oil and it was still missing something.  Finally,  I tried it with a combination of oil and yogurt (which always adds moistness), and it so moist, so flavorful, and just so right.

Due to the high sugar content in this cake, the outside of the cake caramelizes and wants to stick to your pan, so be sure to use a nonstick cooking spray that has flour in it or to butter and flour your pan.  I prefer to use butter and cocoa powder to dust my pan so the cocoa powder blends right into the cake and caramelizes for a slightly crunchy exterior that is one of my favorite parts of the cake.

But not my only favorite part of the cake.  I can have multiple favorites, right?  The Orange Cream Cheese Glaze is

To.

Live.

For.

My goodness, its ridiculous.  The tang of cream cheese, the bright citrus of the orange juice, lemon juice, and orange extract all sweetened by powdered sugar.

The whole thing.  The cream cheese filling, the orange glaze, the spiced carrot cake.  Ridiculous.

Now go make this Cream Cheese Stuffed Carrot Cake with Orange Glaze so you can feel my love and please have a very Happy Easter!  (To read my Easter address, click HERE)

Side view of Carrot bundt Cake with Orange Glaze and orange zest with white icing drizzling down.

Carrot Bundt Cake Ingredients

Making carrot cake from scratch is easier than you’d think! Here are the carrot cake ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Carrots: To make a really moist carrot cake, you need to grate your own carrots. The pre-shredded kind in a bag are often bone dry.
  • All-purpose flour: Spoon and level the flour when measuring it to avoid baking a super dense homemade carrot cake.
  • Sugar: I used a blend of granulated sugar and brown sugar to sweeten the batter and add some moisture.
  • Pecans: I bought a bag of raw pecans and chopped them up using my food processor.
  • Baking powder and baking soda: The carrot bundt cake batter is quite thick, so you need both baking powder and baking soda to help the cake rise in the oven.
  • Salt: Balances out the sweetness of the batter and enhances the spice flavor.
  • Spices: I used a blend of cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. Yum!
  • Eggs: Need to be at room temperature before being mixed into the batter.
  • Vegetable oil: Canola oil would work well here too.
  • Vanilla Greek yogurt: Adds moisture, flavor, and a little sweetness. Use full-fat Greek yogurt.
  • Vanilla and orange extracts: So much flavor! You can find orange extract in the baking aisle right next to the vanilla extract.
  • Cream cheese: Use full-fat cream cheese that comes in a brick.
  • Lemon juice: Gets mixed into the cream cheese filling to add some tang.
  • Powdered sugar: Be sure to sift it, otherwise your cream cheese glaze will be lumpy.
  • Orange juice: Gets mixed into the glaze to amp up the orange flavor.
  • Butter: Just a few tablespoons are added to the glaze to make it ultra creamy.
photo collage showing the assembly of a carrot bundt cake

How to Make Carrot Bundt Cake

Make the cream cheese filling. Beat together the filling ingredients, then set aside.

Make the cake batter. Stir together the dry ingredients, then add the wet. Fold the shredded carrots in last.

Assemble the cake. Spoon 3 cups batter into prepared bundt cake pan. Spoon Cream Cheese Filling over batter and gently smooth, but do not touch the sides of the pan. Top with remaining batter.

Bake. Bake the carrot cake from scratch until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes in pan before inverting.

Glaze. Once the carrot bundt cake has cooled COMPLETELY, whisk together the orange-cream cheese glaze and drizzle liberally over the cake.

A full Carrot bundt Cake with Orange Glaze and orange zest with white icing drizzling down on a white cake display plate.

Tips for the Best Ever Carrot Cake

  • To easily shred carrots, use the grater on your food processor. If you don’t have the grater blade, you can also finely chop in your food processor.
  • When “flouring” my pan, I use cocoa powder instead of flour because the cake is brown.
  • Your cream cheese layer may not be as thick as the picture all the way around — I chose the thickest slice 🙂
A full Carrot Cake from scratch with Orange Glaze before the icing and toppings are added.

Recipe Variations to Try

  • Use different nuts. I used pecans, but chopped walnuts would also work.
  • Omit the orange. I think this homemade carrot bundt cake is AMAZING as is, but if you’re not a huge orange fan you can try omitting the orange extract. Maybe bump up the vanilla extract in the batter to make up for it.
  • Skip the glaze. Again, I LOVE the orange-cream cheese glaze, but for a simpler homemade carrot cake you could simply dust with powdered sugar and serve as is.
A full Carrot bundt Cake with Orange Glaze and orange zest pouring the icing drizzling down.

How to Store Carrot Bundt Cake

Homemade carrot cake can be covered with a cake dome and refrigerated for up to 4 days. Because the filling and glaze contain dairy, this cake must be refrigerated.

Can You Freeze Carrot Cake?

Yes!  Don’t you love a dessert you can make beforehand and freeze and simply pull it out a few hours before it’s time to dig in?  This method makes dessert time stress free for everyone – especially during the holidays.

To freeze your carrot bundt cake:

  1. If you are planning on freezing, then prep/glaze your cake on a freezer safe plate/platter.
  2. Place glazed carrot cake in the freezer until it is firm to the touch.
  3. Once firm, wrap tightly in plastic wrap then repeat with a second layer of plastic wrap. Next wrap tightly in 1-2 layers of foil until completely sealed.
  4. If you are freezing individual slices, then place these plastic/foil wrapped slices in a freezer bag. If you are freezing your entire carrot bundt cake for an extended period of time, then secure the aluminum foil with freezer tape to prevent freezer burn.
  5. You can store your homemade carrot cake for up to 4 months. You can also wrap and freeze unfrosted layers of Carrot Cake using the same method and frost when you need them.
  6. To thaw your finished Carrot Cake, remove cake from the freezer and carefully remove the plastic and foil. Allow to thaw for about 4 hours before serving.
Close up of a full Carrot bundt Cake with Orange Glaze and orange zest with white icing drizzling down.

Looking for more Easter Cake Recipes?

Close up of a single slice of Carrot Cake with Orange Glaze and orange zest next to a glass of milk.

Cream Cheese Stuffed Carrot Cake with Orange Glaze

Servings: 12 -14
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups peeled and grated carrots

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup pecans, finely chopped (I use my food processor)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Wet ingredients

  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup Vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt (regular or lowfat)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons orange extract

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 8 oz full fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Orange Cream Cheese Glaze

  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Optional Decorative Garnishes

  • roasted pecans, roughly chopped
  • orange zest

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Butter and flour a 10” bundt cake pan (or use nonstick-spray with flour in it). Set aside.**
  • To make the Cream Cheese Filling, beat the cream cheese and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in remaining Filling Ingredients until smooth. Set Aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix all of the Dry Ingredients together. In a separate bowl, gently whisk eggs then stir in remaining Wet Ingredients just until combined. Don't overmix.
  • Stir Wet Ingredients into Dry Ingredients just until moistened, then stir in 2 ½ cups grated carrots until evenly combined (I use my clean hands to stir in the carrots).
  • Spoon 3 cups batter into prepared bundt cake pan. Spoon Cream Cheese Filling over batter and gently smooth, but do not touch the sides of the pan. Top with remaining batter.
  • Bake at 350F degrees for 45 minutes, cover with foil then reduce heat to 325 and bake an additional 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • To make the Orange Cream Cheese Glaze, using an electric mixer, cream together all of the Glaze ingredients EXCEPT the powdered sugar on medium speed for 1-2 minutes or until completely smooth. Add sifted powdered sugar and beat until very smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Place the frosting in the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes before using.
  • When cake has cooled, drizzle Glaze over cake or individual servings, whisking in additional orange juice/milk if Glaze has become too thick upon standing.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Notes

*To easily shred carrots, use the grater on your food processor. If you don't have the grater blade, you can also finely chop in your food processor. **When "flouring" my pan, I use cocoa powder instead of flour because the cake is brown. ***Your cream cheese layer may not be as thick as the picture all the way around - I chose the thickest slice 🙂

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121 Comments

  1. Barbara Lawson says

    Jen, I made this cake for a quilting retreat I went on last weekend. IT WAS DELICIOUS! Everyone loved it! My daughters asked me to save them a piece to try when I got home. And that was all that was left (2 small pieces). I love your food blog and can’t wait to try more of your recipes. They all look so good, especially the pastas. Thanks for sharing your recipes and love of cooking!

    • Jen says

      What a fun retreat and what a perfect cake to bring! I’m so happy it was such a hit! I love hearing you are enjoying my recipes and especially the pastas – I’m posting a new one on Tuesday that I think you will LOVE! Thanks for taking the time to comment and brighten my day!

  2. Annabelle says

    Wow, one of the best carrot cakes I have both made and eaten! I have always added macadamias to mine instead of walnuts or pecans as that is what my grammie always loved doing but pecans were lovely here. I added a pinch of fresh ginger to my mixture and doubled the filling because I am greedy for those cream cheese fillings and I want plenty of it, lol. Worked wonderful. Fabulous, definitely a keeper! Thank you.

    • Annabelle says

      It also freezes very well. I have pulled out half of it a week later and defrosted on bench, it’s just as good as fresh. I wish I had some now. Thank you from this Aussie family! I will make it again soon.

    • Jen says

      Wahoo! Thank you so much Annabelle! I’m thrilled it is a keeper and I love that you doubled the cream cheese filling – I’m going to have to try that next time!

  3. yair says

    hi Jen, i’m planing to make this cake tomorrow but i don’t have orange extract/ do you think chocolate or cherry liqueur will be a good substitute?

    • Jen says

      Hi Yair, no I wouldn’t use either of those – I would leave it out instead. Enjoy!

  4. Hetvi says

    Hey Jen! I absolutely love this recipe for carrot cake and I’m making it for some friends for Thanksgiving. Quick question though, I don’t have a bundt cake pan but would a regular tin foil tray work or a rectangular glass cake tray? I just don’t know if it’ll affect the consistency because the recipe says to bake it for 45 minutes and then another 25-30 minutes. Thanks!

    • Jen says

      Hi Hetvi! A 9×13 has enough volume so it definitely should work. I have never tried it so I’m not sure of cooking times but typically 9×13 carrot cakes bake from anywhere from 25-45 minutes. So start checking at 25 and adjust from there. Good luck and Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. Laurie Barbaro says

    any chance you could freeze this in slices?

    • Jen says

      The answer is yes and no. You can freeze the cake if you aren’t picky about texture as the cream cheese portion will get a little funky – crumbly and less creamy.

  6. Connie says

    Hi, I’ve been looking for a carrot, cheese cake recipe that I would love & I know I’ve found it! What I want it for though is a 65th bday party, so I’m wanting to double the recipe & bake it in a rectangular pan, a week in advance, freezing it till the day needed, then glazing.
    I wanted to know if you thought this recipe would lend itself well to doing this? The party is a surprise & I can’t try it in advance or it would give it away, since he lives right here in my home!
    Thank you so much for your advice on this… I’m very grateful & grateful to for your recipe!

    • Jen says

      Hi Connie, that is awesome you are planning a surprise! Unfortunately, I don’t recommend freezing the cake because of the cream cheese center and dairy tends not to freeze well and get a funny texture. You could make it without the center or I also have this recipe: https://carlsbadcravings.com/layered-carrot-cake-recipe/

  7. Cath says

    Hey, Jen.
    I’ve made this carrot cake before and it’s da bomb.
    I’m planning on taking this on a girls’ weekend where it will be part of a brunch.
    Truth please… could I say this is a coffee cake or would most people think of it more as a dessert? I will happily try one of your other loaves if you think this one is too ‘dessert -ey’

    • Jen says

      I am so happy its a favorite! I think you could certainly call it a coffee cake as most coffee cakes are sweet and this one is just extra special with the cream cheese filling 🙂

  8. Donna Sue says

    Hi Jen – I preface by saying, I am not a baker – I don’t really enjoy baking – but when asked to bring a dessert to a Super Bowl Party, my spouse ask if I would attempt making a carrot cake. After searching online, I found your Cream Cheese Stuffed Carrot Cake recipe and decided to give it a go. The entire time, I kept saying “this better come out good” – well Jen, it came out GREAT. Absolutely moist and delicious. Even though I expected more of a cheesecake center, we love this recipe. So the test run cake worked and now I shall prepare this again for the party. I might cut back on the powdered sugar in the icing, pretty sweet. BTW – the cocoa and butter really work great here. Thanks!!

    • Jen says

      Hi Donna Sue, what a fun idea for a Super Bowl party! I’m so pleased this Carrot Cake made the cut and was worth the effort! Happy watching and eating!

  9. Andi says

    Hi –
    I’m planning to make this cake this weekend, but I don’t have yogurt…can I substitute sour cream for the yogurt?
    Thanks, Andi

    • Jen says

      Hi Andi, I think will work just fine, maybe just add an extra splash of vanilla. Enjoy!

  10. Christa Garza says

    Hi Jen. I have a carrot cake recipe that my family loves can I use it and do everything else on your recipe?

    • Jen says

      Hi Christa, that should work fine, just keep in mind that the texture will be a bit denser than the original, though not as heavy as a classic Bundt cake. Good luck!

  11. Sheri says

    Every month our neighborhood has a wine social. I would love to make this in a cup cake form. Do you think it’s doable??

    Thanks!!

    • Jen says

      I haven’t personally tried it, but I don’t see why not!

  12. Annie says

    This was excellent! I even added 1 cup of pumpkin and it came out super moist and delicious! Had such a fall flavour and oh so yum!

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much for the awesome comment Annie! I love your addition of pumpkin – I’m definitely going to have to try that!

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