Instant Pot Carrot Cake is unbelievably moist and the easiest thing in the world to make. The prep time is only 15 minutes because you start with a boxed cake mix, but everyone will think you made it from scratch. I promise!
You should have seen the looks I got when I told people that I made this carrot cake in my Instant Pot. Yes, most people don’t realize that the same amazing kitchen tool that makes dinnertime a breeze can also bake seriously delicious desserts.
It’s the perfect option for those “oh shoot” moments when you realize you need a dessert but you don’t have time to make anything complicated. It’s a great treat to whip up on Sunday afternoons to go with a big family meal. A true crowd-pleaser!
This cake is ready in an hour using a boxed mix yet tastes like you slaved all day long in the kitchen making it from scratch!
All you’re going to do is make the spice cake batter by adding the eggs and butter that the recipe on the box calls for. Then, you’re going to toss in some shredded carrots and pop it in your pressure cooker. Sounds pretty simple, right?
- Spice Cake Mix- including the ingredients on the box which are 1 cup water, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, and 3 eggs)
- Grated carrots – although you can use already grated carrots, freshly grated tastes better
- Cooking spray – avocado oil is our favorite, but any type will do
- Cream cheese-for the homemade cream cheese frosting. Make sure it’s nice and soft so you’ll be able to mix by hand.
- Powdered sugar- feel free to adjust the amount according to taste but note that the sugar helps thicken the frosting; you can add cornstarch to thicken consistency with no impact on flavor
- Vanilla extract – use real vanilla extract for best flavor
- Chopped pecans – for garnishing the cake. You can swap with walnuts or skip altogether and the cake will still be delicious!
Equipment you’ll need
- 6 qt. Instant Pot pressure cooker
- 7” spring release cake pan
- Trivet that came with the Instant Pot
- Aluminum foil – wrap the cake while it’s cooking to prevent any condensation from dripping into the batter
- For extra nutty flavor and aroma, toast the pecans by tossing them in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant.
- Grate the carrots finely so they’ll be evenly distributed in the cake.
- To easily boost flavor, swap 1/2 of the water with orange or pineapple juice.
- For extra texture and crunch, stir in crushed pineapples, raisins, or coconut flakes to the batter along with the carrots.
- Add orange zest to the cream cheese frosting to give it a refreshing layer of flavor.
How to serve
- Instant Pot carrot cake is delicious as a midday snack or after-meal dessert. Moist and tender, it’s amazing as is but generous dollops of cream cheese frosting and crunchy pecans take it over the top!
- To store leftovers, cover tightly with plastic film and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- To freeze, place the frosted cake in a baking sheet and freeze for about 4 hours or until firm. When solid, wrap with two layers of plastic film and finally with aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Instant Pot Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 box (15.5 ounces) spice cake mix
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups grated carrots
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese,, softened
- 2 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
- Spray the inside of the cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, 1 cup water, vegetable oil, and eggs. Prepare according to the package.
- Add the grated carrots and stir to evenly distribute.
- Pour into the prepared cake pan until almost ¾ full. Do not overfill the pan, if there is extra keep for another use.
- Add 1 cup of water in the Instant Pot and place trivet.
- Wrap the cake in aluminum foil and place on the trivet.
- Close the lid and set the valve to the SEALING position. Pressure cook on HIGH pressure for 35 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine cream cheese frosting and powdered sugar. Stir until smooth and well-blended. Set aside.
- When the cooking time is done, do a QUICK RELEASE, and carefully open the lid.
- Remove the cake from the Instant Pot and unwrap the foil. Allow the cake to cool for 25-35 minutes and release from the springform pan.
- When the cake has fully cooled, spread the cream cheese frosting over the top and sides of the cake evenly.
- Sprinkle the chopped pecans across the cream cheese layer. Slice into serving portions.
Need more carrot recipes in your life? Try these air fryer fries with Feta cheese!