Carrot Cake Toppings

Spice up your next baking project with these 12 delicious carrot cake toppings. Even if you have a special diet and you’re making a plant-based carrot cake, there are plenty of toppings you’ll love. From crunchy nuts to smooth frostings, explore your options for serving the perfect slice. What makes carrot cake so special? It’s the combination of the moist cake, the sweet frosting, and the perfect toppings.

Looking down on a carrot cake with icing carrots on top.

If you’re new to carrot cake making, you may have lots of questions. Such as how long does carrot cake last and what is the best icing for carrot cake?

You want the best topping for carrot cake, along with any other decorations for added pizzazz.

Of course, it’s easy to use the standard cream cheese frosting for carrot cake, but you can play outside the cake box and get really creative. That’s what takes your cake from something ordinary to something simply fabulous!

Many different toppings can be used on carrot cake, but some of the most popular include:

  • Cream cheese frosting: This is the classic topping for carrot cake, and it’s always a crowd-pleaser. Use dairy-free ingredients to make a vegan cream cheese frosting option.
  • Chopped nuts: Walnuts, pecans, and almonds are all popular choices for carrot cake toppings.
  • Candied carrots: These are made by boiling carrots in a sugar syrup until they are soft and sweet. Then bake them in a single layer at low heat (around 325°F/163°C until crispy.
  • Gingersnaps: Crumble up some gingersnaps and press the crumbles into the frosting. These cookies add a bit of spice and crunch to your cake.
  • Chocolate: Drizzles of melted dark or white chocolate are a delicious and decadent topping for carrot cake.
  • Icing Carrots: You can buy edible carrot cake decorations or make your own by piping orange and green royal icing in the shape of carrots on waxed paper. Once they dry, you can add them as decorations to your cake. They add bright color and sweet bursts of flavor to selected bites.
looking down on a slice of carrot cake on a cutting board. There is a frosting carrot on top of the cake slice.

Making an egg-free carrot cake? You don’t have to do it all from scratch. Check out these vegan boxed carrot cake mixes you can buy. Also, see below for some alternative frosting options!

Cream Cheese Frosting Alternatives

Looking for something beyond the ordinary that you can top your cake with? Want to add something besides frosting to your cake? Here are some great ideas:

  • Lemon: Believe it or not, lemon icing is a great option for carrot cake as the flavors of lemon and carrot blend together nicely.
  • Vanilla: A simple vanilla frosting is delicious, especially for those who don’t like the tang of cream cheese.
  • Shredded coconut: Sprinkle your cake with shredded coconut. This adds a touch of sweetness and texture to the cake. Bonus: You can toast the shredded coconut in a baking dish with the oven preheated to 325°F/163°C for 3 to 5 minutes until golden brown.
  • Whipped cream: Fluffy whipped cream frosting adds a bit of sweetness and light texture.
  • Fresh fruit: Berries, pineapple chunks, and mango are all delicious toppings for carrot cake.
  • Powdered sugar: A dusting of powdered sugar is a great topping for any cake!

Additional Tips

Here are some additional tips for choosing and using carrot cake toppings:

  • Sweet cake: If your cake is super sweet, choose toppings that are not as sweet, such as nuts or shredded coconut.
  • Not so Sweet Cake: If your cake is not very sweet, choose toppings that are sweeter, such as cream cheese frosting or chocolate chips.
  • Moderation: Add your toppings with a light hand. Too much of any topping can overpower the flavor of the cake.
  • Get creative: Experiment with different toppings to find your favorites. There are endless possibilities, so have fun and be creative!
Looking down on a slice of healthy carrot cake sitting on a white plate.

Frequently-Asked Questions

What icing goes with carrot cake?

The most common carrot cake topping is cream cheese frosting. However, you can experiment with your favorites, such as lemon icing, vanilla icing, and more.

Does carrot cake with frosting need to be refrigerated?

You should keep frosted carrot cake refrigerated because of the high moisture content in the cake and frosting. Keeping your cake refrigerated will help it keep so you can enjoy it longer.


Complete your carrot cake masterpiece with these creative and delicious topping ideas! You can spice up your dessert with simple ingredients that add a big flavor. Now that you know your options, pick your favorite to discover the perfect addition to your cake.

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