Instant Pot Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot cake is probably one of our all-time favorite cakes. Maybe the idea of a cake that contains a high amount of vegetables gives the impression of a healthy snack rather than a dessert. But I think the truth really lies within the cream cheese frosting.

This version of carrot cake uses whole wheat flour, which adds a little extra texture. We also use a pinch of orange zest, which in our opinion elevates the cream cheese frosting from absolutely delicious to spectacular.

The last thing that makes this carrot cake truly special is that we steamed it in an instant pot pressure cooker. I admit I was a little skeptical. In the end, the whole process was VERY easy and the cake was very evenly cooked and moist throughout. Exactly what a perfect carrot cake should be!

Accessories needed to make Instant Pot Carrot Cake

I use a 6 inch springform pan (15.24cm), which is a nice size in the 6 quart instant pot. A 7 inch (17.78 cm) pan will also work.

If you don’t already have a trivet with handles, it is probably one of the most useful Instant Pot accessories out there. It makes getting dishes in and out of the Instant Pot soooo much easier.

If you don’t own one, no worries. You can take a 15 inch (38 cm) to 10 inch (50.8 cm) piece of tin foil and fold it several times until it forms a 2-3 inch “sling.” Simply slip it under the trivet that comes with the Instant Pot. They can be used to remove the pan after cooking. 

Lastly, it is a good idea to have more than one gasket for sealing the Instant Pot. Anyone who uses their pressure cooker often knows that the odors of what was cooked last can linger in the silicone gasket. A good soak in vinegar can make a big difference, but I have opted to have one gasket that I use for steaming savory dishes, and another for desserts. 

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instant pot carrot cake recipe

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Yield: 1 Cake

Instant Pot Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Instant Pot Desserts

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting Made in an Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker)

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes


  • 1 cup (128g) whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5g) ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5g) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5g) baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.25g) salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoons (4.9ml) vanilla
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) sour cream or Mexican crema
  • 1/2 cup (64g) white sugar
  • 1/4 cup (32g) brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) vegetable or coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 1/4 cups (150g) grated carrots (about 3 medium)
  • 1/2 cup (64g) chopped walnuts


    Add one cup of water to the bottom of the instant pot.

    If not using a trivet with arms, fashion a sling by folding a 15 - 20 inch piece of tin foil over several times until it is 2-3 inches thick and slide it under the trivet.

    Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt to a large bowl and combine.

    In another bowl, whisk the eggs, then add the sour cream (or Mexican crema), oil, brown and white sugar, orange juice and vanilla.

    Add in the flour mixture a little at a time. Once the mixture is combined, add in the carrots and nuts.

    If you are using a non-stick pan, grease the sides with butter. Cooking spray can be used on pans that are not made with a non-stick coating (otherwise the cooking spray can form a gummy layer over time that will eventually ruin the pan).

    Add the batter to the pan, and seal the top with tin foil to prevent any steam from getting inside the pan.

    Place the pan in the instant pot on top of the trivet.

    Place the lid on the instant pot and make sure the valve is set to "Sealing".

    Set the pot on "steam" for 40 minutes.

    Allow the instant pot to naturally release for 10 minutes.

    Release any additional steam and remove the cake. Allow it to cool on a cake rack for about 20 minutes. The cake may now be removed from the pan. If using a regular pan run a knife around the edge of the pan to make sure no cake is stuck to the edge.

    Directions for the frosting follows. Make sure the cake is completely cool before frosting.

Directions for baking in the oven.

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (177 celsius).

    Bake uncovered for 30 and check for doneness with a toothpick.

    Continue cooking until the toothpick comes out clean.

    Removed and cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before removing the cake from the pan.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 142Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 55mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 5g

The nutritional values in this recipe are estimates only.

Yield: 1

Cream Cheese Frosting

cream cheese frosting

Easy Cream Cheese Frosting with Orange Zest

Prep Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 4 Tablespoons Butter (50g) (softened)
  • 2/3 cup (150g) Block Cream Cheese (softened)
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5ml)vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon (.5g) salt
  • 1 cup (200g) powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon (.1g) orange zest


1. Make sure that the butter and cream cheese have been warmed to room temperature.

2. Add the vanilla, salt and orange zest to the butter and cream cheese in a deep bowl.

3. Blend together using an electric egg beater or whisk.

4. Once the mixture is completely combined, add in the powdered sugar and blend.

The frosting is ready to use!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 82Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 71mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 0g

The nutritional value in this recipe are estimates only


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