A miracle save from Petr Cech ensured Roberto Di Matteo's Blues lifted the cup with a dramatic victory over Kenny Dalglish's Reds.
Ramires and Drogba seemed to have made the game safe for the Blues by the hour-mark.
But after Carroll's emphatic finish put the game back in the balance, Cech produced an incredible stop to deny the England man a late equaliser.
Drogba had sent an ambitious hooked volley wide by the time Ramires struck in the 11th minute - the Brazilian evading a poor Jose Enrique challenge to fire home via an equally poor Pepe Reina effort.
At the other end, it took a committed block from Branislav Ivanovic to prevent Craig Bellamy's volley from levelling affairs, and Drogba blasting wide from distance was the only other action of a cagey first half.
It looked all over seven minutes after half-time - Frank Lampard's disguised pass locating Drogba, the Ivorian duly becoming the first player to score in four FA Cup finals by rolling through Martin Skrtel's legs and into the far corner.
But Dalglish threw Carroll into the fray before the hour and he made his mark four minutes after it - turning John Terry inside out and roofing a close-range finish to hand the Reds hope.
The towering forward had already headed over again by the time the big moment of the match arrived. He looked certain to score when Luis Suarez chipped to the back post and Reds players and fans alike were sure the ball had crossed the line - but replays showed Cech brilliantly tipping his header onto the underside of the bar.
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