|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 12 to 16|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 35g||45%|
|Saturated Fat 8g||41%|
|Total Carbohydrate 64g||23%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||7%|
|Total Sugars 54g|
|Vitamin C 2mg||11%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Carrot cake gets its moisture from finely-grated carrots, which also add natural sugar, fiber, and nutrition to your sweet treat. This carrot cake recipe includes tropical elements with coconut and pineapple which add even more moisture and flavor. This easy cake is flavorful and moist, and there's no need to precariously stack the layers.
If you miss the raisins more commonly found in carrot cake, feel free to toss some in. You can also use your favorite nuts to make this recipe your own. The cake is baked in a single layer in a rectangular pan, although you can vary that as well. You can use the batter to make mini-bundt cakes, mini-loaves, or giant muffins. Reduce the baking time to 25 to 30 minutes for smaller loaves.
The cake is finished with a smooth cream cheese frosting and chopped pecans or walnuts. Or, garnish the frosted cake with toasted coconut as an option. Serve at your Easter meal, spring gathering, or anytime you're craving a spiced, sweet dessert.
“This cake is almost like a version of Hummingbird cake, with super sweet pineapple, carrots, and tangy cream cheese frosting. It's ultra-moist and decadent, and any cake I can make as a sheet cake is a win for me.” —Tracy Wilk
For the Carrot Cake:
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil, more for the pan
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 large eggs
2 cups finely grated carrots, from about 3 to 4 medium carrots
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 (8-ounce) can well-drained crushed pineapple
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, or pecans, divided
1 cup raisins, soaked in water or rum for 15 minutes and drained, optional
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (4-tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Steps to Make It
Make the Cake
Gather the ingredients.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350 F. Generously grease a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking pan with oil.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl, combine the flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. Stir to combine.
Add the eggs, shredded carrots, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until well combined. Alternatively, use a hand-held electric mixer.
Stir in the pineapple, coconut, 1/2 cup of the chopped nuts, and the raisins, if using.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, smoothing the top.
Bake until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes.
Place the pan on a rack to cool completely.
Make the Cream Cheese Frosting
Gather the ingredients.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy.
With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar.
Add the 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla and beat on high speed until smooth and creamy.
Frost the cooled cake with the cream cheese frosting and sprinkle it with the remaining 1/2 cup chopped nuts. Lightly press the nuts into the frosting.
Slice into equal size pieces and serve.
- Be sure that the carrots are finely grated, preferably using the small holes on a box grater. Don't use pre-shredded, bagged carrots.
- You can turn this recipe into a layer cake. Bake in two 8-inch round pans and start checking for doneness after 25 minutes.
- Walnuts or pecans are a classic choice. You can also swap for macadamia nuts.
- You can omit the nuts in the cake or as a garnish for the frosting if desired. Toasted coconut makes a lovely garnish.
- Raisins are an optional addition. Soak them in warm water for 15 minutes and drain before adding. Soak them in rum for an extra kick. It pairs nicely with the tropical flavors.
- Make this recipe non-dairy with a vegan cream cheese frosting.
- Orange buttercream and lemon cream cheese frosting are also nice options for carrot cake.
How to Store
- Store leftover cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
- You can make the cake a day ahead of time, let it cool, and store wrapped tightly in the refrigerator. Frost before serving.