Pineapple Carrot Cake

Carrot cake with pineapple

The Spruce

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 50 mins
Cool: 60 mins
Total: 2 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 12 to 16 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
403 Calories
29g Fat
35g Carbs
3g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12 to 16
Amount per serving
Calories 403
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29g 37%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 39mg 13%
Sodium 267mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Protein 3g
Calcium 36mg 3%
*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.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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 quick and 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 swap out the nuts for your favorite 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. You should reduce the baking time to 25 to 30 minutes for smaller loaves.

The cake is finished with a smooth, creamy cream cheese frosting and chopped pecans or walnuts. Or, garnish the frosted cake with toasted coconut. Serve at your Easter meal, spring gathering, or anytime you're craving a spiced, sweet dessert.

Ingredients

  • For the Carrot Cake:
  • 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 carrots (finely grated, about 3 to 4 medium carrots)
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple (well-drained)
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 cup walnuts (chopped, divided; or pecans)
  • Optional: 1 cup raisins (soaked in water or rum for 15 minutes and drained)
  • For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese (softened)
  • 4 tablespoons butter (room temperature)
  • 3 1/2 cups/1 pound powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Steps to Make It

Make the Cake

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for carrot cake with pineapple
    The Spruce 
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking pan.

    Grease the baking pan
    The Spruce 
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg; stir to blend thoroughly.

    Dry ingredients in a mixing bowl
    The Spruce 
  4. Add the eggs, shredded carrots, vegetable oil, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla. Beat until well blended.

    Add the eggs
    The Spruce 
  5. Stir in the well-drained pineapple, coconut, and 1/2 cup of the chopped nuts.

    Pineapple, nuts, and coconut added to batter
    The Spruce
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.

    Batter in the baking pan
    The Spruce
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.

    Baked carrot cake with pineapple
    The Spruce
  8. Place the pan on a rack to cool completely.

Make the Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for frosting
    The Spruce 
  2. In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy.

    Butter and cream cheese beaten in a bowl
    The Spruce
  3. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the powdered sugar.

    Gradually beat in powdered sugar
    The Spruce
  4. Add the 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla and beat on high speed until smooth and creamy.

    Vanilla added to frosting mixture
    The Spruce 
  5. Frost the cooled cake with the cream cheese frosting and sprinkle it with the remaining chopped nuts. Lightly press the nuts into the frosting.

    Frost the cake
    The Spruce 

How to Store

  • Store leftover cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. The unfrosted cake will keep for four or five days at room temperature.
  • You can make the cake a day ahead of time, let it cool, and wrap tightly. Frost before serving.

Tips

  • Be sure that the carrots are very finely grated, preferably using a Microplane grater or zester. 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.

Recipe Variations

  • 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 them. Soaking them in rum for an extra kick 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.

Recipe Tags: