|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 12 to 16|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 29g||37%|
|Saturated Fat 4g||19%|
|Total Carbohydrate 35g||13%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||8%|
|*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 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.
- 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
Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this carrot cake is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and baking.
Make the Cake
Gather the ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking pan.
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg; stir to blend thoroughly.
Add the eggs, shredded carrots, vegetable oil, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla. Beat until well blended.
Stir in the well-drained pineapple, coconut, and 1/2 cup of the chopped nuts.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.
Place the pan on a rack to cool completely.
Make the Cream Cheese Frosting
Gather the ingredients.
In a mixing 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 powdered 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 chopped nuts. Lightly press the nuts into the frosting.
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.
- 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.
- 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.