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)
571 Calories
35g Fat
64g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12 to 16
Amount per serving
Calories 571
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 35g 45%
Saturated Fat 8g 41%
Cholesterol 34mg 11%
Sodium 227mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 64g 23%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 54g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 2mg 11%
Calcium 36mg 3%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 150mg 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 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

carrot cake/tester image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


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

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for carrot cake with pineapple
    The Spruce 
  2. 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.

    Grease the baking pan
    The Spruce 
  3. 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.

    Dry ingredients in a mixing bowl
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  4. Add the eggs, shredded carrots, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until well combined. Alternatively, use a hand-held electric mixer.

    Add the eggs
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  5. Stir in the pineapple, coconut, 1/2 cup of the chopped nuts, and the raisins, if using.

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

    Batter in the baking pan
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  7. Bake until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes.

    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 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.

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

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

    Vanilla added to frosting mixture
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  5. 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.

    Frost the cake
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  6. 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.

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. 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.

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