Carrot Cake Recipe with Pineapple

Learn how to make the best carrot cake recipe with pineapple and raisins! It’s so moist and delicious and easy to make. Slathered with lightly sweetened cream cheese frosting, this fantastic carrot cake will be your go-to dessert recipe for Easter, Mother’s Day or baby or bridal showers.

For more wonderful dessert ideas for these occasions try my Lemon Curd Tart, Chocolate Eclairs, or Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake recipes. 

a slice of moist carrot cake with pineapple and raisins
Moist Carrot Cake with Pineapple, Raisins, Pecans and Coconut

Why You’ll Love This Recipe:

  • This recipe is packed with fruits and nuts and a little sprinkle of coconut. It also has a wonderful balance of spice coming from the addition of cinnamon.
  • It’s a rustic cake that doesn’t need to look perfect (mainly because it tastes SO good!) but also because no one is expecting a frilly, 7-layer masterpiece when they think of carrot cake. For another rustic cake that is totally delicious try my Old-Fashioned Apple Cinnamon Cake Recipe
  • It should be easy to assemble, homey and comforting. My kind of cake!
  • The cake batter can be mixed up in 2 bowls and the frosting is easily whipped up with a hand-mixer (no need to drag out the stand mixer!)
wet ingredients for cake batter in a bowl
This cake is so easy to whip up and can be mixed together in just a few bowls

The Best Way To Grate The Carrots

  • You can buy already grated carrots at most supermarkets but they tend to be really hard and dry.
  • The best way I’ve found to grate carrots for carrot cake is with a simple box grater. Use the largest holes on the grater and be sure to peel the carrots first.
  • Or you can also use your food processor! Just attach the grater attachment and away you go! Grated carrots in minutes.
carrots being grated on a box grater
It’s worth grating the carrots yourself with a box grater for a moist and tender carrot cake.

Making the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Cream cheese frosting is super simple to make, it’s essentially just cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and either milk or heavy cream to thin it out.
  • I also think the best cream cheese frosting recipe is not too sweet. I love this recipe because for me it’s the perfect amount of sweetness, I also use it on my Banana Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting
  • In a carrot cake, the frosting should act as the “supporting role” to the sweetness of the cake and not overpower it. 
  • I also like to use whipped cream cheese for a lighter frosting, and to add a good amount of heavy cream, so that when the frosting is whipped, the cream whips too, making the frosting soft and billowy! 
2 layers of carrot cake with cream cheese frosting
For an easier frosting job, I leave the sides bare and only frost the layers.

How To Bake Level Cake Layers

  • It can be hard to judge quantity when pouring out batter into cake pans.
  • I find the easiest way to assure level cake layers is to use an ice cream scoop to portion out the batter.
  • Depending upon the size of the scoop it could take 9-10 scoops per pan.
  • Or just alternate scoops per pan, until all the batter is used up and the pans are full.

 

Cake batter in cake pan with an ice cream scoop
The easiest way to get even cake layers is to use an ice cream scoop to portion out the batter. 9-10 scoops per pan.

Can You Use This Recipe For Cupcakes?

Yes! You can also turn this recipe into cupcakes, just be sure to use cupcake liners as this cake is extra moist. It would make about 18-20 cupcakes. Not need to adjust the baking temperature but the baking time would be about 17-20 minutes. 

The Carrot Cake Fully Baked

  • This carrot cake recipe calls for both white sugar (for lightness) and brown sugar (for flavor).
  • Don’t be alarmed if after your cake is baked it looks dark.
  • This is what the molasses in the brown sugar will do. It makes a darker carrot cake. But the flavor you get from it is unmatched with using only white sugar.
homemade carrot cake cooling in pans on cutting board
The brown sugar in the recipe creates a delicious flavor to the carrot cake and a warm honey color

Assembling the cake

  • Personally, I like a rustic carrot cake assembly since it’s a casual cake that doesn’t need a lot of fuss around it.
  • The easiest way is to set your first layer of cake on a cake stand, add the frosting on top, and sprinkle with coconut and pecans this provides interest inside the cake once it’s sliced.
  • Top with your second layer and frost, and add more coconut and pecans on top. Really, that’s all there is to it!
carrot cake assembled with 2 layers and cream cheese icing
It’s a rustic, homey cake that is meant to be a bit flopsy mopsy. It’s part of its charm!

To Serve:

  • Keep the cake uncovered and refrigerated until ready to serve.
  • Remove the cake from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the cake to come up to room temperature and for the frosting to soften.

 

If You Enjoyed This Recipe

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A slice of moist homemade carrot cake

Carrot Cake Recipe with Pineapple

Yield: serves 8-10
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes

Learn how to make the best carrot cake recipe! Moist and delicious and loaded with pineapple, raisins, and coconut, and topped with a soft and billowy cream cheese frosting.

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 4 Eggs, large
  • ¾ cup (150g) Brown Sugar
  • ¾ cup (150g) White sugar
  • 2 tsp (10ml) Vanilla
  • 1 cup (237ml) Canola or vegetable oil
  • 8 oz (226g) Crushed Pineapple, undrained (the juice adds to the moisture in the cake!)
  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp (10ml) Baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp (7.5ml) Baking soda
  • 2 tsp (10ml) cinnamon
  • ½ tsp (2.5ml) salt
  • 2 cups (334g) Carrots, raw grated
  • 1 cup (200g) raisins
  • ½ cup (48g) shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • ⅓ cup (50g) pecans, finely chopped

Frosting:

  • 16 oz (460g) whipped cream cheese
  • 2/3 cup (70g) powdered sugar
  • 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla

Garnish

  • ⅓ cup (50g) pecans, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) grated carrots

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F (175C).
  2. In a large bowl add eggs, sugars, oil and whisk to combine.
  3. Then add pineapple and vanilla, whisk to combine and set aside.
  4. In a medium size bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Whisk to combine. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, in thirds, whisking until combined.
  5. Add carrots, raisins, coconut and 1/3 cup of pecans, stir until combined.
  6. Pour batter equally into two 9” (23cm) cake pans that have been greased and floured.
  7. Bake 20-25 mins until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.
  8. Meanwhile make frosting.
  9. In the bowl of an electric mixer combined room temperature cream cheese with powdered sugar, beat until smooth. Add heavy cream and vanilla and beat on high for 5-7 mins until smooth volume has increased by one third.
  10. Place 1 cake layer on a cake stand flat side up, frost top of cake only. Add second cake layer and and frost top only (leaving sides bare) then sprinkle the remaining 1/3 cup of pecans around the edge of the cake and add 1 Tbsp grated carrot in the center as a decorative garnish.
  11. Keep cake refrigerated uncovered, for at least 1-2 hours to “set up”
  12. Slice and serve!

Notes

You can also turn this recipe into cupcakes, just be sure to use cupcake liners as this cake is extra moist. It would make about 18-20 cupcakes. Not need to adjust the baking temperature but the baking time would be about 17-20 minutes. 

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 507Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 125mgSodium: 263mgCarbohydrates: 58gFiber: 3gSugar: 11gProtein: 12g

 

 

Brownie cake scooped into a mug with ice cream

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20 Comments

    1. Yes I would definitely refrigerate it, and then take it out 30 mins before serving to allow the cream cheese to come up to room temperature. I think it’s best to enjoy up to 2 days ahead.

  1. I made the cupcake version for Easter and it was a hit! In fact my father-in-law loved it so much he requested it for his birthday cake months later in December!

  2. I made this recipe and it was an absolute hit!!! thank you for sharing this fantastic recipe.This recipe is my go to. I add extra finely chopped pecans. Next time, I am wondering adding a bit of rum to give that extra taste. Do you think would be okay?

  3. The baking powder and baking soda seems like a lot for the ingredients mentioned. Is the recipe correct?

    1. Yes correct! It’s a lot of flour. I typically do 1 tsp baking powder for each cup of flour and then add the baking soda to neutralize the batter from the acidic pineapples :). Hope you enjoy it!

  4. Hi Beth, I noticed that your 2 cakes baked relatively flat on top and you did not have to cut the tops off either. Did you use any cake belts when baking the 2 cakes? I make muffins with crushed pineapples, coconut, raisins, walnuts and carrots so i can’t wait to make this carrot cake.thanks

    1. I don’t use cake belts? But now I’m intrigued to find out what those are ha! I just don’t use a lot of leavening so keep them flat so they are easier to frost without slicing 🙂 Hope you enjoy it!

    1. well some kind a fruit would be nice, maybe some diced apple instead? But the cake will still turn out without any fruit. So really a matter of personal preference. Hope you enjoy!

  5. Hi, Beth! Would it be okay if I left out the pineapples? Would I had to alter the amount of sugar I use then?

    1. Hi Beth! I can tell this will become my go to carrot cake recipe! I was asked to bring cupcakes to Easter this year. Will I need to adjust the baking time?
      Thank you for your wonderful recipes and your time! -Liz

      1. Oh yes you can absolutely turn them into cupcakes! Bake at 350F for about 17-20 minutes. This recipe will probably make around 18-20 cupcakes. Be sure to use cupcake liners as the cake is really moist and tender. I hope you enjoy it!

        1. Thank you! You are a hero of holiday desserts as far as I’m concerned! I make your pecan bars every thanksgiving and they are always a hit! I have to put some to the side before serving them to ensure I have some left over haha. I’m sure these cupcakes will be the same case 🙂

  6. Hi Beth, I only have one (taller) round cake pan so I’m going to put all the batter in it. How long do you think it would take in the oven?

    1. Well, It depends on how deep he pan is, I would start at 25 mins and be prepared to go to 40 mins checking every 7-10 mins or so . Enjoy!

  7. Ah OK then stick to the cup measurements. It must be the conversion website that is off. So sorry about that!