This right here is The Best Carrot Cake ever! You will find it loaded with just the right amount of carrots, pineapple, raisins, coconut, nuts, and a perfect spice blend. Then we top it with a delicious sweet cream cheese frosting. It’s a perfect for Easter or everyday dessert.
Easter is just a few weeks away and I am finalizing my list of desserts that we will be enjoying. Number one on my list happens to be this incredibly moist carrot cake with pineapple, raisins, coconut, nuts, and a perfect blend of spices. I make this cake with cream cheese frosting from scratch each and every year. The holiday would not be “right” without it. Sure, carrot cake is great year round but Easter without carrot cake would just be plain crazy.
I am sure while you were growing up you were offered a slice of carrot cake along the way. If you were like I was as a child, carrot cake definitely did not sound like a dessert that I cared to try. Like seriously? Why would I want a vegetable that I really did not care for in my dessert? Many are surprised like I was that carrot cake really does not taste anything like carrots.
I mentioned above that I use pineapple in this homemade carrot cake. The pineapple really makes for a more moist and flavorful cake. I also add in raisins, crushed walnuts, and coconut, just like I do in my Carrot Cake Cheesecake. The additional mix-ins pair well with the spices and carrot really make this cake delicious. I top this cake with my sweet cream cheese frosting. I make it slightly sweet with the addition of a bit of pineapple juice to extra tasty. Trust me when I say this really is the Best Carrot Cake.
Many make their carrot cakes in round pans to create layered cake. I personally prefer to make our cakes in a 9X13 pan. Making the cake in a traditional cake pan allows me to serve a crowd. I can cut smaller pieces so that everyone can enjoy a piece. Perfect for holiday parties, potlucks, or even bake sales.
The ingredient list for our homemade carrot cake may seem long. Do not let this scare you off from making this delicious cake. All of the ingredients come together so very quickly. You can have your cake baking in very little time. The recipe is actually quite easy.
Ingredients to Make Carrot Cake
2 cup Sugar
1 cup Vegetable Oil
2 tsp Vanilla
20 oz can Crushed Pineapple, packed in juice, drained well, reserve juice
3 cup grated Carrots
2 cup Flour
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Nutmeg
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Raisins
1 cup Flaked Coconut
1/2 cup chopped Walnuts
8 oz softened Cream Cheese
1/2 cup softened Butter
4 tbsp reserved Pineapple juice from crushed pineapples
6 cup Powdered Sugar
How to Make Carrot Cake from Scratch
Preheat oven to 350.
Grease bottom and sides of 9×13″ pan.
Dust with flour. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
In large bowl, Beat together oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla until well blended.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well.
Stir in drained pineapple, carrots, raisins, coconut and walnuts.Pour into ungreased 9×13? baking pan.
Bake for 35-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.
Beat cream cheese, butter and pineapple juice until well blended.
Slowly beat in powdered sugar.
You can also decorate the top with frosting carrots if you like.
Reserve 1/8 cup of frosting in a separate bowl, add green food coloring and stir until color is uniform.
Reserve 1/4 cup of frosting in a separate bowl, add red and yellow food coloring and stir until color is uniform.
Transfer each color to a zippered sandwich bag and seal.
Clip off tiny corner to pipe frosting.
Spread frosting over cake.
Make green carrot tops and orange carrot bodies around top of cake.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Tips for making the Best Carrot Cake:
Use fresh carrots for this recipe. They add the additional moisture needed for you to have a moist carrot cake. Be sure to wash your fresh carrots. Give them a good scrub and rinse with cold water. I do peel them before shredding finely. I usually need about 4 larger sized carrots to gain the 3 cups needed for this recipe.
You can use crushed pineapple that is in either syrup or with juice. I like to use the heavy syrup version for the extra added sweetness. When you drain your pineapple, you will want to reserve some of the juice or syrup to add to your cream cheese frosting. The juice gives it a bit of extra flavor that pairs well with the carrot cake.
If you are not a fan of the added nuts, raisins, or coconut, they can be omitted. I am normally not one for nuts in my desserts but love them in this cake. I know some really dislike raisins but they really are a great addition.
Oven times do very. Be very careful to not over bake this recipe. You will want to use the toothpick trick to check. Once you have a clean stick, remove the cake from the oven. If you over bake your cake, it will not be as moist.
Reserve about two heaping spoons of the sweet cream cheese frosting to do a very simple carrot design for your cake. The cute carrot is not needed but adds the cuteness factor. The carrot is just a simple orange squiggle and then some green lines for the leaves. I really am not good with cake decorating but the design is so easy to achieve with a piping bag or a plastic zipper bag with the corner cut off.
Can I use this recipe to make Carrot Cake Cupcakes?
I personally have not tried this specific recipe in cupcake liners. I think with all the added mix-ins, it would be a bit to heavy for a cupcake. If you would like to make Carrot Cake Cupcakes, you can consider my recipe here.
How would I properly store this Carrot Cake?
I like my carrot cake cold. I always have and I guess always will. So I keep mine stored in the refrigerator with some plastic wrap on top. This cake could also be left covered on your countertop for 2-3 days even know it has cream cheese frosting, it is always fine if not refrigerated.
Looking for other Cake recipes? Be sure to see these cakes that I have shared:
- Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 Ingredient Pineapple Cake
- Peanut Butter Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting
Best Carrot Cake
- 4 eggs
- 2 cup Sugar
- 1 cup Vegetable Oil
- 2 tsp Vanilla
- 20 oz can Crushed Pineapple packed in juice, drained well, reserve juice
- 3 cup grated Carrots
- 2 cup Flour
- 2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Nutmeg
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 cup Raisins
- 1 cup Flaked Coconut
- 1/2 cup chopped Walnuts
- 8 oz softened Cream Cheese
- 1/2 cup softened Butter
- 4 tbsp reserved Pineapple juice from crushed pineapples
- 6 cup Powdered Sugar
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Grease bottom and sides of 9x13" pan.
- Dust with flour. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In large bowl, Beat together oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla until well blended.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well.
- Stir in drained pineapple, carrots, raisins, coconut and walnuts.Pour into ungreased 9×13? baking pan.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.
- Cool completely.
- Beat cream cheese, butter and pineapple juice until well blended.
- Slowly beat in powdered sugar.
- You can also decorate the top with frosting carrots if you like.
- Reserve 1/8 cup of frosting in a separate bowl, add green food coloring and stir until color is uniform.
- Reserve 1/4 cup of frosting in a separate bowl, add red and yellow food coloring and stir until color is uniform.
- Transfer each color to a zippered sandwich bag and seal.
- Clip off tiny corner to pipe frosting.
- Spread frosting over top of cake.
- Make green carrot tops and orange carrot bodies around top of cake.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.