Old Fashioned Carrot Cake with Pineapple

Savor the delightful blend of flavors in this Old Fashioned Carrot with Pineapple. A divine creation that blends the moistness of the carrots, the sweetness of the pineapple, and the crunch of the pecans. This cake is crowned with an irresistible cream cheese frosting and is not only the ultimate treat but ideal for any celebration. This is the best-ever carrot cake that is requested for all of our family get-togethers, and there is never a piece left.

This is a favorite cake with my family and is requested often. I also have family members request a whole cake for their birthdays and seriously don’t want to share it with their entire family. I have made this cake for birthdays, holidays, and even weddings.

Carrot Cake sitting on a plate with text overlay.

In my opinion, this is seriously The Best Ever Carrot Cake. This Carrot Cake is DELICIOUS! It is made with fresh carrots and has the most delicious cream cheese frosting. Once you try it, you will want to bake it for EVERY holiday, birthday, and get together.

I have a big family. There are 30 of us when we all gather together, and we try our best to get together for every holiday and every chance between holidays. So, with that being said, you better get in line for this cake–fast. Usually, there is not a piece of cake left! Sometimes, I am so full from eating a big meal that I must hide my piece of cake for later.

This cake is easy to make and super moist. The crushed pineapple and the freshly grated carrots are responsible for the moisture in this cake.

Carrot cake whole and sliced with text overlay.
The Best Ever Carrot Cake

 

Why This Recipe Is Fabulous

This moist pineapple carrot cake recipe stands out for several reasons, with its moist flavor and rich texture making this a delightful treat that caters to all carrot cake lovers. So whether you’re celebrating a holiday or celebration or just because you love carrot cake, this recipe is a stand-out choice for all to enjoy.

Moist Cake: The carrots and pineapple provide moisture and ensure a soft and tender bite. The combination of ingredients offers delightful flavors with textural elements.

Nutty Texture: The pecans add texture to the cake and the frosting.

Ease of Preparation: The recipe is straightforward and makes this perfect for beginner and seasoned bakers. The simple ingredients and steps involved will contribute to your success.

Time: The batter comes together quickly, and this cake can be made beforehand.

Ingredients for Carrot Cake with Pineapple

For this homemade carrot cake recipe, you will need simple ingredients to create a deliciously moist and flavorful cake. The ingredients can be found in your local grocery store. Please see the printable recipe card below for a complete list of ingredients and amounts.

  • Flour– I always use King Arthur Flour. This is my favorite flour to use. I’m sure you also have a favorite, so use it.
  • Cinnamon– I love the taste of cinnamon in this cake. I also love to smell it as it bakes. It adds warm, spicy notes and enhances the overall flavor of the cake.
  • Pineapple–If you have never baked a cake with pineapple, you will immediately see and taste the difference. Make sure you are using crushed pineapple. It adds moisture and sweetness.
  • Oil–Vegetable oil keeps the cake nice and moist. This is a needed ingredient for the best-tasting cake.
  • Eggs– Use medium to large eggs, and make sure your eggs are at room temperature before using them in the batter. 
  • Carrots— This classic carrot cake recipe calls for lots of carrots, of course. You need fresh carrots for this recipe. They will make a massive difference in the taste. It doesn’t take too much time to grate fresh carrots. Use a hand grater, box grater, or food processor for this step.
  • Salt – The salt helps the flavor and balances the sweetness.
  • Baking Soda, Baking Powder – These two are leavening agents that help the cake to rise.
  • Sugar – White sugar adds sweetness and adds flavor.
  • Pecans–I like nuts in my carrot cake frosting. They add a crunchy texture. This is optional. If you have a “no-nut” eater, leave them out.

The pineapple and other ingredients will work together to make this cake so moist and delicious and yield an amazing flavor.
I have made this cake many times and always get asked to bring this cake to family gatherings and birthday parties. This cake always shows up at holiday events. This recipe is so easy to follow and turns out perfectly every time.

Creamy Frosting Ingredients

  • Cream Cheese– Provides the base of the creamy frosting and offers a perfect balance of sweetness.
  • Butter– Butter adds richness and contributes to the frosting’s creamy texture. Start with room-temperature butter.
  • Confectioners Sugar– This is also called powdered sugar. It sweetens the frosting and adds to the consistency.
  • Vanilla – Vanilla Extract 
  • Pecans– Pecans add a crunchy texture and nut flavor.

Looking for more delicious desserts? Try this NO-Bake Pumpkin Pie. It’s fast, easy, and so delicious!

Why I Should Use Fresh Carrots

Buying pre-grated carrots will save time and effort, but fresh carrots will make a difference in the taste and texture.  Pre-shredded carrots tend to be a little dry, and it only takes a few extra minutes to grate fresh carrots, especially if you have some sort of food grater. But, if you don’t have a food grater —no problem— do it by hand. Look at it this way–you will be getting in a pre-workout and burning a few calories “before” you indulge in this delicious cake!

Carrot Cake on a plate with text overlay.

Baking The Cake

This moist carrot cake recipe makes 3 cake layers. For a complete list of detailed instructions, see the printable recipe card below.

  1. Prepare cake pans.
  2. Sift all dry ingredients.
  3. Add sugar, oil, and eggs to the large bowl of your electric mixer/ stand mixer.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, then add carrots, pineapple, and nuts.
  5. Pour the cake batter evenly into the prepared pans and bake. 
  6. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Why This Cream Cheese Frosting Is The Best 

The homemade cream cheese frosting is incredible and paired with the carrot cake, which is the ultimate compliment. Its silky texture goes perfectly with the sweet notes of the cake, creating a nice and balanced profile. This creamy frosting is enough for a 3-layer cake with thick frosting between all of the layers and on top.

When Is My Cake Done


Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake, and if it comes out clean, it’s done. All ovens vary in cooking time and temperature, so start checking on your cake at the 25-minute mark and continue to check until it is done.

Recipe Tips and Variations for The Best Carrot Cake

Recipe Tips:

Please consider these recipe tips and variations to make the best pineapple carrot cake. As always, these are just suggestions and allow you room to customize it to your liking, making it a delightful treat for any occasion.

Preheat oven – Preheat the oven while you prepare the pans and mix the cake batter.

Toasting pecans -This is optional. I usually don’t toast mine because the cake already has a lot of flavor, but it can add extra flavor to the frosting.

Pineapple – Use the pineapple and the juice for the cake batter.

Frosting – Start with room temperature ingredients, beat on low speed when adding the powdered sugar, then increase to medium speed until you get the desired consistency.

Recipe Variations:

Here are a few variations for this old fashioned carrot cake recipe. 

Pineapple Carrot Cake Cupcakes: – Convert the recipe into cupcakes and adjust the baking time accordingly.

Add Raisins: Raisins will add extra sweetness and texture. Mix them into the cake batter.

Sheet Cake: Bake as a sheet cake instead of a layered cake.

Nut Swap: Feel free to swap out the pecans for walnuts.

 

Carrot Cake on a plate with text overlay.
The Best Ever Carrot Cake

Can I Make This Cake Ahead Of Time

Yes, you can make this cake ahead of time. I like to make this cake a day before the event and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You may also wrap it in plastic wrap, but the wrap may stick some to the cake.

You can also make and freeze the layers for up to 2 months. Then, remove the layers from the freezer and frost them when you are ready for the cake.

How To Store Carrot Cake

My favorite place to store my cake is in the refrigerator. Yes, I like my cake cold. The cream cheese frosting will get soft if it is not refrigerated and if your house is warm.

When transporting the cake, I usually store my cake in a cake carrier. This makes removing from the refrigerator and going to my destination easier. If I am making this cake for an event at home, I usually wrap the cake in plastic wrap and sometimes add foil to the top to ensure an airtight wrap for added freshness. You can certainly slice the cake when the event is over and store it in an airtight container. I prefer to enjoy a slice the next day for breakfast.

To freeze Carrot Cake: Slice into individual slices and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Place all of the slices into a zip-top bag and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months.


If it lasts that long, this cake will keep well in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. Mine never does!

I hope you and your family will enjoy this cake as much as my family and friends. Maybe this cake will be requested at your next holiday gathering. Enjoy!!!

Recipe FAQs

Yes. This recipe calls for freshly grated carrots, spices, and nuts.

A buttercream frosting is best for carrot cakes. Cream Cheese and butter makes a delicious frosting for this homemade carrot cake.

More Delicious Desserts

Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake--Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake is a perfectly moist, lemony cake with sweet, juicy blueberries. This cake is topped with a sweet cream cheese frosting that sets it apart from other cakes. It is a beautiful dessert for any occasion.

Easy Strawberry Cheesecake Bars–Easy Strawberry Cheesecake Bars will be a pleasing dessert for your next family gathering or summertime cookout. Made with a graham cracker crust and a creamy center, it is topped with homemade strawberry pie filling. What’s not to love?

Easy Banana Pudding--Fresh bananas, creamy pudding, and vanilla wafers come together to make a no-bake dessert guaranteed to please a crowd. This comes together fast–20 minutes. The hardest part is letting it chill before eating.

carrot cake

The Best Ever Carrot Cake

Gina Abernathy
The Best Ever Carrot Cake–freshly grated carrots, pineapple, cinnamon, and nuts make for one delicious cake! This cake is topped with a cream cheese and butter frosting that is out of this world.
5 from 24 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings

Ingredients
  

Carrot Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups Cooking Oil vegetable oil or canola oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 cups carrots grated, fresh
  • 1 can crushed pineapple small can, add juice
  • 3/4 cup pecans chopped

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 2 8 ounce cream cheese, softened
  • 2 sticks butter room temperature
  • 1 1/2 boxes confectioners sugar sifted
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup pecans chopped

Instructions
 

Carrot Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease and flour 3 8″ round cake pans. I like to line my pans with parchment paper. (optional)
  • Sift all dry ingredients. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together oil, sugar, eggs-beaten after each addition until smooth and combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture a little at a time, beating on medium speed, until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is combined well.
  • Add carrots, pineapple, and nuts. Beat on medium until just combined. You can also fold this in by hand if you like. Mix well.
  • Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Start checking after 30 minutes.
  • Remove the pans from the oven and cool on a wire rack until they have cooled completely. Level the tops of the cakes if you like. Frost.

Frosting

  • Using a stand mixer, on medium speed, cream together cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  • Slowly add in the confectioners sugar until all has been added. Lower the speed on the mixer while pouring in the confectioners sugar.
  • Mix in the vanilla and pecans.
  • Frost the cake. I like a lot of frosting in between my layers and on top. It’s completely up to you. Refrigerate any left over frosting and enjoy as a late night snack.

Notes

Room temperature ingredients – Start with room temperature ingredients for the best outcome. This promotes better mixing and smoother texture.
Store leftover cake in the refrigerator wrapped tightly in plastic wrap for 5-7 days.
To Make In Advance- Bake and frost the cake as instructed. Store covered in the refrigerator up to a day in advance. OR Bake the cake layers, cool completely, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and freeze for 2-3 months. Frost after you remove the cake from the freezer.
Keyword Best Carrot Cake
Carrot cake on a plate.

32 Comments

  1. Oh my! I love Carrot Cake and this one sounds fantastic. I will definitely be trying this soon.
    Thanks for the new recipe.

  2. Hi Gina,

    I was really interested in making this cake but for the frosting, I’m just wondering how much confectioners sugar you use?? Not sure how many grams/ml are in the boxed sugar and I was hoping that you could clarify this for me please?? Thank you 🙂

    Chrissy

    1. Hey Chrissy,

      Thanks for your email. I usually purchase a (1 pound box) (16 oz) (453g) of confectioners sugar. Let me know if you try it. This is truly my most requested dessert for all of our holiday gatherings. As a matter of fact, my niece called me a few weeks ago reminding me to make this cake for Easter. 🙂 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    I love that you use crushed pineapple with grated carrots to make the cake moist. The pineapple adds more delicious flavors to the cake. Plus, Cream cheese frosting is my favorite frosting, so this cake is perfect! Thanks for sharing your recipe 🤤

  4. 5 stars
    Carrot cake may be my favorite cake ever and this recipe looks fantastic. I’ve never used pineapple in my carrot cakes, so I’ll have to give that a try!

  5. This looks delicious! I’m definitely going to give it a try for Easter this year! Do you think it would bake up ok in a bunt pan? My grandmother always baked a bunt cake for Easter, so now I do, too!

  6. 5 stars
    I have never been a fan of carrot cake, but this best ever carrot cake recipe changed my mind. You are so right that freshly grated carrots make all the difference in the moistness. Thanks for sharing!

  7. 5 stars
    I made this and it is truly the best carrot cake recipe ever. It turned out so moist and delicious and also with a bit of crunch from the nuts. Perfect taste and perfect texture. Thank you!

  8. Carrot cake just so happens to be my family’s favorite cake. I’ve tried a few different recipes in the past and they were all great. This one also looks fantastic, so I will have to give it a try next time we are craving carrot cake. I don’t think I have made one that includes pineapple before. Can’t wait to try it.

  9. Carrot cake is one of my favorites! This is a great classic recipe with all the delicious parts like cream cheese frosting, lots of spices, and pecans! Thanks for a great recipe!

  10. 5 stars
    Had to make this again and I really loved it. The carrot cake is just moist and just the right amount of sweetness along with the hidden pineapple.

  11. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! The cake itself was super moist and tasty, but that frosting was a real game-changer. The bits of buttery pecans in it is the best idea I’ve heard about this year!

  12. 5 stars
    This looks so wonderful! I love a good carrot cake, and I think adding pineapple and pecans is a great idea. Can’t wait to try it out!

  13. 5 stars
    Carrot cake is one of my favorite desserts. I’m pretty intrigued by your addition of pineapple. Sounds like a wonderful pairing. Can’t wait to try your recipe soon.

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