Skip to Content

Pineapple Carrot Cake

This easy homemade Pineapple Carrot Cake with cream cheese frosting is super moist, fluffy, and absolutely delicious. It’s a classic dessert that’s sure to be loved by everyone!

Carrot cake is my go-to Easter dessert. How about you?

I’m actually not sure why that is. Maybe it’s because the Easter Bunny eats carrots. Maybe it’s because carrots are a spring vegetable. Who knows?

What I am sure of is that adding pineapple to the cake makes it extra moist and delicious!

Growing up, we had a local restaurant that had the best carrot cake. It was so unbelievably moist that it actually looked wet. It was so good that we often went there just for the carrot cake, and we always picked up a whole cake for just about every family celebration. I never got sick of it!

I’ve since moved away from my hometown, but I still dream about that carrot cake. What to do? I bake this Pineapple Carrot Cake when the cravings hit, and it’s a mighty fine substitute!

The carrots (3 whole cups!), pineapple and vegetable oil make for a very moist cake, yet it is also nice and fluffy, and the sweet homemade cream cheese frosting is the perfect complement.

baking pan full of cut pieces of carrot cake with a spatula

I’m definitely more of a cook than a baker, so when I bake, I like to keep things as simple as possible, and this recipe fits the bill.

You mix the batter in one bowl by hand (no lugging out the mixer – yay!). Same for the frosting. It comes together very quickly.

I use a 9×13-inch pan because the cake is easy to frost, and I can serve it right out of the pan. Layer cakes just aren’t my thing. I can never get them to not be lopsided, my frosting never looks right, and I don’t have anything to store them in.

And you know what? The cake still tastes exactly the same, so I’m going with easy! But if you like making layer cakes, you can use two 9-inch round pans. You will just need to reduce the baking time a bit.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED:

  • Cooking spray
  • All-purpose flour
  • Sugar
  • Light brown sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt
  • Vegetable oil
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Carrots
  • Canned crushed pineapple
  • Powdered sugar
  • Cream cheese
  • Butter

HERE’S A QUICK LOOK AT HOW TO MAKE PINEAPPLE CARROT CAKE:

three images showing steps to make pineapple carrot cake
three images showing steps to make pineapple carrot cake
three images showing how to make pineapple carrot cake
three images showing how to make pineapple carrot cake

TIPS & TIDBITS:

  • Always freshly grate your carrots for this cake, and grate them finely! Please don’t use the pre-shredded carrots that you can find at the grocery store. They’re too dry and too large. You want the moisture that comes from the freshly grated carrot. You also want small bits of carrot that become one with the cake rather than having large, stringy, crunchy bits of carrot in your cake.
  • Yes, indeed, there is a lot of oil in this cake. That’s one of the reasons why carrot cake is so moist. If you are uncomfortable with it, you can try replacing half or all of the oil with an equal amount of unsweetened applesauce. I have never personally tried this, so I can’t really say if there is a major difference. Let us know in the comments below if you try it!
  • When you make the frosting, at first, it’s going to seem very dry and like it’s not going to come together, but keep on stirring, and it will turn smooth and creamy. You can use a mixer if you don’t want to do it by hand.
  • If you would rather make a layer cake, use two 9-inch round cake pans and reduce the baking time to 30 to 35 minutes.
  • Since the frosting is made with cream cheese, you will need to keep this cake refrigerated (keep it tightly covered so it doesn’t dry out). If you don’t want to eat it cold, bring it out of the fridge and let it come up to room temperature before serving.
  • Personally, I think this cake is actually better the next day after sitting in the refrigerator overnight, and I prefer to eat it cold!
piece of carrot cake with a fork taking a piece out

Happy Easter, everyone!

I hope you try this recipe for Pineapple Carrot Cake and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

michelle signature

image that states if you make this recipe, please leave a star rating and comment below, thanks
a piece of pineapple carrot cake on a white plate with more pieces of cake in the background

Pineapple Carrot Cake

This easy homemade Pineapple Carrot Cake with cream cheese frosting is super moist, fluffy, and absolutely delicious. It's a classic dessert that's sure to be loved by everyone!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Save Rate & Comment
Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Cooling Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 16
Estimated Calories: 454

Ingredients

Cake:

  • cooking spray
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for flouring the pan
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups finely grated carrots
  • 1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained

Frosting:

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Make the Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 13×9-inch baking pan.
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, light brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, and salt.
  • Add the vegetable oil, eggs, vanilla extract, carrots, and pineapple. Mix just until well combined and the flour has been thoroughly incorporated.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs (but no wet batter).
  • Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack; allow the cake to cool completely.

Make the Frosting and Frost the Cake:

  • In a large bowl, combine the powdered sugar, softened cream cheese, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth. Note: At first, it will seem like the mixture is too dry and that it's not going to come together. Just keep stirring, and it will become smooth and creamy.
  • Frost cooled cake.
  • Cut into 16 pieces and serve.

Notes

  • Since there is cream cheese in the frosting, this cake must be kept in the refrigerator until serving, and any leftovers should be kept in the refrigerator. Keep it tightly covered so it doesn’t dry out.
  • If you don’t want to eat it cold, bring it out of the fridge and let it come up to room temperature before serving. Personally, I think this cake is actually better the next day straight from the refrigerator!
  • If you would rather make a layer cake, use two 9-inch round cake pans and reduce the baking time to 30 to 35 minutes.
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Share it on Instagram, tag @nowcookthis and use the hashtag #nowcookthisrecipes. Thanks!

Cake recipe adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook (11th Edition). Frosting recipe is from The Pillsbury Cookbook.

image that states follow now cook this on pinterest for more simple and delicious recipes, click here
Recipe Rating




Vangi

Sunday 12th of April 2020

This has to be the best carrot cake I have ever had! So easy to make too. Thank you.

Michelle

Monday 13th of April 2020

Hi, Vangi! Wow, thank you for the awesome compliment! I'm so glad you enjoyed the cake and found it easy too!