The next time you want to make a show-stopping dessert, try this recipe for Easy Carrot Cake with Pineapple. You can make this carrot cake recipe your own by leaving out the coconut or nuts, but you really cannot skip the crushed pineapple. Adding the pineapple to the cake batter helps the finished carrot cake to be extraordinarily moist and flavorful. The freshly shredded carrots also help to give the cake its classic flavor and texture. No moist carrot cake recipe would be complete without sweet cream cheese frosting. If you do not know how to make cream cheese icing, this recipe will show you how. All of your friends and family are sure to go nuts over this amazing carrot cake recipe, and they are sure to be impressed that you made both the cake and the frosting from scratch. Easy Carrot Cake with Pineapple makes the perfect special occasion dessert for Easter or a party.
You may omit the coconut or nuts if desired.
The cake may also be baked in a 9 x 13 bake pan for 40 to 45 minutes instead of the layers. If you are making the 9 x 13 cake, you will only need half of this amount of frosting, so cut the quantities in half. This recipe also makes approximately 18 cupcakes, which requires only a half recipe of frosting.
Find more easy cake recipes in our collection of 25 Southern Cake Recipes.
- For the Cake:
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
- 4 cups loosely packed shredded carrots (about 6 carrots)
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1 cup chopped nuts
- For the Frosting:
- 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 2-3 tablespoons milk
- 4 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease 3 9-inch cake pans. Cut circles from parchment or waxed paper to fit the pans, lay them in the bottom, and grease them.
Measure the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt into a large bowl and fluff with a fork to mix.
Combine the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl and mix with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about 2 minutes.
Add the dry ingredients gradually with mixer on low, scraping down the bowl and mixing until all dry ingredients are mixed in.
Add the pineapple and carrots and mix on medium low for 1 minute. Stir in the coconut and nuts by hand.
Pour batter into the prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes. Top of cake should spring back and not leave fingerprints when cake is done; or insert a toothpick in the center. The toothpick should come out clean with no wet crumbs.
Remove to a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Turn out cake layers onto cooling racks upside down and carefully peel off the paper liner. Continue to cool completely before assembling the cake.
To Prepare the Frosting:
In an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, butter, milk, and vanilla on medium high until mixed and fluffy, for 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Add the powdered sugar gradually and continue to beat until frosting is mixed, adding a bit more milk if necessary to reach spreading consistency.
To Assemble the Cake:
Place one layer of cake, top down, on serving plate. Spread with about cup frosting up to the edges. Add another layer and spread another cup frosting in a smooth layer up to the edges. Add the final layer, top up, making sure that the layers are stacked evenly and top is flat and even.
Begin the final frosting by spreading a light coating evenly over the sides. Use half of the remaining frosting to spread evenly over the top and then the final half to spread on the sides for a final coat. Using a frosting spatula (sometimes called offset spatula) makes this easiest.
Sprinkle top with nuts to garnish and chill for 1 hour before serving for most even slicing.
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