Carrot Cake With Pineapple Recipe

Carrot cake with pineapple, big chunks of carrots, toasted pecans and brown butter cream cheese frosting is the ultimate homestyle carrot cake!
↓ Recipe ↓ Video Print Recipe
Total Time: 55 mins
Serves: 8 cups
Carrot cake with pineapple and brown butter cream cheese frosting

Carrot cake with pineapple, big chunks of carrots, toasted pecans and cream cheese frosting is the ultimate homestyle carrot cake!

Chunky homestyle carrot cake with pineapple, candied pecans, coconut and lots of carrots! Frosted with tangy classic cream cheese frosting . My favorite cake to bake for my family! 

Moist carrot cake with pineapple, toasted coconut, candied pecans and big chunks of carrots. Frosted with brown butter cream cheese frosting

This carrot cake with pineapple has made lovers of carrot cake who have previously said they hated carrot cake. There are two kinds of carrot cake people out there. Those that like a nice spice cake with some teeny tiny carrots in it and those who like a teeny tiny bit of cake with their carrots. I fall in the second category. 

I love making this carrot cake because it comes together in one bowl and is pretty much impossible to mess up! 

Carrot Cake Ingredients

carrot cake ingredients

It might seem like there are a lot of ingredients in this cake that you don’t fully understand why they are necessary but let me explain!

  • Pineapple – Adds amazing flavor and moisture to your carrot cake as well as texture
  • Candied Pecans – Sweet, salty and crunchy. Candied pecans add a delicious crunch and texture to the carrot cake. 
  • Toasted Coconut – Adds another dimension of earthy flavor and texture to the cake
  • AP Flour – You might be surprised to see me using All-Purpose flour instead of cake flour but because there is so little flour in this carrot cake, we need the extra gluten to hold everything together. 
  • Mashed Banana – So once upon a time I wanted to make my carrot cake and didn’t have any applesauce but I did have a frozen banana so I used that instead. Honestly, I liked it better than the applesauce for that added moisture! You can use either banana or 1/2 cup applesauce. 

Why do you put pineapple in carrot cake?

It might sound crazy but pineapple tastes amazing in carrot cake! Not only do the flavors compliment each other perfectly but the pineapple keeps the cake extra moist! The pineapple in carrot cake also holds onto moisture for longer so the carrot cake is less prone to drying out. 

This carrot cake with pineapple actually gets better with age. In my opinion, it actually tastes better the second day! I wrap my cakes in plastic wrap and leave them on the countertop to frost the next day. This gives the flavors time to meld together and the cake actually gets even moister. It’s truly magical! 

piped buttercream carrots on carrot cake

How do you grate carrots for carrot cake?

I like my carrots to be nice and chunky. To prepare my carrots, I chop off the tops of the carrot and then peel them. If you don’t peel your carrots, they can turn green while baking. 

To speed things up, you can use a food processor. To get 2 1/4 cups of carrots, I needed about 5 medium-sized carrots. Thankfully this carrot cake doesn’t require exact amounts of carrot. 

Homestyle carrot cake with pineapple, toasted coconut, candied pecans and big chunks of carrots. Frosted with brown butter cream cheese frosting and buttercream carrots

How do you make a carrot cake?

The best thing about this carrot cake with pineapple is that it all comes together so easily in one bowl. 

  1. Sift together your flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and spices
  2. Combine together your eggs, oil, melted butter, and vanilla
  3. Pour your egg mixture into your flour mixture and stir until combined. 
  4. Fold in candied pecans, toasted coconut, carrots, pineapple and banana, and stir until just combined. 
  5. Divide into pans and bake! I have baked my carrot cake in two or three 8″ pans. Two pans will have thicker layers but take longer to bake. Three pans will make thinner layers but bake in about 30 minutes. 

Let your cake layers cool before frosting

How to make a carrot layer cake with cream cheese frosting

This carrot cake with pineapple and cream cheese frosting comes together in ten minutes flat! 

  1. Place your first layer of carrot cake on your cake cardboard or on your cake plate. 
  2. Spread a thick layer of cream cheese frosting onto the cake layer.
  3. Place your second layer of cake on top of the frosting. Repeat if you have more layers. 
  4. Cover the whole cake in another thick layer of frosting. I like to keep my frosting rustic looking. 
  5. Pipe some cute buttercream carrots on top (see video for instructions)

carrot cake with brown butter cream cheese frosting and buttercream carrots

carrot cake with pineapple, candied pecans, toasted coconut and big chunks of carrots. Frosted with brown butter cream cheese frosting

BONUS: Want step-by-step instructions on how to make your first cake? Watch my how to make a cake video tutorial! 

how to make a cake tutorial

I love how my brown butter cream cheese frosting tastes with this carrot cake. If you need a sturdier frosting, try my crusting cream cheese frosting

My easy buttercream is delicious too if you need to cover the cake with fondant (fondant and cream cheese don’t mesh well together). You can replace some or all of the butter in my easy buttercream with brown butter if you want to keep that flavor. 

brown butter cream cheese frosting

Want more? Try these recipes!

Pumpkin Spice Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting
Applesauce Spice Cake With Brown Butter Frosting
Banana Cake With Classic Cream Cheese Frosting

Cake Batter and Frosting Calculator

Select an option below to calculate how much batter or frosting you need. Adjust the servings slider on the recipe card to change the amounts the recipe makes.

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Cups of Batter Needed

8 cups

Cups of Frosting Needed

5 cups

Note: measurements are estimated based off the vanilla cake recipe using standard US cake pans and sizes. Measurements used are for 2" tall cake pans only. Your results may vary. Do not overfill cake pans above manufacturer's recommended guidelines.

Did You Make This Recipe?Leave a rating and tell me how it went!
Carrot cake with pineapple and brown butter cream cheese frosting

Carrot Cake With Pineapple Recipe

Carrot cake with pineapple, big chunks of carrots, toasted pecans and brown butter cream cheese frosting is the ultimate homestyle carrot cake!
5 from 16 votes
Print Rate
Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 43 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Serves: 8 cups
Calories: 1855kcal

Ingredients

Cake Ingredients

  • 9 ounces (252 g) All Purpose flour
  • 7 ounces (198 g) granulated sugar
  • 7 ounces (198 g) brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1/2 tsp) salt
  • 2 teaspoon (2 tsp) baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon (2 tsp) cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1/2 tsp) nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1/2 tsp) ginger powdered
  • 5 ounces (140 g) vegetable oil
  • 3 ounces (85 g) butter melted
  • 5 large (5 ) eggs
  • 1 Tbsp (1 1/2 tbsp) vanilla extract
  • 5 ounces (140 g) candied pecans chopped
  • 3 ounces (85 g) shredded coconut toasted
  • 8 ounces (224 g) carrots grated (about 4-5 medium carrots)
  • 8 ounces (224 g) pineapple drained and crushed
  • 1 whole (1 whole) ripe banana mashed or 4 oz unsweetened applesauce

Browned Butter

  • 12 ounces (340 g) unsalted butter (after browning it should weigh about 10 ounces)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 16 ounces (448 g) cream cheese room temperature
  • 6 ounces (168 g) unsalted butter room temperature
  • 10 ounces (280 ) brown butter softened butter consistency
  • 32 ounces (896 g) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (1 Tbsp) vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract (optional)

Instructions

Brown Butter

  • (It's best to do this the day before you bake) Place butter into a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer.
  • Whisk constantly (butter will foam up) and cook until the butter is a deep golden color
  • Pour the browned butter (do not strain) into a heat-proof container and let cool at room temperature overnight (or you can put it in the fridge to help speed up the process but stir every 20 minutes to prevent it from getting too hard. The butter needs to be soft but not melted.

Cake Instructions

  • IMPORTANT: Make sure all your ingredients are at room temp and you're using a scale to measure. Substituting ingredients may cause this recipe to fail. (see notes at the bottom of the recipe) 
  • Sift together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and all the spices.
  • Mix together oil, melted butter, eggs and vanilla and blend into dry ingredients.
  • Add remaining ingredients and fold until combined.
  • Pour into three 8" cake pans that have been coated in cake goop (pan release). The layers will bake to about 1 1/2" tall.
  • Bake at 350º F about 30 minutes. Test for doneness in multiple areas near the center with a tooth pick. If the tooth pick comes up dry with a few crumbs stuck to it, the cake is done. Let cakes cool in the pan for 15 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack to cool the rest of the way. Cover with plastic wrap and chill before frosting. 

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Cream the browned butter with the whisk attachment until smooth
  • Add in your softened cream cheese and whip together until smooth and no lumps are present
  • Slowly add in powdered sugar one cup at a time while mixing on medium until smooth
  • Add in your vanilla and orange extract and salt and mix until smooth.

Notes

Important Things To Note Before You Start
1. Bring all your ingredients to room temperature or even a little warm (eggs, buttermilk, butter, etc) to ensure your batter does not break or curdle. 
2. Use a scale to weigh your ingredients (including liquids) unless otherwise instructed (Tablespoons, teaspoons, pinch etc). Metric measurements are available in the recipe card. Scaled ingredients are much more accurate than using cups and help ensure the success of your recipe. 
3. Practice Mise en Place (everything in it's place). Measure out your ingredients ahead of time and have them ready before you start mixing to reduce the chances of accidentally leaving something out.
4. Chill your cakes before frosting and filling. You can cover a frosted and chilled cake in fondant if you wish. This cake is also great for stacking. I always keep my cakes chilled in the refrigerator before delivery for easy transporting. 
5. If the recipe calls for specific ingredients like cake flour, replacing it with all-purpose flour and cornstarch is not recommended unless specified in the recipe that it’s ok. Substituting ingredients may cause this recipe to fail. 
6. Brown your butter the day before baking and leave it at room temperature so that it's the right consistency for making buttercream the next day. 

Nutrition

Serving: 8ounces | Calories: 1855kcal (93%) | Carbohydrates: 209g (70%) | Protein: 13g (26%) | Fat: 112g (172%) | Saturated Fat: 69g (345%) | Cholesterol: 339mg (113%) | Sodium: 856mg (36%) | Potassium: 361mg (10%) | Fiber: 3g (12%) | Sugar: 177g (197%) | Vitamin A: 7542IU (151%) | Vitamin C: 15mg (18%) | Calcium: 148mg (15%) | Iron: 3mg (17%)

 

 

 

 

93 comments on “Carrot Cake With Pineapple Recipe

  1. Hi
    I have made this cake and it is delicious. My daughter is getting married, I would like to make this cake and freeze it. Does the cake freeze well. If I need to make a 12inch would doubling the recipe be ok
    Thank you
    Joy Sullivan

    1. Yes you can double or triple. If you freeze a cake you need to wrap it well and make sure it’s very deep in the freezer so it doesnt get freezer burn over time

  2. Hi Liz,

    Would this recipe do well as a cupcake?

      1. I tried these as cupcakes and they turned out dry everytime!!!! :'( what are your magic baking numbers 350 325 for 20 mins for 10 mins for 15 mins?

      2. Hey Liz! Would you still recommend 350 for 30 mins with cupcakes?

        This last batch I had in was at 350 for 20 and they over baked.

  3. If I omit the banana, will I need to replace it with anything? I really dislike nanners?

  4. Hi. Can this cake be used to cover with fondant? I am really struggling with a carrot cake recipe to use with fondant for a wedding.

    Thanks,

  5. Is it sweetened or unsweetened shredded coconut? Thanks! Just made your red velvet cake for a client and it was a HUGE hit!

  6. Hi Liz, I made this cake for my family yesterday and it was a huge success! everybody liked it 🙂 I had to omit the pineapple since I didn’t have any at hand but it still turned out amazing!!! thanks a lot 😀

    1. Hi Liz!
      Thank you sooo much for creating these amazing recipes for us!
      Regarding the pineapple and carrots amounts…
      Do we weight out 8oz of unwashed and unpeeled carrots first, then peel and grate them later, thus ending up with less than 8oz?

      and do we first weight out 8oz of crushed pineapple in juice and then drain it?

  7. hi, i am big fan of yours. i like the recipes you do. Instead of candied peccans what else can be added or can i omit it, if i dont have any of it.

  8. 5 stars
    Please consider a metric option to your recipes(for us South Africans). Love all I’ve tried so far, but gets confusing with ounces, especially with liquids.
    Thanks for the great recipes. Xx

    1. Ounces for liquids work the same as dry ingredients. Thats why I love using weight. If the recipe says 8oz of milk it means 8oz by weight, not volume

  9. Excellent! How many cupcakes come out of this recipe?

  10. 5 stars
    I LOVE this cake and have made it a bunch of times. My only silly request, is that you change the slide bar to be cups of batter, like some of your other recipes are. Sometimes I don’t want an 8 inch cake, and I have to do the calculations myself and I base it on 3 cups/8inch cake and I don’t even know if that’s right! ?

  11. 5 stars
    First of all, you’re super incredibly awesome for sharing your talent and hard work with us. You have no idea how cool it is to find reliable recipes and bonus: from an awesome pro like yourself. I’ve had the whole, “this is my recipe I won’t share unless you pay to make up for my hard work” experiences before. I completely understand what they mean, i mean heck I’m still paying off student loans. But for recipes I think it’s kinda different. I mean My idea is that you can have the same ingredients, the same instructions, and even the same tools, and yet the final product comes out completely different. For me it’s the hand and the love that goes into it that makes the difference. So thank you for sharing. I had never made a carrot cake from scratch before, I was nervously thinking it would be hard and I’d fail yet again, but this totally was the best homemade carrot cake I’ve ever had! It tastes like a professional bakery cake, all made with my chubby hands. Thank you very much Liz, God keep blessing you with that awesome nobleness, and kindness! You rock!!

  12. Can you omit the coconut? Or what do I replace it with?

  13. I am interested in making carrot cake most recipes ask for all purpose , I would like to use cake flour how do I incorporate ? Thank you

  14. How do I drain and crush the pineapple please

    1. I purchase pineapple already crushed, if you have whole pineapple you could put it in the food processor and just strain off the juice

  15. 5 stars
    Hi from Venezuela, mi wife and I are big fans of You. Thanks for all the fabulous recipes. This is my question: Can I use this recipe for cupcakes?

  16. 5 stars
    Is the calorie and carbohydrates for real?!?!?!???☹️
    Looking forward to seeing you again at SoFlo!

  17. I need to bake this cake for a wedding. will be covering it in fondant
    I can i bake it today for delivery on Friday?

  18. I made this cake before and it was amazing! Thank you for the recipe. I wanted to make cupcakes this time. How do I adjust the temperature and time? Sorry I’m so clueless ? Thanks!!!

  19. Hi Liz, love all your recipes I’ve tried .. if I want to use buttermilk instead of the puréed banana how much would I use .. Thanks

    1. Buttermilk is not even close to the same thing as banana puree so if you switch them out you’re not going to get the same results.

  20. Hi Liz
    Thank you, for the great recipe. If I swapped the banana for applesauce how much would I need please? Or could I just omit the banana completely with no substitute?
    Thank you

  21. 5 stars
    I made this cake for my sister-in-love’s birthday, she absolutely loved it! A couple of days later she asked if i would make it for a fundraiser bake sale, I said sure! Then, realizing carrot cake is my boss’ favorite cake (without nuts) I made it in a 1/2 sheet size. He loved it! So, I made it 3 times in one week and everybody who ate it completely adored it! Thanks Liz for making me look good!!!!

  22. How many 8″ rounds equally a sheet cake?

  23. I made this cake for a colleagues birthday and it was the best carrot cake I’ve ever tasted!! Not a single crumb left and everyone was asking for the recipe ?

  24. Would this recipe work with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten free 1 to 1 baking flour?

  25. You’re awesome! Very reliable and genuinely good recipes! Instead of going and searching for recipes all over the internet i just go to you! Thank you.

  26. Liz! here in Argentina you don’t get candied nuts … how can I achieve them?

  27. I’m a fan and love the way you present. Your recipes are good. Have tried this carrot cake without the cream cheese. My family loved it. Will try with cream cheese next. Thank you.

  28. I want to try this awesome recipe but I don’t know how to convert the measurements to cup. Pls what’s 9 ounces of flour in cups? And what’s 10 oz of flour in cups? Thanks so much.

    1. My recipes use a scale for measurement to insure that the recipe turns out. Cup measurements are not accurate. See recipe notes for more information.

  29. Thanks for a lovely recipe. I made it using the metric version it came out very sweet. After investigating I realised that the granulated sugar was 200g more than required in your us version. Was good otherwise. Will definately try again.

    1. Thanks for letting me know, it appears the automatic metric conversion is not very accurate so now I will have to go through and update all my recipes cards manually to make sure they are accurate.

    2. Hi Liz, I have made your recipe and it was a success! I was wondering if I can replace the AP flour with gluten free flour same quantity? Will it work or I need to look for a specific gluten free recipe? Thanks in advance

  30. 5 stars
    Hi Liz! once again thanks for everything. I have a teeny tiny problem! I used up all my last 3 bananas and have no applesauce!!! Will the recipe turn out okay?

  31. hey Liz, I’ve been baking my way through your beginner cake recipes and loving them. I caught a sale on butter and I have two pounds of salted butter. Would this kill the recipe if I used that?

  32. Hi Liz. I made this on Monday and cut it yesterday for my hubs bday. It tasted really good and I loved it. The only thing I really want to figure out is to why it was dense. It wasn’t as fluffy when you cut yours on the video. After cutting I couldbt see a cake texture but it was dense looking. Please can you tell my how to make this into a light and fluffy carrot cake that melts in the mouth with the frosting. I once ate a carrot cake which just melt in your mouth with three layer of cream cheese frosting. It had all the nuts a bits like this recipe in it but still was light .It was so nice . Please advise me .thank you so much

  33. If I’m using this to make cupcakes, how full should I fill the liners? I have a size 20 scooper..

  34. Just wanted everyone to know that I made this cake exactly (with bananas) into cupcakes. I filled the cupcake liners 3/4 full, and it made exactly 33 beautiful cupcakes.

    Liz I absolutely love your page! Thank you so much for posting such gold!

  35. Hi love your recipes. I totally goofed at the store and only have 1 brick of cream cheese is that enough to make the cream cheese listed for the carrot cake? I have everything else but didn’t know if I should adjust anything if I only have 8 oz of cream cheese. Also, will the carrot cake recipe make 2 9 in cakes fine? Thanks.

    1. You probably wont have very much cream cheese frosting with only one brick but you could just make regular easy buttercream. Yes this will make two 9″ cakes

  36. 5 stars
    Omg such an amazing recipe!! my husband and I can’t stop eating it. This cake is so so good!!! Thank you!!!
    I didn’t have pecans or the shredded coconut so I went ahead and added more carrots. This cake is so yummy, moist and full of flavor! I will definitely make it again!

  37. 5 stars
    Would there be any problem baking in 6” pans? I want to make smaller cakes to drop off for my family members during quarantine.

  38. Any chance I can half this recipe? I’m dying to make it but don’t need such a huge cake or I’ll eat it! 🤦🏼‍♀️

  39. Can you make the cake ahead of time and freeze it (before icing) like other cakes? I have several grad cakes due all around the same time. LOVE this cake btw!! I made it for Mother’s Day (for myself 😂) and it was incredible!

    1. Yes you can but a frozen cake needs to be defrosted in the fridge for a least 24 hours or it will sweat very badly

  40. I plan to mak it this week and was ordering the ingredients. What is brown butter? When I googled it came up with melting butter on stove, but your recipe calls for softened butter consistency. Could you please clarify this as well as where I can purchase it. Thanks

  41. Can I add raisins in this recipe? If so about how much would you suggest

  42. I am going to make the carrot cake recipe. This recipe is for 3 layer cake i think. I only want to make 2 layers. New baker here! How do i figure this out?

    1. You can use the cake batter calculator directly above the recipe to calculate how much batter you need by selecting the pans you want to bake with. Then adjust the recipe servings on the recipe card by using the slider to match what the calculator says to make.

  43. 5 stars
    Thank you, thank you, thank you. This is the best carrot cake ever. I baked twice in one week and my big family still ask for more.

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