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 Never Miss A Cake
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!
4.96 from 45 votes
Print Rate Never Miss A Cake
Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 43 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Serves: 8 cups
Calories: 1855kcal


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)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


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.


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. 


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%)
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103 comments on “Carrot Cake With Pineapple Recipe

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

  2. 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.

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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?

  8. 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?

  9. 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

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

  11. 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!

  12. 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

  13. 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!

  14. 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.

  15. 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! 🤦🏼‍♀️

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 5 stars
    I stumbled across your YouTube channel recently and have since binged all of your videos! 😂 I just tried this recipe today and it’s absolutely delicious!! Well done, thank you for sharing 🙂

    1. Thanks so much! So glad you liked the recipe 😀

  22. How much salt in the frosting. It’s mentioned in the video but not under the ingredients. Btw LOVE YOU AND ALYOU RECIPES! thank you!

    1. Whoops sorry about that! Just updated it, 1/2 teaspoon

  23. I’ve made this cake multiple times! Seems like a fam favorite. 🙂 I am traveling next week and my grandfather wants me to bring this carrot cake. Do you think I should freeze this cake before my 5 hour drive? (Haaaalppp lol)

  24. Hello! I was just curious if I want to add raisins how many would you suggest and is there a type of raisin you prefer?? Thank you!

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