Today, we are sharing our favorite Carrot Cake Recipe with you! This amazing scratch recipe has wonderful flavor from carrots, spices, pecans, coconut, and crushed pineapple.
What Makes this Carrot Cake recipe so good?
Well, we're a little biased, but this is the best carrot cake ever. We just love carrot cakes that have tons of flavor from fresh ingredients.
This cake has it all: carrots, spices, pecans, coconut & pineapple! With that amazing roundup of ingredients, how could you go wrong?
Carrot Cake is a year-round favorite. This recipe receives so much traffic no matter what time of year, but it is a go-to recipe for Christmas, Easter, and all of the holidays in between!
How to Make a Carrot Cake
You can find the full, printable carrot cake recipe further down in this post. Here is a quick rundown of our steps!
- First, Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
- Next, line the bottoms of 3 (8 inch) or 2 (9 inch) round pans with wax or parchment paper, grease with shortening and flour the paper and pans for easy release when turning out.
- Dry Ingredients: Combine and whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set Aside.
- Next, in the bowl of your mixer, add 2 cups sugar , 4 eggs, 1 cup oil and 1 tsp. vanilla. Mix 2 to 3 minutes at medium speed until well blended and light colored.
- Then, with a spoon stir in the flour until moistened, then add the carrots, pecans crushed pineapple and coconut.
- Next, Divide the cake batter between the cake pans.
- Bake 35 minutes at 350 degrees or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Refrain from opening the oven door or touching the center of the cake to test for doneness until very near the end of baking time.
- Cool cake layers in pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack then turn out. Cool completely before adding the filling and frosting.
What Frostings Pair Well with Carrot Cake?
For me, you just cannot beat a thick coat of cream cheese frosting spread over carrot cake layers. It is heavenly!
The slight tang from the cream cheese frosting is the perfect complement to the spice in the recipe and the sweetness from the carrots, coconut, and pineapple.
If you cannot use cream cheese frosting or just don't care for it (gasp!) - I would go with a Classic Vanilla Buttercream or add a little cinnamon to the vanilla buttercream for a delicious Cinnamon Buttercream.
Cream Cheese Frosting
We used our classic Cream Cheese Frosting which is a simple combination of cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. We love this recipe so much for carrot cakes, red velvet cake, spice cakes, and more!
Cream cheese frostings are a softer consistency than other frostings.
For this reason, keep in mind that you may need to pop your piping bag, bowl of frosting, or even the cake in the refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes here and there to firm things up!
Sharing our favorite classic cake recipes
In addition to Carrot Cake, we have several more classic cake recipes that you must try! These old fashioned favorites are recipes that you will return to again and again.
Make sure to save these go-to recipes!
More Delicious Carrot Cakes to Try!
If you love carrot cakes, we have even more carrot cake recipes for you to try ! Our Maple Carrot Cake is perfect for fall celebrations.
It is just like today's recipe, but with maple extract, maple glaze, and maple cream cheese frosting.
We also have a Carrot Bundt Cake topped with cream cheese frosting and a delicious Carrot Cheesecake Cake (which has a layer of cheesecake as the middle layer)!
If you love the convenience of working with box mixes, we have a great Carrot Cake Doctored Cake Mix Recipe as well (pictured below) which we've also used for delicious Carrot Cupcakes!
We have hundreds more delicious cake recipes and free cake decorating video tutorials in our Recipes & Tutorials Section. We have so many cake ideas to share with you!
Enjoy the Recipe!
Thanks so much for stopping by. We hope that you love this carrot cake recipe! If you give it a try, please leave a comment and photo below!
Carrot Cake from Scratch
This scratch Carrot Cake is my FAVORITE cake, and one of our most popular recipes on the site! Carrot cake with crushed pineapple, pecans, coconut, and spices!
For the Carrot Cake
- 2 ½ cups (325g.) all purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups ( 400g ) sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil (218g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups (180g) grated (small pieces) carrots (do not use packaged pre-shredded carrots, they are too dry)
- ¾ cup (92 g) chopped pecans
- ¾ cup (50g) coconut (optional)( we used Baker's Angel Flake sweetened coconut)
- 1 (8oz.) can crushed pineapple, put in a strainer and let the liquid drain off….I press with a fork to remove not all, but a bit more liquid.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting (this recipe can be easily doubled if you plan to do a lot of piping)
- 2 sticks ,1 cup, (226g) unsalted butter, slightly softened
- 2 (8oz) packages cream cheese (total weight 452g) I use full fat cream cheese. Using reduced fat or the spreadable cream cheese will cause the frosting to be too soft. Soften very slightly.
- 2 teaspoons (8 g) vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt (2g) optional - it will cut the sweetness, popcorn salt is best to use because it is fine and dissolves faster
- 6 to 6 ½ cups (690g to 747g) powdered sugar
For the Carrot Cake
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Line the bottoms of 3 (8 inch) or 2 (9 inch) round pans with wax or parchment paper, grease with shortening and flour the paper and pans for easy release when turning out……carrot cake has a tendency to stick so be sure to use the paper.
- Whisk together for 30 seconds the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set Aside.
- In the bowl of your mixer, add 2 cups sugar , 4 eggs, 1 cup oil and 1 tsp. vanilla. Mix 2 to 3 minutes at medium speed until well blended and light colored.
- With a spoon stir in the flour until moistened, then add the carrots, pecans crushed pineapple and coconut.
- Bake 35 minutes at 350 degrees or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Refrain from opening the oven door or touching the center of the cake to test for doneness until very near the end of baking time or it could cause the cake to sink slightly in the center.
- Makes 6 ½ cups batter
- Cool cake layers in pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack then turn out. Cool completely before frosting.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- Cut the butter into slices and add to the bowl of your mixer. Beat on low to medium speed until the butter is softened and smooth.
- Cut the cold cream cheese into pieces and add to the butter, beating at low to medium speed until incorporated. If you are using a hand mixer you may need to soften the cream cheese a bit more.
- Add the vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar beating on low speed until blended. Cover the bowl with a towel to keep down the cloud of powdered sugar.
- Increase mixing speed and beat until fluffy. Don't over beat or it will become too soft. If it becomes too soft, just refrigerate a short while to firm it up a bit.
- This frosting will pipe best if used while still chilled. You can make it in advance, refrigerate and when ready to use let it soften slightly (do not microwave) and remix.
- Will frost a 3 layer 8 inch cake
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Hi Dina, I'm sorry but I have never had a question about problems with baking below sea level. It is possible that your baking soda or baking powder is out of date or close to being out of date. Check and let me know.
If I make cupcakes from this recipe, how long would they bake?
Hi Alicia, Bake standard size cupcakes at 350 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes. Check with a toothpick in the center, it should come out clean or with just a few crumbs attached.
Hi. I would like to try this carrot cake recipe. Can I sub the pineapples for applesauce or buttermilk? My preference would be buttermilk. Would I change the baking powder and/or baking soda? Thank you!
Hi Sam, I have not tried either of those but I think they would add too much liquid to the recipe. The pineapple in the recipe has most of the liquid squeezed out. You could use 1 1/2 cups grated apple. A golden delicious apple would be a good choice, peel the apple.
Hi! Can I half this recipe?
Hi Sara, Yes, you can. I hope you enjoy the cake.
Hi! Can we make this recipe in a bundt cake pan..??
Hi Nancy, I have not made this in a bundt pan but I think it would be fine to do so. The recipe makes approximately 6 1/2 cups batter so I think you would need to use a 12 cup bundt pan. There should be at least a 1 1/2 inch space above the batter when in the pan.
Thank you very much and very anxious to try it. Looks absolutely delicious.. :-)
My Tropical Carrot Cake Recipe is quite similar to this one. Mine calls for 3 eggs, buttermilk & oil, & a 16 oz. drained can of crushed pineapple. The big difference is that mine has a hot Buttermilk Caramel Glaze poured over it just out of the oven. The glaze takes it over the top, making it a Blue Ribbon Carrot Cake. I found the recipe in a Garnishing Book when I was the pastry Chef at Ramada Inn, and I couldn't make it fast enough we sold so much of it. I recently made it as a Groom's Cake, but instead of a large cake for the groom to cut, I baked individual servings in canning jars. I've made this cake for up to 600 guests at the St. Barbara's Day Ball at our local army base, and it's the most popular wedding cake tier we make, as well as the most often ordered cake by private clients. We also make them for a couple of local restaurants and 1 resort (here in the Thousand Islands). When it's a wedding cake tier, we frost and decorate it w/ either a Pina Colada, Rum, or Orange Rum Mock Whip Frosting, to coordinate w/ the other cake tiers (all our wedding cakes are ordered w/ Mock Whip Frostings). Otherwise, we frost and decorate them w/ Rose's Cream Cheese Frostings, that has only 1/3 the amount of 10X Sugar as your recipe, & is stabilized w/ Agar-Agar Powder for hot weather.
Thank you so much for your recipe Melissa. I made half recipe. I made absolutely same recipe. I received the best compliments ever. The taste was really out of world. Here Iam attaching my cakes.
To make it more healthy I want to skip the sugar. Can I make this sugar free and what can I replace for sugar ?