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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Hiii! Curious as to if I could make this without nuts? My best friends birthday is tomorrow & he has a nut allergy. Should I make any other changes if I do leave the nuts + coconut out?
I just want to double check that this recipe calls for 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder. There is a strange graphic that is showing up on my monitor in front of the amount, and I just want to be sure I am seeing it correctly. I have attached a picture of what I am seeing. Thank you.
Hi Rachel- yes, that is correct! Not sure why you are seeing that- strange! Hope that you enjoy the recipe- xo
Thank you. I look forward to making it.
I received the same graphic in front of the baking powder and the eggs. I almost missed the “1” measurement before the baking powder.
Thanks for letting us know, I've passed along to the recipe card designer to have a look-- it seems to be effecting some but not others- for me, it is displaying normally. Strange!
Thisis one of my favorite cake recipes and to be able to learn so many recipes of the same cake makes me so happy definitely will try to make each kind but so far love this recipe best of the combination of nuts and coconut is a boom in your mouth thank you so much be blessed
Can I make this into cupcakes? And if so, how many will it make?
Hi Jackie, I'm sorry- we haven't tested this recipe for cupcakes before. We've only made cupcakes from our doctored cake mix version. My guess would be that it would work, and that they have little to no dome- we just haven't tried it.
Hi! I LOVE this recipe and make it as my husband’s birthday cake each year. The cream cheese icing is THE BEST recipe I have ever found.
I want to make it for Easter this year, only I’m attempting low carb. Is there a ratio for almond or coconut flour to all purpose? Do I need more eggs? I keep trying to look it up and I don’t get many clear cut answers- so I thought I would go directly to the source!
Thank you for such a delicious recipe!
Hi Kara, I'm glad to hear that you all love the recipe! I wish that I had an answer for you, I just haven't worked enough with almond or coconut flour to give advice on this. If you do some experimenting, let us know how it turns out for you! xo
could this be done in a 9x13?
Hi Danielle! I think it would be fine, we just haven't tried it as a sheet cake.
I just made this recipe into cupcakes. I baked at 350° for 17 minutes and they turned out perfect. I overflowed them in the liners and got 22 cupcakes. I’m sure if you don’t fill them as much as I did you could get 24.
This is the best carrot cake recipe I have ever had. I am allergic to nuts, so I omitted them. But otherwise, it’s perfect.
Hi Shannon! Thanks so much for your feedback. Great to know about the cupcakes-- So glad that you love the recipe! xo
Just made this cake for Easter and it was delicious!! The cake was super moist and the frosting was great. My only tweak was that I used 1 cup brown sugar and I cup white sugar (instead of all white sugar.) I received a lot of compliments on the cake and a few people said it was the best carrot cake they’ve ever had, with which I agree. This will now be my go to recipe. Thanks!!
Hi Christina! Thanks so much for your feedback, so glad that you enjoyed the recipe, and the addition of brown sugar sounds great too!
WOW WOW WOW!! TO-LIVE-FOR Carrot Cake!! So much so that you should change the name of the recipe to “To Live For Carrot Cake”
It was easy, fast and unbelievably moist and delish. This will forever be my go-to. Thank you for sharing :)
Yay! Thanks so much for your review, Candice. We are so glad that you loved the recipe!
I made this cake for our extended families for Easter. It was so good. Thank you for a delicious recipe. That is the best cream cheese frosting I’ve ever had. Will definitely keep this recipe and make again.
Thank you Gina! So happy to hear that you all enjoyed the recipe! ;0)
Curious if I can make this in a 9x13 pan? What degree and for how long would you cook it?
Hi Christina, This recipe makes only 6 1/2 cups of batter, 7 cups is usually the minimum amount of batter you need for a 9x13. You may not be happy with the height of the cake with only 6 1/2 cups batter
Great cake. succes guaranteed. everyone loves it.
Actually I live in the tropics, our pineapple is extremely sweet, so I add only 300 grams of sugar. I also add less sugar in the cream cheese icing. Still comes out great!
Hi Dolly, Thanks so much for you nice comments on the recipe! Also, interesting how you adjusted the recipe with your sweeter pineapples, I'm happy you enjoyed the cake.
I'm making right now it smells lovely it's been 35 min not quite done yet