The best Carrot Cake recipe you you will ever make – or so says everyone who has tasted it!
This homemade Carrot Cake is fluffy, super moist without being oily, spiced perfectly, and the silky Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting is out of this world! Bring these layers of deliciousness to a party and everyone will be begging you for the recipe!
Its Carrot Cake time! Or almost. Or can we just pretend its Spring already so you can make this fluffy Carrot Cake every single week until Easter? Because you are going to WANT to make this easy Carrot Cake recipe every single week until Easter – and every week after.
This moist Carrot Cake Recipe is not only easy to make but irresistibly delicious and full of flavor. Once you make this carrot cake from scratch, you’ll be bursting at the seams with pride because everyone will be begging you for the recipe.
I based this layered Carrot Cake recipe after my wildly popular Cream Cheese Stuffed Carrot Cake with Orange Glaze but increased the recipe to make a triple layer cake so we not only enjoy three layers of moist, spice infused brown sugar carrot cake, but multiple layers of the heavenly, lightly sweetened Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting.
The homemade Carrot Cake itself is infused with brown sugar, cinnamon, hints of allspice and nutmeg, vanilla extract, vanilla yogurt, crushed pineapple, finely ground pecans and of course, carrots! The harmonious medley of ingredients are evenly dispersed throughout the cake and are not overly discernible yet each ingredient adds to the overall perfection, flavor and moistness. So if you have never added crushed pineapple to your carrot cake or are hesitant about adding carrots to cake – don’t shy away, they make all the difference in creating an obsessive worthy cake.
LOOKING FOR MORE EASTER CAKE RECIPES?
- Coconut Cake (Triple Coconut!)
- Lemon Poke Cake
- Strawberry Cream Cheese Pound Cake
- Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pound Cake
- Blueberry Muffin Cake
- Strawberry Shortcakes
HOW DO I MAKE HOMEMADE CARROT CAKE?
Carrot Cake is wonderfully delicious and pretty straightforward but I’ve included some tips and tricks to make your life easier and to ensure you end up with the Best Carrot Cake of your life.
Prevent Sticking: To prevent any sticking issues, be sure to generously grease and flour your pans. By using parchment paper in the bottom of our pans we eliminate much of that issue. I personally am a big fan of cooking spray WITH flour and use this instead of buttering and flouring my pans and I’ve never had a problem with cakes sticking.
Drain Pineapple: Add crushed pineapple to a fine mesh sieve over a bowl and push down on pineapple with a spoon to eliminate excess moisture. This ensures that you and I both have roughly the same moisture content in our cakes because otherwise pineapple moisture can vary from can to can.
Mix dry ingredients separately. In a large bowl, mix all of the Dry Ingredients together which consist of flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, pecans, baking soda, baking powder and our spices. If you’ve ever wondered why we mix the Dry Ingredients separately from the wet ingredients, it’s to ensure the baking soda/powder/salt get evenly distributed throughout the flour.
Spoon and level flour. When measuring flour, it’s best to use the spoon and level method. This simply means spooning the flour into the measuring cup rather than scooping the measuring cup directly into the flour container. When you directly scoop from the flour container, the flour can become packed/too much flour which is not what we want.
Season your Carrot Cake: One of the elements that set’s this Carrot Cake apart is the glorious spices. It’s seasoned with ground cinnamon, allspice and a hint of nutmeg which add to the overall flavor without being overpowering.
Don’t Overmix! We stir the Wet Ingredients into Dry Ingredients just until moistened, then stir in 2 1/2 cups grated carrots until evenly combined, being careful not to overmix. When you overmix cake batter, the gluten in the flour can form elastic gluten strands which results in a more dense, tough texture as opposed to a light, fluffy cake.
Get rid of air bubbles. Next, we divide our batter between prepared pans and drop on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles.
Don’t open oven door. You will know your cakes are done when they have started to pull away from the sides of the pans and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Don’t be tempted to open the door while baking as this can cause your cakes to fall in the center.
How to Grate Carrots for Carrot Cake
This might seem like a silly question, but it is really important! After all, it’s the carrots that put the carrot in CARROT CAKE. This recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups or 9.5 oz. of peeled and finely grated carrots.
- Chop the tops off the carrots and peel.
- Select the finest holes on a cheese grater (aside from the zester) and shred the carrots carefully.
- Alternatively, if you have a shredding blade for your food processor then you can grate the carrots this way -which is super fast and convenient.
What Makes this the best Carrot Cake Recipe?
To turn this airy, moist, classic carrot cake into the Best Ever Carrot cake, it has to have the Best Ever Cream Cheese Frosting. By simply adding vanilla yogurt and pineapple preserves to our luscious Cream Cheese Frosting, we’ve done just that. The vanilla yogurt adds a depth of silkiness and flavor while the pineapple preserves add a light, bright, pineapple tang all sweetened by powdered sugar.
Many grocery stores carry pineapple preserves, but sometimes you have to look closely. I almost walked out of my grocery store but finally spotted it on the very top shelf. So if you aren’t sure if your grocery store carries pineapple preserves, definitely ask. I have had success at Vons. And if that fails, there is always Amazon. Another life’s pleasure that makes me very very happy.
And one l last tip – DON’T microwave butter or cream cheese for frosting! The frosting is pretty straight forward but one word of caution – use room temperature – NEVER MICROWAVED butter and cream cheese! I used to wonder why my frostings were runny and then I read that you should never microwave butter or cream cheese for frosting – and it has made all the difference!
If your frosting is runny for whatever reason, then you can stick it in the refrigerator to thicken up. You can also mix in additional powdered sugar (and a dash of salt to balance it) but I would be very cautious about doing this as this can make the frosting overly sweet.
CAN YOU FREEZE CARROT CAKE?
Yes! Don’t you love a dessert you can make beforehand and freeze and simply pull it out a few hours before it’s time to dig in? This method makes dessert time stress free for everyone – especially during the holidays.
To freeze your finished Carrot Cake:
- If you are planning on freezing, then prep/frost your cake on a freezer safe plate/platter.
- Place frosted Carrot Cake in the freezer until it is firm to the touch.
- Once firm, wrap tightly in plastic wrap then repeat with a second layer of plastic wrap. Next wrap tightly in 1-2 layers of foil until completely sealed.
- If you are freezing individual slices, then place these plastic/foil wrapped slices in a freezer bag. If you are freezing your entire Carrot Cake for an extended period of time, then secure the aluminum foil with freezer tape to prevent freezer burn.
- You can store your Carrot Cake for up to 4 months. You can also wrap and freeze unfrosted layers of Carrot Cake using the same method and frost when you need them.
- To thaw your finished Carrot Cake, remove cake from the freezer and carefully remove the plastic and foil. Allow to thaw for about four hours before serving.
I am sooo excited for you to make this fluffy, moist Carrot Cake with Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting! Make it for Easter, make it for Spring celebrations – baby showers, Mother’s Day, birthdays, etc., or just make it. and eat it. and smile.
Want to try this Layered Carrot Cake with Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting?
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