Carrot Cake with Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting

The Best Carrot Cake Recipe 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! 

easy Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting on a white plate with a golden fork

Carrot Cake

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 along with my Carrot Cake Cookies and Carrot Cake Crepes.

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.

Layered Carrot Cake with Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting - This is the BEST Carrot Cake Recipe, I will never make another recipe again! ! Super moist without being oily, spiced perfectly, and the Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting is incredible! Brought this to a party and everyone was BEGGING me for the recipe!

LOOKING FOR MORE EASTER CAKE RECIPES?

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 ½ 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.

Showing how to make the Best Carrot Cake recipe by mixing the dry ingredients together

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 ½ cups or 9.5 oz. of peeled and finely grated carrots.

  1. Chop the tops off the carrots and peel.
  2. Select the finest holes on a cheese grater (aside from the zester) and shred the carrots carefully.
  3. 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.
Showing how to shred carrots on cheese grater for easy carrot cake recipe

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.

Showing How to Make Carrot Cake by mixing wet ingredients into dry ingredients just until combined

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:

  1. If you are planning on freezing, then prep/frost your cake on a freezer safe plate/platter.
  2. Place frosted Carrot Cake in the freezer until it is firm to the touch.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Looking for more spring dessert recipes?

Want to try this Layered Carrot Cake with Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting?

Pin it to your DESSERT, CAKE or EASTER Board to SAVE for later!

Find me on Pinterest for more great recipes!  I am always pinning :)!

©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com

This is the BEST Carrot Cake Recipe, I will never make another recipe again! ! Super moist without being oily, spiced perfectly, and the Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting is incredible! Brought this to a party and everyone was BEGGING me for the recipe!

Layered Carrot Cake with Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting

This is the BEST Layered Carrot Cake Recipe you will make – or so says everyone who has tasted it!  This Layered Carrot Cake is 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!
Servings: 10 -12
Total Time: 1 hr 15 mins
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins

Save This Recipe To Your Recipe Box

You can now create an account on our site and save your favorite recipes all in one place!

Ingredients

CARROT CAKE

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup pecans finely chopped (I use my food processor)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Wet ingredients

  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup Vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt (regular or lowfat)
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese, room temperature ***
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature ***
  • 1/4 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups Powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup pineapple preserves

Instructions

Carrot Cake

  • Add crushed pineapple to a fine mesh sieve over a bowl and push down on pineapple with a spoon to eliminate excess moisture. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line three 8” round cake pans with parchment paper then spray with nonstick cooking spray WITH FLOUR or grease and flour pans.
  • In a large bowl, mix all of the Dry Ingredients together. In a separate bowl, gently whisk eggs then stir in remaining Wet Ingredients, including drained pineapple, just until combined. Don’t overmix.
  • Stir Wet Ingredients into Dry Ingredients just until moistened, then stir in 2 ½ cups grated carrots until evenly combined, being careful not to overmix.
  • Divide batter equally between prepared pans. Drop the pans a few times on the counter to get rid of air bubbles. Bake at 325 F degrees for 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean and the cakes begin to pull away from sides of pans.
  • Let cakes cool in pans on wire racks for 15 minutes then invert onto wire racks to cool completely.

Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting

  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in vanilla yogurt, and salt. Gradually beat in confectioner’s sugar, until desired consistency is reached. Beat in pineapple preserves. Add additional powdered sugar if desired for thicker frosting.

Assemble

  • Place four strips of parchment paper around the edges of platter or cake stand to create a square with an open space in the middle (to keep cake stand clean). Place a small dollop of frosting in the center of the cake stand to keep the cake from moving and top with one leveled Cake.
  • Top cake with ¾ cup frosting and spread evenly. Top with a Second Cake and spread evenly with ¾ cup frosting. Top with remaining Cake.
  • Create Crumb Layer by scooping 1 cup of frosting into a smaller bowl. Frost cake starting with the top and working down until the cake is evenly frosted, removing any excess frosting. Refrigerate Cake 30 minutes or until crumb layer has set. If remaining frosting gets too soft, refrigerate as well then whip a few times before using.
  • Frost the outside of cake as you desire with the remaining frosting then remove wax paper. Serve cake cold or at room temperature.

Storage

  • Frosted Carrot Cake can be covered with cake dome and refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Notes

*If you can’t locate pineapple preserves, ask your grocery store – sometimes its hiding on the top shelf!  I have found pineapple preserves at Vons.  You can also buy pineapple preserves on Amazon.
**If you have a food processor, use the fine grater attachment to grate your carrots.
***These ingredients MUST be brought to room temperature and NOT microwaved in order for the frosting to be a success and not be runny.  If your frosting is runny then you can refrigerate to thicken up before frosting your cake.
****The Carrot Cake layers can prepared one day in advance. Let the layers cool completely then wrap each layer tightly in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.

HOW TO FREEZE CARROT CAKE

  1. If you are planning on freezing, then prep/frost your cake on a freezer safe plate/platter.
  2. Place frosted Carrot Cake in the freezer until it is firm to the touch.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Did You Make This Recipe?

Tag @CarlsbadCravings and Use #CarlsbadCravngs

Leave a Review, I Always Love Hearing From You!

©Carlsbad Cravings Original

Reader Interactions

leave a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

51 Comments

  1. Kym Morello says

    You are right! That is the best carrot cake recipe! I needed a covid free birthday celebration cake and made cupcakes from your recipe, including the same frosting. I couldn’t find the Pineapple preserves but did find an incredible Pineapple & Passion fruit combo. Not too sweet and just perfect! I had an abundance of violas in yellow & rust growing in the greenhouse. One for the top of each. Simple!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for your glowing review Kym! Your cupcakes sound absolutely stunning!

  2. Therese says

    Hi Jen, I’ve commented on this amazing Carrot Cake in the past!! I’ve been using this recipe for cupcakes now as well. I use the pineapple cream cheese frosting as a filling!! It’s becoming a regular request!! This is the only carrot cake recipe I use 🙂 Thank you for all the work and details you put into a recipe. Your site is my number 1 go to!!

    • Jen says

      Thank you Therese, I’m honored to be your number 1 site! You have definitely inspired me with your carrot cake cupcakes idea – I will definitely post those in the spring. Thank you so much! Happy holidays!

  3. Linda hughes says

    do you have use vegetable oil would canola oil work

    • Jen says

      Canola should work just fine, enjoy!

  4. Christina says

    If the yogurt for the frosting Greek vanilla yogurt or regular vanilla yogurt?

    • Jen says

      Great question, sorry for the confusion. Both are vanilla Greek yogurt- just fixed. Enjoy!

  5. Christi Bordin says

    For me, and a lot of other people, I tend to own a grater that is both easy to clean and cheap. I’ve usually dealt with the standard 4-sided “cowbell” grater, but I have a soft spot for the box set. Sure, it is a bit more hectic to store, but it’s very simple to clean. Plus, you can see where the shreds go without having to worry about spilling over a tower of cheese that lies underneath.

  6. Alicia says

    Delicious carrot cake recipe. I’ve made both the cupcake and cake versions now. I noticed that they taste the best after being refrigerated for at least a few hours (I’m always too impatient to wait so I ate the first slice right after I finished assembling the cake and then my second slice the next day after it was refrigerated.) 🙂

    • Jen says

      Agreed! Always better the next day!

See More Comments

5 Secrets to
30 Minute Meals

Tips, tricks & recipes to get dinner on the table fast!

FREE EMAIL BONUS