The best carrot cake with pineapple recipe that you'll ever make. Deliciously tender, and moist, it's infused with amazing spices. The luscious, tangy cream cheese frosting brings all the flavors together. This ultimate carrot cake with pineapple uses way less sugar than the typical recipes out there!
Why This Recipe Works
Because this is a no-fail and easy recipe, I promise! You'll get a moist cake with hints of amazing spices and just the perfect balance of tanginess and sweetness. The most delicious cake, I'm telling you!
This recipe uses way less sugar than the typical recipes out there. In both the cake and the cream cheese frosting! You'll taste more of the ingredients' essence instead of just a slap of sweetness.
It is the ultimate carrot cake with pineapple, so versatile that you can enjoy them in many ways! Layered cake, bundt cake, loaf cake, or even cupcakes! Read my Cake Size Variations topic below for detailed instructions.
Ingredients For This Cake
Shredded carrot - Don't use pre-shredded carrots because they're dry and thick. Buy fresh carrots and shred them by using a box grater, food processor, or mandolin.
Pineapple - Use canned crushed pineapple, canned sliced pineapple, or fresh pineapple that later you blend in a food processor. They all work great.
Pineapple helps make the cake moist, apart from incorporating its sweetness and a tad of tanginess. If you're not into pineapple, try my carrot cake with apple recipe!
Pecans - Add a different texture to the cake. Walnuts also work great. Swap for raisins for nut-free carrot cake with pineapple.
Desiccated coconut - A delicious subtle surprise! It makes it into carrot cake with pineapple and coconut, but without conquering the flavors. Replace it with ¼ cup of all-purpose flour if not using.
Spices - The combo of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and clove is not overpowering but brings that lovely spiced-cake flavor instead. Omit any to your choice, but this carrot sheet cake with pineapple is amazing with them.
If you want to cut down the number of ingredients, make my lesser-ingredient carrot cake recipe. It's equally delicious!
*See recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
1. Mix dry ingredients. Mix all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and all the spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and clove powder) in a large bowl.
2. Mix wet ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract until everything is well combined.
3. Mix dry and wet ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients, and whisk until combined.
4. Fold in the rest. Add shredded carrot, crushed pineapple, desiccated coconut, and chopped pecans. Fold everything together using a spatula.
5. Bake. Pour batter into a greased 9x13 inch pan and bake at 350ºF for 40-45 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.
6. Cream cheese frosting. Whisk butter until creamy. Add in with cream cheese and whisk until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, and lemon juice and mix well. Spread evenly on the cake. Enjoy your delicious carrot cake with pineapple and cream cheese frosting!
Recipe Expert Tips
- Don't use pre-shredded carrots. They're dry and thick and they don't bake well in this carrot cake recipe.
- Drain the crushed pineapple. The extra liquid will make the cake bake not as well. The pineapple will release more than enough juice during baking time to make the cake moist. My pineapple caramel cake is another example of a moist cake!
- Butter and cream cheese at room temperature. This will make them blend better with each other without lumps.
- Tastes better the next day. It does! This cake really has all the flavors blended in the next day. I like to bake the cake 1 day ahead and frost it the day after.
How To Store And Freeze
Store - Store this delicious cake in an air-tight container, in the fridge for up to 5-6 days.
Freeze - Keep it in an air-tight container, in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw it in the fridge.
I recommend slicing the cake into portions beforehand and fast-freeze them for 1 hour on a pan with parchment paper. Then place them in an air-tight container and into the freezer they go.
Cake Size Variations
You can enjoy this moist carrot cake with pineapple in many different ways! Whatever you do, do not skip the delicious cream cheese frosting!
Half batch recipe - Use a square 8-inch pan, and bake for 30 minutes. Yields 12-15 cupcakes, bake for 20 minutes. Use a 9x5 inch loaf pan, and bake for 50-60 minutes. Grease and flour the pan beforehand.
Layered cake - Cut the baked cake in half and you'll end up with 2 slices of 9x6.5 inch cakes. Layer and frost them.
Layered round cake - Use three 8-inch round cake pans, and bake them for 35-40 minutes. Grease and line the pans with parchment paper beforehand.
Bundt pan - Use a 10-inch bundt pan, and bake for 60-70 minutes. Grease and flour the pan beforehand.
Loaf pan - Use two 9x5 inch loaf pans, and bake for 55-70 minutes. Grease and flour the pans beforehand.
Cupcakes - This recipe yields around 24-30 cupcakes, bake for 20 minutes. Use cupcake liners to remove them easier from the pan. I also have healthy carrot cake muffins as another option!
Absolutely! Make the cake 1 day ahead and frost it the next day. Or bake and frost it as early as 2-3 days before serving.
I love to use a box grater. It's so easy to use and wash later. You can also use a food processor with a grating blade, or a mandolin.
You could but I don't recommend it. It'll be too overpowering and brings the flavors of the cake in another direction.
Related Cake Recipes
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Carrot Cake With Pineapple
- 2 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- ½ teaspoon ginger powder
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg powder
- ½ teaspoon clove powder
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- ⅔ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup oil
- 4 large eggs , room temperature
- ½ cup dessicated coconut
- 2 cup shredded carrot
- 8 oz crushed pineapple 1 cup, drained
- 1 cup chopped pecans
Cream Cheese Frosting
- ½ cup unsalted butter , room temperature
- 12 oz cream cheese , room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar , sifted
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350ºF (175ºC) using top and bottom heat, without the fan. Grease a 9x13-inch pan with some butter.
- Mix all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and all the spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and clove) in a large bowl, using a spoon. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract, oil, and eggs until well combined, using a hand whisk.
- Pour into the dry ingredients bowl and mix well. Add in shredded carrot, desiccated coconut, pineapple, and walnuts. Fold everything together using a spatula.
- Pour batter into the pan and spread evenly. Bake for 40-45 minutes on the lower ⅔ rack until it's fully cooked, or a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Whisk butter until creamy, using a hand-held mixer. Add in cream cheese and whisk until fluffy. Finally, add powdered sugar and lemon juice, and mix everything well. Spread on the cake, slice, and enjoy!
Originally published on Nov 10, 2018. Updated with improved text, recipe, and pictures on Mar 18, 2023.