If you are looking for the perfect Springtime dessert, I’ve got you covered. This is the best ever carrot cake recipe! Loaded with carrot, coconut, pineapple, and pecans makes this cake moist and fluffy. The hint of citrus in the cream cheese frosting is the icing on the cake.
The combination of crushed pineapple and shredded carrots make this cake chock full of flavor while providing a moist cake that is not dense at all. The pecans and coconut flakes round out the flavor profile. Cinnamon, ground ginger, and a pinch of allspice bring some spice to the recipe and plays up all the other flavors.
Tips For Making This Best Ever Carrot Cake From Scratch
Don’t be intimidated to make a cake from ingredients rather than a mix. Just organize the ingredients and add them in the order instructed in the recipe.
- Set up your mise en place. Peel and grate the carrots, drain the crushed pineapple, chop the pecans, and organize the other ingredients.
- Blend the eggs, oil, and sugar until they turn light and fluffy. This incorporates air into the batter.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl. This step helps you avoid overmixing which makes the cake texture tough.
- Prep the cake pans by greasing the sides and lining the bottom with parchment circles. This will let you remove the cake rounds easily and cleanly.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. You want the oven to the proper temperature so the cake bakes gently.
- Stir the ingredients together until just incorporated.
- Divide the cake batter between 2 round cake pans. Fill the pans about 2/3 full so the batter is evenly divided between both pans.
- Bake until the cake is golden brown, the center springs back when you press it or a tester comes back clean when poked in the center. Look for these indicators to know when the cake is done.
- Let the cake cool in the pans for 5-10 minutes, then gently remove it to a cooling rack and remove the parchment. Let the cake finish cooling to set up for at least 40 minutes. You don’t want the frosting to melt on a cake that is still warm.
Cream Cheese Frosting
This is my go to frosting recipe. I’ve stopped even making plain buttercream frosting since I like the flavor and versatility of this recipe so much. You can even change it to a chocolate cream cheese frosting by adding cocoa powder before the powdered sugar.
For the Best Ever Carrot Cake, I use a mixture of vanilla, butter extract, and a drop of lemon extract. The exact amounts are in the recipe below.Print
This is the best ever carrot cake recipe! Loaded with carrot, coconut, pineapple and pecans makes this cake moist and fluffy. The hint of citrus in the cream cheese frosting is the icing on the cake.
- 2 cups peeled and grated carrots (about 4–5 carrots)
- 1/2 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained
- 2/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut
- 3/4 cup pecans, chopped into pieces
- 1–1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs, slightly beaten
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1–1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- Pinch of ground allspice
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1/2 cup butter, softened (set at room temperature for 10 minutes to soften)
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened (set at room temperature for 10 minutes to soften)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon butter extract
- 1–2 drops of lemon extract
- 4 cups powdered confectioners sugar
- 1–2 tablespoons heavy cream, (the amount depends on the weather)
- Pecan pieces to press into the sides of the frosting (about 1/2 – 3/4 cup)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Grease and line 2 round cake pans, set aside
- Grate and chop carrots, set aside
- Drain the crushed pineapple and set aside
- Chop the pecan pieces into small to medium pieces, and set aside
- In a large bowl, stir the eggs until just blended
- Using a mixture, blend the eggs, oil and sugar until they turn light and fluffy. (This incorporates air into the batter.)
- In second medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice until combined.
- Mix in flour mixture to the egg mixture and stir until just incorporated.
- Add the grated carrots, crushed pineapple, coconut flakes and stir to combine.
- Divide the cake batter evenly between the 2 prepared round pans.
- Bake in the preheated 350°F over 45-50 minutes. (The cake is done when the it is golden brown, the center springs back when you press it or a tester comes back clean when poked in the center.) Look for these indicators to know when the cake is done.
- Remove the cake pans from the oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Arrange a cooling rack and turn out the slightly cooled cake rounds onto the rack.
- Remove the parchment paper and flip the rounds over so the dome top is up. Let the cakes cool throughly for at least 40 minutes.
- Frost the layers and sides when cake rounds are completely cool.
- To make the frosting, soften the butter and cream cheese.
- In a medium bowl with an electric mixer combine cream cheese and butter mix to incorporate well.
- Add the vanilla, butter extract and 1-2 drops lemon extract and mix to incorporate.
- Add the powder sugar, and mix until very creamy.
- Dribble in heavy cream until the cream cheese frosting is the proper consistency to be able to spread smoothly put still hold its shape.
- When the cake rounds are completely cool. Frost one round and stack the second round on top.
- Frost the top and sides of the cake
- Swirl the frosting decorativly around the top and on the sides. Press the pecan pieces into the frosting while it is freshly frosted.
Do not use pre-grated carrots as they are pretty dry. I use a food processor or box grater to grate the carrots and then run a knife through the grated carrots to cut the pieces into smaller pieces.
You can freeze the other half of the crushed pineapple to use in smoothies or other recipes.
Store any leftover cake under a cake stand lid or large bowl inverted over the cake.
Keywords: cake, cream cheese frosting