Pineapple Carrot Cake Recipe (video)

pineapple carrot cake slice with cream cheese frosting

This incredibly moist pineapple carrot cake recipe is made with crushed pineapple, pecans and my ‘Cream Cheese Frosting’. Every bite is bursting with incredible flavor from the pineapple and carrots – both of which add moisture and texture. I also like to add a bit of warming spices – cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg. Garnish the cake with a bit of my home-made caramel sauce, chopped pecans and orange chocolate garnishes. Carrot cakes have long been synonymous with Easter and this cake is no exception – it’s perfect for the spring time holiday!

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Ingredients for the Best Carrot Cake!

Carrot cakes are all about moisture, texture and flavors! The secret is actually a combination of ingredients – canola oil, pineapple and of course, carrots.

  • Oil: Using canola oil instead of butter makes for a thinner batter, which makes the cake a bit of dense.
  • Crushed Pineapple: The pineapple adds both flavor, texture and moisture into every bite and the grated carrots add a bit of sweetness and texture. The moist texture of this cake means it can stand for longer in the fridge without going dry. If you’re making this cake for Easter, it should be just to make it a few days ahead of time.
  • Carrots: grated, raw carrots should be used for this recipe.
  • Pecans: diced pecans add great flavor and texture to the cake layers.
  • Buttermilk: using soured milk for the cake layers makes them even more moist and delicious.
  • Cinnamon & Nutmeg: these spices add a nice warm touch to the cake.
  • Cream Cheese: for making the cream cheese frosting.
pineapple pecan carrot cake recipe for Easter

How to Make a Pineapple Carrot Cake

This cake is easy and simple to put together! Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F/177C and line three, 8-inch/20-cm baking pans with parchment paper. If using just 2 pans, increase baking time!
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oil, eggs, sugar and vanilla. Mix together on high speed for 3 to 4 minutes until the mixture is smooth. Add the buttermilk and mix again for a minute. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamom. Sift the dry ingredients into the cake batter, then mix just until the flour is incorporated; do not overmix.
  3. Add the crushed pineapple, pecans and carrots last; stir with a rubber spatula to fold the ingredients into the cake batter. Divide the cake batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven for 28 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake layers to cool on a wire rack before frosting!
  4. Once cake layers have cooled completely, use a long serrated knife to level the tops, if necessary. Prepare a batch of my ‘Cream Cheese Frosting’; linked above. Spread a generous amount of frosting between each layer, then smooth the frosting over the top and sides. Transfer any remaining frosting and garnish the top with dollops, using French star tip #8. Watch my video recipe to see how I did it.
dollop of cream cheese frosting

The Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream cheese frosting is the perfect frosting choice for any carrot cake recipe! The tangy flavor of the cream cheese goes very well with the textured and moist cake. This particular frosting requires just 5 simple ingredients and it’s so delicious! I have a separate video recipe for this frosting with in-depth details for making it. It’s a great frosting recipe for many different cake and cupcake recipes. Watch it here:

Garnishing the Carrot Cake

I finished the top of this cake off with beautiful dollops of frosting, using French star tip #8; check out my product links below for a set of cake decorating tips that I use. I also added chopped pecans and drizzled some of my home-made caramel sauce, which adds great flavor (check out the video recipe)! For the orange chocolate triangles, I added a bit of powder orange food coloring to white chocolate melts and used my technique for making garnishes, like these.

carrot cake recipe with cream cheese frosting

More Recipes!

Enjoyed this pineapple carrot cake recipe? Check out some of my other classical cakes you’re sure to enjoy!

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Pineapple Pecan Carrot Cake Recipe

Supplies/Tools

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pineapple carrot cake slice with cream cheese frosting
5 from 1 vote

Pineapple Carrot Cake Recipe (video)

1 hr 30 mins prep + 30 mins cook
16 servings
The best, moist and delicate carrot cake recipe, with crushed pineapple, pecans and cream cheese frosting!

Ingredients 

For Cake Layers:

  • 3/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp EACH: nutmeg, cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 large carrots, grated
  • 6 oz crushed pineapple, drained

For Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 2 cups unsalted butter, softened at room temp
  • 16 oz cream cheese, softened at room temp
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups confectioner's sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cream cheese frosting extract, very optional!

Instructions

For Pineapple Carrot Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F/177C and line three, 8-inch/20-cm baking pans with parchment paper. If using just 2 pans, increase baking time!
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the oil, eggs, sugar and vanilla. Mix together on high speed for 3 to 4 minutes until the mixture is smooth. Add the buttermilk and mix again for a minute. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamom. Sift the dry ingredients into the cake batter, then mix just until the flour is incorporated; do not overmix.
  • Add the crushed pineapple, pecans and carrots last; stir with a rubber spatula to fold the ingredients into the cake batter. Divide the cake batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven for 28 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake layers to cool on a wire rack before frosting!

Assembling the Cake:

  • Once cake layers have cooled completely, use a long serrated knife to level the tops, if necessary. Prepare a batch of my 'Cream Cheese Frosting'. Spread a generous amount of frosting between each layer, then smooth the frosting over the top and sides. Transfer any remaining frosting and garnish the top with dollops, using French star tip #8. Watch my video recipe to see how I did it.
  • If desired, garnish the top with caramel sauce, chopped pecans and orange chocolate garnishes. Keep cake refrigerated; remove at least 30 minutes prior to serving. Cake will stand in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.

For Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • Soften the cream cheese and butter at room temperature until slightly soft to touch – not melted or too soft! Place the butter into a stand mixer bowl and use a whisk attachment to whisk the butter. Whisk on high speed for about 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl often to get all the butter creamed.
  • Add the softened cream cheese next and whisk again for 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl often, until the mixture is uniform and smooth.
  • Add the vanilla, optional cream cheese extract, salt and confectioner's sugar. Whisk on low speed first until the sugar is incorporated, then turn the speed up and whisk on high for 2 to 3 minutes, until the frosting is light and fluffy.

Nutrition

Calories: 643kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 47g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 134mg | Sodium: 358mg | Potassium: 154mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 2438IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 98mg | Iron: 1mg