This old fashioned carrot cake with pineapple is speckled with raisins and nuts and of loaded with fresh pineapples. Warm spices include, cinnamon, nutmeg and a pinch of ginger and cloves. Butter for flavor and oil for moisture. And lastly, toasted nuts for crunch. The cream cheese frosting, makes it an ultimate rich carrot cake! It's to die for!
All my life, I've had a soft spot for Old fashioned carrot cake with pineapple! So, since Easter is coming up, I thought it would a perfect time to add an easy cake perfect for the holiday. Not a fan of carrot cake or just want something else. You can make this easy Southern Peach Cobbler.
In my version of carrot cake, I used FRESH pineapples but feel free to use canned diced pineapple if you prefer. However, the flavor is better when the pineapples are fresh.
Why this Carrot Cake recipe works.
- The perfect amount of sweetness and warm spices are added to balance out the deep flavors of this cake.
- The fresh pineapples helps with moisture and flavor. Fresh is always best.
- Most recipes use vegetable oil for moisture. But butter and vegetable oil makes it more flavorful and moist.
What is a carrot cake?
Old fashioned carrot cake with pineapple is a very moist cake with freshly grated carrots in it. It's spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and sometimes cloves or ginger. It can also contain pecans, walnuts and of course pineapples.
Most carrot cakes are covered in a cream cheese frosting and decorated with additional nuts.
What does it taste like?
Old fashioned Pineapple carrot cake tastes like heaven! But seriously, it doesn't really taste like carrots too much, but it does have a mild carrot flavor. The spices are not overwhelming. Some people don’t like ginger. However, adding just a bit to the cake, is perfect!
How to makes a carrot cake moist?
- Granulated Sugar: Most people use brown sugar and white sugar when making carrot cake. I prefer to use white sugar.
- Oil and Butter: When making cakes, you need fat to keep the cake tender and soft but also fat for rich flavor. For cakes like pineapple carrot cake, which get it's flavor from different spices, It's best to use a flavorless oil like vegetable oil to make this cake. Also, use good quality butter for the best flavor.
- Fresh Pineapple: Since we are using butter and vegetable oil, we need something else that will help keep the cake nice and moist. I like to use diced fresh pineapple for added moisture and a fresh flavor. You can use drained pineapple tidbits if you prefer.
- Freshly finely grated carrots: Please do not use already shredded carrots from the store, which tend to be very hard and dry. It's best to use freshly grated carrots. If you don't want to manually shred the carrots you can process them in your food processor. Just make sure you select the shredding setting. Check out how I used my food processor to make southern sweet potato pie.
How to make old fashioned Pineapple Carrot Cake?
Old fashioned carrot cake with pineapple is easy, and if you work with the tips I have listed here, you should have a seamless baking experience.
Step 1. Place a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the pecans or walnuts and spread them in a single layer. Cook stirring occasionally for about 5-8 minutes. Once they're brown and fragrant remove the pecans and set to the side to cool.
To bake the nuts instead: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the nuts evenly on a baking pan and bake stirring occasionally for 7-10 minutes or until the nuts are fragrant.
Baking your pecans gives the cake an unmatched nutty flavor making the cake smell better and, of course, taste better. You don't have to roast the nuts, but for flavor purposes, you should do it. It's quick and easy.
While the nuts cool down, it is time to make the cake. You'll need two different mixing bowls—one for the wet ingredients and another for the dry ingredients. See step by step process shots below.
Step 2. In a large bowl, add the sugar and melted butter.
Step 3. Beat the sugar and butter together until combined.
Step 4. Add the eggs, sugar, vanilla and oil.
Step 5. Beat until just combined.
Step 6. Fold in nuts as well as the shredded carrots, pineapples and raisins into the wet mixture.
Step 7. In another bowl add the dry ingredients, flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and spices. Mix well. Set to the side.
Step 8. Gradually pour about a half of the dry mixture into the wet mixture and mix to combine. Then add the rest and mix just until combined.
Step 9. Mix just until combined.
Step 10. Pour into prepared pan. Then prepare the cream cheese frosting. See below for more info on how to make the frosting.
Tips to make prep the cake for Frosting
COUPLE things before you frost the cake. You NEED to frost the cake once it's FULLY cooled. Do not frost the cake while it's warm and please don't frost it while it's room temperature either. But if you must, go ahead but there may be a lot of crumbs and the cake may just collapse. Here's the foolproof way to frost the cake.
Step 1. When the cake has cooled to to the touch, place it in the refrigerator for about an hour. This is because cold cakes are easier to frost.
Step 2. Once you finish frosting the cake, refrigerate again for about 60 minutes or until you're ready to serve it to ensure the cake can hold its shape.
HOW TO MAKE THE FROSTING
The cream cheese frosting is easy to make, but it tastes amazing! To make the cream cheese frosting, you'll need, a good quality block-style cream cheese, confectioner sugar and vanilla extract.
Step 1. In a large bowl, add the softened cream cheese, butter and vanilla and beat with an electric mixer on medium low speed until it's light, smooth and fluffy.
Step 2. Add the powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, beating on low speed until combined then beat on medium high speed until the icing is smooth and creamy.
How to frost a two layer carrot cake.
As I mentioned earlier, the pineapple carrot cake should be chilled in the fridge for about 60 minutes. Place one cake layer on a cake stand or serving plate.
Coat the top of the first layer with about ⅓ cup of frosting. Top with the second layer and add more frosting. Spread the rest of the frosting all over the top and sides.
To decorate the cake, use the palm of your hand to cup the nuts and place at the edge of the cake. Add more nuts to the top of the cake if you like. You can wash leftover carrots and cut them to decorate the top of the cake as shown in the photos. Then refrigerate for 60 minutes. Read notes below in the recipe.
Tips to make Carrot Cake
Lining your cake pans with parchment
To do this, get a large parchment paper and place your pan on it. Trace the outline with a pencil. Cut the circle out. Properly grease the pan and parchment paper. I always use a good baking spray. This will guarantee the cakes would not stick.
Use freshly FINE grated carrots.
Do not use pre-grated carrots from the store they are so dry! You can make use of a grater and grate it according to your taste. Make sure to use the small grates not the big one.
Make it ahead of time.
As strange as it may sound. Carrot cake gets better and better each day. For a better-tasting cake, make it a a head of time. The flavor mingles, it becomes moister and the cream cheese layers sit perfectly inbetween the layers.
Make the cake and cream cheese frosting. Next, cover tightly and refrigerate overnight or up to 3 days. Wrap the COOLED cake tightly in plastic wrap and put it into a freezer bag for up to 2-3 months. Or refrigerate for up to 3 days.
When you're ready to frost the cake, let the frosting sit at room temperature to soften for about 15-20 minutes. With your electric mix, mix the cake on medium speed for about a minute or two. Now you're ready to frost the carrot cake.
Old fashioned carrot cake with pineapple is the easiest and best-tasting cake I’ve ever had. It can serve a lot of purposes, from homemade desserts, birthday cakes to even wedding cakes.
Old Fashioned Carrot Pineapple Cake
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/16 tsp nutmeg optional
- 1/16 tsp ginger optional
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup butter
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup fresh diced pineapple
- ½ cup chopped pecans finely chopped
- 3 cups grated carrots finely grated carrots
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 8 oz cream cheese room temperature
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
- salt small pinch of salt
- 2 cups pecans chopped
- Place a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the nuts and spread them in a single layer. Cook stirring occasionally for about 3-8 minutes. Once they’re brown and fragrant remove the pecans and set to the side to cool. To bake the nuts instead: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the nuts evenly on a baking pan and bake stirring occasionally for 7-10 minutes or until the nuts are fragrant. Set to the side. Toasting step is optional. See notes below before you began toasting the nuts.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F Grease 2 8 inch round cake pans and line with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, sift together 2 cups of flour, the cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Whisk together.
- In another large bowl, beat the granulated sugar, and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed just combined. Add the vegetable oil then the eggs one at a time. Beat until combined. To the batter, add the carrots, pineapple, raisins and toasted pecans. With a rubber spatula, fold into the batter. With the mixer on low setting, gradually add half of the flour to the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, mix until combined.
- Pour half of the cake batter into one of the prepared pans and the remaining into the other pan. Smooth the tops. Tap the pans on the counter a few times to remove air bubbles trapped in the batter. Doing so will help level out the top of the cakes.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a fork inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean with barely any crumbs. Cool on a wire rack for about until cool to the touch.
- Remove the cakes from the pans and wrap them in plastic wrap then place each into a ziploc bag and refrigerate for about an hour. See notes below.
- Make the frosting: In a large bowl, beat together the softened cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract with an electric mixer on medium-low speed until smooth and fluffy.
- Add the powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, beating on low speed until combined then beat on medium high speed until the icing is smooth and creamy.
- Assemble the cake: Place the cake on a cake stand or serving platter. Top with ⅓ of the frosting. Smooth the frosting to edges. Then top with the last layer. Finish frosting the top and the sides. With your hands slightly cupped, gently press the walnuts into the icing on the sides of the cake. Chill for 60 minutes then slice.
Lining your cake pans with parchment
Use freshly FINE grated carrots.
Frosting the cakeMake sure the cake is cooled before you frost it. After the cake has cooled on the counter, refrigerate the cake per the recipe instructions. You can frost the cake after it's been chilled. A chilled cake is easier to frost because it holds it's shape better than a room temperature or a warm one. Also you won't have a lot of cake crumbs during frosting.
- Make it ahead of time.
- Make the cake and cream cheese frosting. Next, cover tightly and refrigerate overnight or up to 3 days. Wrap the COOLED cake tightly in plastic wrap and put it into a freezer bag for up to 2-3 months. Or refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- When you're ready to frost the cake, let the frosting sit at room temperature to soften for about 15-20 minutes. With your electric mix, mix the cake on medium speed for about a minute or two. Now you're ready to frost the carrot cake.
Don’t forget to save this carrot cake recipe to your Pinterest board.
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