Pineapple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pineapple Carrot Cake is one of the most decadent, yet easy cakes to prepare. This cake is perfect for birthdays, an Easter brunch or really whenever you'd like!

Pineapple Carrot Cake from weelicious.com

At this time of year we have a lot of birthdays the celebrate. Hubby, Kenya and Chloe’s are sandwiched into a very busy five week span, so I feel like I’m baking or buying cakes non stop. When I was a kid I feel like we had one birthday cake and that was it, but between the kids school parties, a cake at their birthday parties and at dinner to celebrate their birthday night, we’re talking a lot of cakes!

Pineapple Carrot Cake from weelicious.com

Last year Chloe decided she had to have a carrot cake because the horses at her parties love carrots, so she should make something similar. We went round and round about what she wanted in it and how she wanted it to look for her horse theme birthday and we settled on this delicious creation. The biggest mistake I made for her party was making only one cake. I should have made two cakes as it disappeared in seconds. I never feel like adults eat a lot of cake at parties, but the parents were asking for seconds which I sadly couldn’t offer. This year I’m not going to make the same blunder and make two of these beauties.

Pineapple Carrot Cake from weelicious.com

Chloe was very clear that she wanted pineapple in her cake, but no walnuts or raisins instead preferring chopped pecans. You can absolutely add another type of nuts or raisins if you prepare that style of carrot cake. What I love about this recipe is that it’s made in a 13 x 9 inch pan instead of two 9 inch cake pans, so it’s perfect for a birthday party or Easter celebration to quickly slice and feed 15-20 people. Chloe also wanted vanilla icing, but I was able to convince her that Pineapple Carrot Cake is all about the cream cheese frosting, so we compromised and gave it a really rich vanilla flavor. I topped it with dye free candy coated sunflower seeds for a party last spring and with tons of little ponies for her party.

The next time you need a sheet cake (or two) to feed a crowd you can rely on this Pineapple Carrot Cake to satisfy everyone's dessert cravings!

Pineapple Carrot Cake from weelicious.com

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Pineapple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (makes 1 9x13 cake, 18 slices)

Prep Time: 45 mins Cook Time: 40 mins

Ingredients

  • for the cake:
  • 3 cups grated carrot
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapples with juice
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • for the Frosting:
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature or softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature or softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Preparation

Make the cake:

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour a 9x13-inch cake pan.

2. In a large bowl, toss to combine the grated carrots, flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

3. Add the eggs, oil, vanilla extract, crushed pineapple and chopped pecans to the bowl, and stir until combined.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

5. Transfer the cake, still in the pan, to a cooling rack to cool completely and then invert it onto a large cutting board.

Make the frosting:

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a handheld electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the butter and vanilla extract, beating until combined.

2. Add the powdered sugar and beat on low until combined. Once the cake is completely cool, frost and serve.

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Hi, I’m Catherine. Mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. I create simple, healthy recipes the whole family will love.

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35 comments

  • Amanda

    What are the cute green candies? Coated sunflower seeds?

    leave a comment

    • Catherine McCord

      I got the dye free coated sunflower seeds at Traders Joes.

      leave a comment

  • Lindsay

    Can we go back to the part where your daughter wanted carrot cake because horses love carrots? That's the most adorable thing I've seen today. Can't wait to try the cake!

    leave a comment

    • Catherine McCord

      I thought it was really cute too :) She loves horses and carrots! Let me know if you make it!

      leave a comment

  • Janel

    Are the cute orange sprinkles dye-free? Can you tell me where you found them?

    leave a comment

    • Catherine McCord

      Yes! I got the sprinkles on Amazon. They're from India Tree. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007BQNX7S?ie=UTF8&creativeASIN=B007BQNX7S&linkCode=xm2&tag=weelicious-20

      leave a comment

  • Denise

    Is there a way to add the nutritional values onto the recipes?
    It would be most helpful.

    Thanks!

    leave a comment

    • Catherine McCord

      Tell me what you're thinking. The carrots and nuts are a good start. You could add seeds into it as well.

      leave a comment

  • Susan Komoto

    My middle child turns 3 in a few weeks and has been asking for chocolate cupcakes for months but now he wants Pineapple Carrot Cupcakes! :) How much would I adjust the baking time by? Maybe 25 minutes at 350?

    leave a comment

    • Catherine McCord

      I would bake them in liners (easier for the kids to pick up) for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees :)

      leave a comment

  • Lisa Forrest

    Have you tried these as cupcakes??? I would love to have these for our bake sale at the Lenten Fish Fry this weekend!!!

    leave a comment

    • McCord

      I haven't done them as cupcakes, but I would try 350F for 15-20 minutes! The cake is very moist, so definitely use cupcake liners. Let me know if you make them into cupcakes!

      leave a comment

  • Robin

    I made this cake last night and was very disappointed. The cake was weirdly soft and the frosting so thick it ripped apart the cake when spreading.

    leave a comment

    • McCord

      So weird! The cake is very soft and moist! I love it! Your frosting may have been too cold which would make it not very spreadable.

      leave a comment

  • Jen

    I love that you respond to us on here and Instagram!! I just pointed you out on Food Network during your show and told my husband I had \"talked\" to you about your donut recipe a while back. Nothing like a conversation with someone famous! ;) Thanks again and printing the recipe now... ❤️

    leave a comment

  • Dawn Dill

    I am planning to make this cake for my daughter's 1st birthday party this weekend but one of our guests has a nut allergy. Should I substitute anything for the pecans? Do you think it would still turn out well? Thanks!

    leave a comment

    • McCord

      It should be okay if you simply leave them out! :) Let me know how the cake turns out!

      leave a comment

  • Stormy

    Can you just chop up the carrots in a food processor instead of shredding them?

    leave a comment

    • McCord

      That might work! I wonder if you can chop them fine enough, or if they will stay in too big of chunks.

      leave a comment

  • Shana A

    This was delicious....even with my \"blunders\" in the kitchen. I was out of sugar so I used brown sugar. I didn't have veg oil so I used olive and I had only walnuts. Even with these substitutions it was delicious. The only issue I had was that I could've probably split the icing on half. For some reason I had a ton left over. This was a great way to project for mom and son together! Thank you.

    leave a comment

    • McCord

      Great substitutions! So glad you liked it!

      leave a comment

  • Mary

    Is it really 1 and 1/2 cups oil?? I was out of oil so I used butter and I made them as cupcakes. Well the butter leaked through the cupcake liners and left a greasy ring on the bottom of the muffin tin. They were absolutely delicious! My three year old even ate them! I'm just wondering if they would be as good with oil.

    leave a comment

  • Jane

    Hi, do you think I can sub applesauce for the oil? Thanks! :)

    leave a comment

    • McCord

      I haven't tested that in this recipe, but I have had success doing so in other baked goods so I would say it's worth a try! Let me know if you make it and how it turns out!

      leave a comment

  • Debra

    Do you think you could use melted coconut oil instead of vegetable oil? Thanks!!

    leave a comment

    • McCord

      I think that would work just fine!

      leave a comment

  • Alexia

    This was the centerpiece of our Easter meal yesterday and a complete HIT!!. Next time I will try only 1 C oil (instead of 1 1/2C) and 1/2 C applesauce. Only a slight adjustment to make it a little healthier and cut down on the oil. Overall 5 stars. The cake is amazing, and everyone had a second slice:) Thanks -- I will keep making this!!

    leave a comment

    • McCord

      I am beyond thrilled to hear this was a hit and your Easter centerpiece!

      leave a comment

  • Angela Bergeron

    I made this for Easter and it was a big hit! It was so good my mom requested that I make it for mother's day tomorrow. I am changing the frosting a bit to my sister's recipe that uses more butter and cream cheese and less powdered sugar, it was just a touch too sweet for me. This is going to be a staple for a party dessert.

    leave a comment

    • McCord

      So glad to hear this was a hit!

      leave a comment

  • Karen Konczyk

    Looks wonderful! It looks layered , in the picture , but only using one pan

    leave a comment

    • McCord

      I cut the cake and stacked the pieces for the photo :)

      leave a comment

  • Rajiv

    Fabulous cake!!! It is very amazing, Thanks for sharing this very simple recipe. Last sunday we made this cake, All children became very happy after taking it. Thanks alot!!!!!!!!!!
    I saw some such cakes on:

    https://www.cakengifts.in/cake-delivery-in-ghaziabad

    leave a comment

  • Molly

    I made this for my work birthday treat. It has gotten absolute rave reviews. By 10 AM, two thirds of the cake was gone! Many thanks for this great recipe. I will be using it again.

    leave a comment

  • Mary Mills Ritchie

    I'm planning to make this cream cheese icing to go on my son's birthday cake this Saturday. If I make it the night before and go ahead and decorate the cake, does it need to be refrigerated? Or can it be left at room temp? Thanks!

    leave a comment