This homemade carrot pineapple cake with cream cheese frosting is an easy, one-bowl dessert that’s perfect for any occasion!
Who else loves carrot cake? 🙋🏻
Carrot pineapple cake (with cream cheese frosting!) is one of those desserts that I always forget I love until I take a bite of someone else’s (because I ordered the chocolate cake) and think, Kelsie, you NEED to make one of these soon!
And finally I did. And it’s a super easy version too! One bowl, simple ingredients, and a few minutes later you have a gorgeous cake going into the oven.
Why you’ll love this carrot pineapple cake
- The ingredients are pantry staples you probably have on hand right now
- It’s easy enough that even a new baker can make it successfully
- It only requires a few minutes of active time!
How to make carrot pineapple cake
Combine granulated sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and stir with a rubber spatula until well combined. Stir in cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Fold in all-purpose flour just until it’s incorporated—over-mixing can result in a tough cake.
Mix in the carrot and pineapple to combine; again, don’t over-mix. Then stir walnuts or raisins or a combination of the two (or nothing if that’s your preference!).
Baker’s tip: Unless a recipe specifically calls for it, you never want to mix cake batter (or cookie dough, etc.) too much after you’ve added flour. My rule of thumb is to mix just until I can’t see streaks of white in the batter; that way the cake or cookies will be soft and light. (Mixing flour with liquids and fats causes gluten to develop, which is great for bread dough but not something you want in a cake.)
Divide the batter between parchment-lined 8-inch cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the pans comes out clean. Cool your cake layers completely before frosting the cake! Otherwise your frosting will melt and nobody wants that.
How to make cream cheese frosting
Start with room temperature butter and cream cheese. When they’re at room temp, they combine much more easily. Add vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar, then beat to combine. If you find your frosting is too thick, add a little milk; if it’s too thin add more powdered sugar.
Set one cooled cake layer on a cake stand or cardboard cake circle, spread frosting on top, then top with the second layer. Frost the cake with the remaining frosting and decorate as desired.
I like to press chopped walnuts into the sides of carrot cake to hide any imperfections in the frosting; carrot cake has such a nubbly texture that it’s hard to get the frosting smooth. But if you don’t like nuts in your desserts don’t worry about it!
I tried to find the turntable you see in the pics above so I could link to it for you—it makes frosting cakes a breeze—but it’s super old and I can’t find it on Amazon. I have this one too and love it. (I just never use it in pics because it’s stained from many, many colorful cakes.)
Now I have to know: do you like raisins and/or walnuts in your carrot cake? I love both, but was out of raisins or I’d have used them too. An informal poll I took on IG tells me I’m in the minority though :). Lemme know in the comments!
Then bake yourself a pineapple carrot cake. It might not be chocolate but it’s DELICIOUS!
Did you make this carrot pineapple cake? That’s great! Let me know what you think with a comment and a rating below. Be sure to post a pic on IG too–tag @theitsybitsykitchen so I can see (and share!) your creations!
This carrot pineapple cake is easy to make, requiring just one bowl, and it's a hit with everyone who tries it!
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups grated carrot from about 9 to 10 ounces of carrot
- 1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
- 1 cup chopped walnuts OR raisins*
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 6 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 1/2 to 5 cups powdered sugar
- 2 to 4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
- chopped walnuts or pecans for garnish if desired
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pans with parchment, spray the parchment with cooking spray, and set pans aside.
- Combine the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and stir with a rubber spatula until well combined. Stir in the cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to combine.
Fold in the flour until just incorporated, then mix in the carrot and pineapple to combine. Fold in the walnuts or raisins. Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans and bake 44 to 54 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of the pans comes out clean.
- Cool in the pans for 20 minutes, then run a knife around the outside of each layer. Carefully invert the cake layers onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
- Beat the butter and cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl until smooth. Add the vanilla, salt, 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar, and 2 tablespoons of milk.
- Beat on low to combine, then turn mixer to medium and beat until frosting is very smooth. Add additional milk or powdered sugar if necessary to achieve a spreadable consistency.
- Set one cake layer on a cake stand or cardboard cake circle and top with about 3/4 cup of frosting. Top with the second cake layer and frost with remaining frosting.
- If desired, press chopped nuts into the sides of the cake. Serve.
- *You can use a combination of both, just don’t exceed 1 cup of mix-ins.
- Uneaten cake can be stored in the fridge (covered) for up to 2 days or in the freezer, tightly wrapped, for up to 3 months.