This is our favorite recipe for moist carrot cake! It’s loaded with pineapple, coconut, nuts and raisins, and of course topped with the most decadent and creamy cream cheese frosting you’ve ever tried. It’s unbelievably easy and astonishingly delicious.
The Best Carrot Cake
Carrot cake, when it’s done right, is absolutely unbeatable. It can be fluffy, tender, and loaded with awesome additions like pineapple and (of course) carrot. We sweeten it with raisins and coconut, and add some crunch factor thanks to the pecans. A great carrot cake should be moist and delicious, with a great cream cheese frosting that will simply melt in your mouth.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
This homemade carrot cake is absolutely full of flavor, texture, and moisture. We love this cake recipe with all the bells and whistles to make it truly excellent.
- Fresh grated carrots. Grating your own carrots gives this cake the freshest flavor and the best texture. Pre-grated carrots can be too thick and too dry for use in cake. You don’t want any crunchy carrots in your cake. We also don’t want a load of preservatives, often found in pre-packaged foods, in our cake.
- Texture and flavor. We’re adding crushed pineapple, shredded coconut, chopped pecans and plump raisins to take this cake to the next level. It’s on another plane when it comes to depth of flavor and rich, moist texture. Every ingredient adds something special to the recipe, culminating in the best carrot cake you’ve ever tried.
- Little details. Excellence is a game of fine margins. Little things like the addition of cinnamon and vanilla are important to making this a great carrot cake recipe.
- The best ever cream cheese frosting. We’re preparing a truly creamy frosting for this recipe. You’ll never look twice at another frosting again. It complements this amazing carrot cake. It’s fluffy, spreadable (or pipe-able) and simply unbeatable.
What You’ll Need
The key ingredients for this recipe are separated into two categories. These are the cake ingredients and the frosting ingredients.
- Flour: We’re using all purpose flour as the foundation of our cake.
- Baking soda, baking powder and salt
- Oil: We’re using vegetable oil to make a moist, yet light, cake.
- Eggs: They help to bind everything together.
- Vanilla extract: You will need a whole teaspoon of pure vanilla extract to let the flavor truly stand out against the other ingredients.
- Cinnamon powder: You can use fresh or pre-ground cinnamon to complement the flavor of the cake and offer just a hint of spice and aroma.
- Carrots give the cake just the most perfect texture.
- Pineapple: You can use fresh or canned crushed pineapple to add both sweetness and moisture to the cake. Be sure to drain the pineapple well to help prevent the cake from becoming mushy. If you’re using canned pineapple, you want the pineapple canned in water, not syrup.
- Nuts: You want finely chopped pecans which can give the cake a satisfying crunch.
- Coconut: We’re using shredded coconut to add yet another layer of flavor and texture.
- Raisins: Finally, the best complement to carrot cake, plump raisins. They’re scattered throughout the cake, offering bursts of sweetness with every bite.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Cream cheese at room temperature
- Unsalted Butter
- Confectioner's sugar
- Lemon juice
- Vanilla extract adds an extra burst of flavor.
How to Make Carrot Cake
You can bake this cake in either three or two layers. For a triple layer cake, we recommend using three 9-inch round cake pans. Grease the pans or line them with parchment rounds.
- Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In another bowl, combine the carrots, chopped nuts, coconut and raisins.
- In the bowl of your electrical stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or use a hand mixer, beat the sugar and oil together until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat on high speed until the batter is smooth. Stir in vanilla extract.
- Reduce the speed to low, if you are working in a stand mixer, or switch to a rubber spatula if using a hand mixer. Gently stir in the flour mixture. Mix just until combined.
- Fold in the carrot mixture and the crushed pineapple.
- Divide the batter among the baking pans. Bake the cakes for 40-50 minutes or until they pass the “toothpick test”.
- Allow the cake to cool completely before you start frosting.
How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting
- Beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy using a hand mixer.
- Gradually add the confectioners' sugar and continue to beat until smooth. Stir in the lemon juice and vanilla extract.
Once your cake has cooled and the frosting is done, spread the frosting atop the cake.
Keep your frosted carrot cake in the fridge, covered, for up to four days. It will also keep on the counter at room temperature for up to 2 days.
How to Freeze
You can freeze your cake, too. Simply allow it to chill in the fridge beforehand. Give it a few hours, allowing the icing to become firm, and wrap the cake in a double layer of plastic wrap and another layer of aluminum foil. You can store your cake in an airtight, freezer-safe container, in which it will freeze comfortably for 2-3 months.
More Cake Recipes To Try!!!
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