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Carrot Pineapple Cake is easy to make from scratch without fancy equipment and tastes even better than traditional carrot cake. This moist carrot cake recipe is perfectly spiced, loaded with fresh carrots and sweet pineapple and layered with a flavorful cream cheese frosting!

A slice of carrot pineapple cake garnished with walnuts lying on its side on a white plate stacked on a teal plate with a fork.

This moist Carrot Cake with Pineapple and Cream Cheese Frosting is one of the best carrot cakes you will ever try! It is supremely moist and tastes super delicious but is actually so easy to make at home with simple ingredients.

What I love about this cake is that you can make it quickly without any fancy equipment – no mixer needed, just a whisk and two bowls! A perfect cake for special occasions like Easter or Thanksgiving that can be made in advance and tastes even better on the next day.

How To Make Carrot Cake Extra Moist

This simple carrot cake is extra moist because of the ingredients and the technique that is used to whip up the batter. It is made with lots of grated carrots, crushed pineapple, brown sugar, and vegetable oil instead of butter which all add moisture and make this cake taste fresh and flavorful for days. Besides the ingredients not overbeating the batter by using a spatula instead of a mixer and baking the cake not too long are also important to get the best results.

A carrot pineapple cake with walnut pieces on a glass serving dish with a plate and a fork in the background.

Tips for making the BEST Carrot Cake

  • Don’t skip prepping the pans! Spray the pans with non-stick spray and line them with parchment paper rounds.
  • Instead of 1/2 cup applesauce, you can also use more vegetable oil (1 cup instead of 1/2 cup). Using applesauce makes the cake a little bit healthier but I would not advise replacing all the oil with it.
  • Instead of walnuts, you can also use pecans. But this recipe also works without nuts!
  • To save time you can also use pre-grated carrots.
  • Let the cakes cool completely before frosting them.
  • The not-too-sweet frosting works perfectly with this sweet lightly spiced carrot layer cake. It lets the flavor of the cake shine and doesn’t overpower it with too much sugar. If you prefer your frosting really sweet you can use another frosting recipe.
  • This cake tastes best on the next day! Store it in covered in the fridge or a cold place and let come to room temperature for a few minutes before serving.

Can you use fresh pineapple in place of canned?

Yes, you can use fresh pineapple in place of the crushed canned pineapple. To make crushed pineapple from chunks (fresh or canned) put them in a blender or food processor with a little bit of liquid from the pineapple and process until is resembles crushed pineapples. You don’t want to add too much liquid, it should not be soupy. Measure the pineapple after you processed it.

The bottom layer of a carrot pineapple cake on a glass serving platter with a dollop of cream cheese frosting.

How do you grate carrots for carrot cake?

You can grate the carrots with a box grater or use a food processor with a grating attachment. The large holes or the large-holed shredding disk work best for grating carrots. Freshly grated carrots contain more moisture but if you are short on time you can also use pre-shredded carrots.

This cake is made with 2 cups of shredded carrots so you’ll need to grate about 3 large peeled carrots.

Looking for more easy cake recipes?

A carrot pineapple cake on a glass serving platter. A cake server is lifting out a slice.

Tools used for making this cake:

Cake Pan: I love these cake pans! They are easy to clean and cakes bake evenly.
Parchment Paper Rounds: These are perfectly sized for 9-inch round cake pans and save time.
Box Grater: This one is super convenient, it comes with an attachable container for catching, measuring and storing grated foods.



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4.50 from 2 votes

Carrot Pineapple Cake

Carrot Pineapple Cake is easy to make from scratch without fancy equipment and tastes even better than traditional carrot cake.  This moist carrot cake recipe is perfectly spiced, loaded with fresh carrots and sweet pineapple and layered with a flavorful cream cheese frosting!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 18


Carrot Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups grated carrot, about 3 large carrots
  • 1 cup crushed canned pineapple, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, plus more for decorating

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 16 oz cream cheese


  • Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray two 9-inch cake pans with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt. Set aside.
  • In another large bowl whisk together eggs, applesauce, oil, vanilla extract, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Mix with a whisk until no brown sugar lumps remain and the mixture is well combined.
  • Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  • Fold in grated carrots, crushed pineapple, and walnuts.
  • Divide batter between the cake pans and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let the cakes cool completely in the pans set on a cooling rack.
  • To make the frosting, beat together softened butter and confectioners' sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add vanilla extract and cream cheese and beat until blended. If the frosting is a little bit too soft, freeze for a few minutes.
  • Frost the cooled cake and decorate with chopped nuts.


Calories: 431kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 300mg | Potassium: 231mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 37g | Vitamin A: 2940IU | Vitamin C: 3.9mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 1.5mg
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About Julia Foerster

Hi, I'm Julia! Born in Germany, I call Canada now my home and love to share my favorite dishes with you! Here you'll find hundreds of recipes, all made from scratch, with lots of tips and detailed step-by-step instructions.

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  1. 5 stars
    This carrot cake was absolutely incredible. Moist, flavorful, the walnuts gave it some crunch and the pineapple kept it moist and added some acidity to cut through the sweet creamy frosting. HIGHLY recommend.

  2. 4 stars
    Made this cake! It was awesome! Wasn’t enough frosting so only frosted the top of the cake. Love it!