Classic Carrot Cake

4.78 from 18 votes
23 Comments

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This Classic Carrot Cake recipe uses crushed pineapple to give the cake a rich, moist texture. Smooth cream cheese frosting gives it just the right balance of sweetness. A true classic recipe passed down in our family for years. If you’re looking for the perfect carrot cake, look no further! 

A slice of classic carrot cake on a white plate with another piece in the background.

Classic Carrot Cake

This Classic Carrot Cake recipe comes directly from our Mom’s cookbook. This recipe is part of my childhood, part of our family’s history. The hearty, moist cake is chock full of delicious coconut, pineapple, shredded carrots, nuts and cinnamon. The cream cheese frosting is light, fluffy, perfection. Our annual Easter meal wouldn’t be complete without a slice of this dreamy cake, and it’s actually much easier to make that it seems. You can turn it into a luscious layered cake, cupcakes or bake in a bundt pan. Any way you bake it, you will love it! This is the classic carrot cake recipe you’ve been searching for!

Tips for Perfect Cream Cheese Frosting

Perhaps my very favorite part of this cake is the fluffy, rich cream cheese frosting on top. Follow the recipe HERE, or read on for some tips to making the very best frosting:

  1. Make sure your cream cheese and butter is at room temperature.
  2. Whip the cream cheese and butter together for a few minutes to make it light and fluffy before adding any other ingredients.
  3. Slowly add powdered sugar, a little at a time, mixing constantly.
  4. If it’s too thick, add about a teaspoon of milk at a time until it reaches your desired consistency.
  5. I like to add the vanilla at the end, then beat on high for about three to five minutes or until it’s nice and fluffy.
  6. Spread on top of the cooled cake, and add a little bit of the crumble mixture on top if you like.

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A slice of classic carrot cake on a white plate with another piece in the background.

Classic Carrot Cake

4.78 from 18 votes
This Classic Carrot Cake is perfectly moist and delicious, with fluffy cream cheese frosting, a true classic recipe passed down in our family for years. If you're looking for the perfect carrot cake, look no further! 
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 18

Equipment

  • 9×13 inch pan
  • Hand Mixer

Ingredients

Cream Cheese Frosting:

Instructions

  • Beat eggs well; then add the next seven ingredients and beat well until smooth.
  • Stir in the coconut, nuts, pineapple, and carrots with a mixing spoon.
  • Pour into a greased 9″ x 13″ cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.
  • When cake is slightly warm, spread with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • In a stand mixer (a hand mixer works fine) using the whisk attachment, combine cream cheese and butter and whip on medium speed until well combined.
  • Slowly add powdered sugar a little at a time until you reach desired consistency. Add vanilla.
  • If it seems too thick and not creamy enough to spread, add a little bit of milk (about ½ tsp at a time) until desired consistency is reached.

Video

Nutrition Information

Calories: 403kcalCarbohydrates: 69gProtein: 5gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 348mgPotassium: 183mgFiber: 2gSugar: 55gVitamin A: 2600IUVitamin C: 3.8mgCalcium: 32mgIron: 1.4mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her beautiful three girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

More about Erica Walker

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    We had an Easter celebration this weekend and I was in charge of the cake! This turned out perfect!!

  2. 5 stars
    This cake was amazing; moist and perfect, the coconut and pineapple added delicious flavor, this was the perfect addition to brunch!!

    1. When you use fruits and vegetables, like the carrots and pineapple in this recipe, they bring a lot of moisture to the dough. Hope this helps!

  3. 5 stars
    Added extra cinnamon, cardamon and raisins. In addition to the pecans, coconut and carrots 🙂 I cut back the sugar to 1.5C as the coconut was sweetened. Made 2 9″ rounds. Very dense, rich and keeps beautifully!

  4. 5 stars
    I love passed down family recipes. They are always my go-to because they are spot on. Thanks for sharing.

    1. We use the packaged coconut in this recipe. The will keep for a week in the refrigerator. Make sure it is kept airtight so it doesn’t dry out. Cover with plastic wrap or foil. Thanks for asking!

    1. A “cup” in the U.S. is 8 fl. oz. we typically don’t do measurements by weight here. Hope this helps!

  5. 5 stars
    Searching for carrot cake with crushed pineapple plus cream cheese topping & yours sounds super delish. Plan on baking it next weekend.
    Your site will go on “Favs”
    Thank you,
    Carmen aka keenpetite

    1. Yes, the crushed pineapple gives so much flavor and moisture to the cake and you can’t go wrong with cream cheese frosting. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

  6. 5 stars
    Looks like your recipe is the same as my mom’s. LOVE carrot cake. It is often requested. I am one of the only ones that prefers it with walnuts. Most of the family likes it without nuts. Their nuts!

  7. 5 stars
    Hi Erica, this is exactly what i was looking for. However, was wondering if the coconut flavor stands out. Im not a fan of it. And, have you every made this into cupcakes?

    1. I haven’t made it into cupcakes before, sorry– I am sure they would still be great! For the coconut– the coconut flavor is very very subtle (unless you use coconut oil instead of vegetable oil)– I don’t think you will have an issue with it. Hope this helps! -Erica