Delicious Moist Carrot Cake with Pineapple
This is not your typical carrot cake recipe, it is something so so much better. This cake is rich, moist and wrapped in a delicious cream cheese icing. Even better? This easy from scratch carrot cake doesn’t use any oil or butter. So it’s a tad better for you too!Jump to Recipe
I love carrot cake, it makes me think of spring and my Grandma, probably because most of my family has spring birthdays, and carrot cake was one of her signature recipes.
Today’s carrot cake isn’t her recipe, but one I came up with after testing several variations and comparing countless recipes.
It made be a bold statement but I think this is the best carrot cake recipe I’ve ever tried.
And even if the idea of vegetables in the cake makes you wrinkle your nose in disgust, give this one a try. My husband doesn’t like several of the ingredients in this carrot cake, and he gobbled up several slices.
How to Make a Moist Carrot Cake from Scratch.
First, you need some quality we ingredients to bring flavor and moisture to the cake. For this recipe, I used not only carrots, but also shredded coconut, crushed pineapple, and applesauce. The applesauce actually replaces traditionally used oil in this recipe, which does cut out some of the calories, and I think it brings more sweetness to the cake.
The crushed pineapple (in juice) also brings great flavor and texture to the cake.
What’s the secret ingredient to a delicious carrot cake?
Plumped raisins. Yup, you read that right. For the record, I do not particularly like raisins, and especially not in baked goods. I think they have a hard chewy element that’s sort of gross.
But when properly prepared they add a wonderful burst of juicy flavor to your cake. This process of “rejuvenating” the raisins is called “plumping” and basically just means that you soak the raisins in fruit juice. (For the record I have also tried carrot cake with bourbon soaked raisins…and that didn’t disappoint either.)
To plump the raisins for this recipe all you need to do is put one cup of raisins into one cup of juice and let it sit for 10-20 minutes. The raisins will absorb the liquid, gain sweetness, and swell. This is a great trick to use for other baked goods like muffins or cinnamon rolls.
Carrot Cake with Pineapple and Cream Cheese Frosting
Not your average carrot cake recipe, this one is so much better. You get a deliciously moist cake without the added fat from oil or butter.
- 2 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup orange or apple juice
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup crush pineapple in juice
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 cups flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Plump the raisins by placing them in a small bowl with the cup of orange or apple juice. Let this sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Place shredded carrots, coconut, applesauce, brown sugar, sugar, vanilla, and pineapple in a large bowl and mix well. Drain juice from raisins and add to the mixture. Fold in the eggs and mix well.
In a separate bowl mix the flour, spices, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Mix well.
Slowly add the flour mixture into the wet mixture and mix until well combined.
Split the batter between two 8″ baking rounds. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean.
Allow cakes to cool completely on a cooling rack before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
A lovely light cream cheese frosting that’s easy to make and delicious on a cake.
- 8 oz softened cream cheese
- 1 stick softened butter
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1 cup powdered sugar
Beat cream cheese and butter until well mixed.
Slowly add milk and powdered sugar until the frosting is smooth.
The frosting is easiest to work with once chilled for at least 15 minutes.
And there you have it, how to make an epic carrot cake from scratch.
I hope you love it as much as my family did (clearly from the devoured cake in the photos above).
As always I love to hear from you, send me an email or comment below.
Until we bake again!
~ Chloe M.
P. S If you love this recipe check out my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting!