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piece of carrot cake with frosting on plate
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4.90 from 28 votes

Old Fashioned Carrot Cake Recipe with Pineapple

This is a crowd-pleasing, super moist carrot cake recipe with pineapple, packed with extra flavor from walnuts, coconut and a classic cream cheese icing. And no stand mixer needed - the whole cake is mixed with a wooden spoon!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings (change as needed): 15
Author: Cheryl


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups shredded carrots (or a bit more) ~3 large carrots shred with processor or grater
  • 1 cup flaked or shredded coconut
  • 1 cup (or 3/4 cup) crushed pineapple, drained 8-10 ounce can. You can also finely chop canned or fresh pineapple chunks.
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup golden raisins (optional)

Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 package cream cheese, 8-ounce (230 g) light is fine
  • 1/4 cup salted or unsalted butter 1/2 stick
  • 2 cups icing sugar also called confectioner or powdered sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350F/177C and gather all ingredients. Grease (or spray with cooking spray) and flour a 9 x 13 inch (33 x 23 cm) baking pan for a single layer cake. Note 1
  • MAKE BASIC BATTER: Stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and allspice in a large mixing bowl. Add sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla to the flour mixture. Combine well with a wooden spoon.
  • ADD BULK INGREDIENTS TO BATTER: Add to bowl the grated carrots, coconut, walnuts, pineapple and raisins (if using). Combine everything well with wooden spoon.
  • BAKE: Pour cake batter into prepared pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick/cake tester comes out clean. Cool on wire rack or transfer to freezer uncovered right in the pan for 40 minutes (I do this with banana cake and it comes out super moist - so does carrot cake).
  • MAKE ICING: While cake is baking or cooling, make cream cheese icing. With processor - add icing ingredients and process on high until smooth, about 1-2 minutes, scraping sides down once or twice. Note 2.
  • FINISH AND SERVE: Ice cake with creamy frosting and garnish, if desired, with chopped walnuts, shredded carrot or chopped pineapple.


  1. Other pans to use: Instead of using a a flat 13 x 9 inch (33 x 23 cm) pan, you can use two round 8 x 8 inch (20 x 20 cm) pans and make a double layer cake. Or, cut the 13 x 9 inch cake in half for a square double layer cake.
  2. To make cream cheese icing using an electric mixer: In a separate bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add icing sugar and continue beating for 2 minutes.
  3. Variations
    • Shred an apple with the carrots and add it to the batter. Even more healthiness!
    • Add a bit more allspice or a pinch of ground cloves to intensify the flavors if you like those spices.
    • If you prefer a carrot cake recipe without nuts, leave them out.
    • Instead of cream cheese icing, serve it plain or with an orange glaze that you can find in our recipe for whole orange cake
  4. Make Ahead: This cake will keep will in the fridge (iced or not iced), covered, for several days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months. Bring to room temperature before serving. 
Nutrition values are estimates and include light cream cheese and no raisins. 
Calories: 482kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 451mg | Potassium: 183mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 2274IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 1mg