The Best Carrot Cake

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The Best Carrot Cake is one of my most requested dessert recipes of all time.  It’s quick, incredibly moist,  and homemade. This cake fully loaded with pineapple, coconut, walnuts and raisins and all topped off with cream cheese frosting. If you like carrot cake, you are going to love this easy, from scratch recipe!

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Carrot cake is a classic dessert that I think we’ve all enjoyed!   I have sampled and savored countless recipes over the years, and I think it is safe to say that today I am sharing The Best Carrot Cake Recipe ever!

It seems to me there are two types of carrot cakes, the ones that are light and fluffy almost more like a spice cake with carrots and then there are the ones like this which are incredibly moist and fully loaded with goodies from nuts and pineapple to coconut and raisins.  I personally prefer the latter!

Everyone seems to have that one dessert they’re known for… this one (along with Caramel Chocolate Poke Cake) is a dessert I am asked for ALL of the time.

This easy homemade carrot cake recipe creates a rich cake that is packed full of goodies! It’s completely loaded with pineapple, coconut, walnuts and raisins and it’s impossible to mess up!  I’ve made it literally a hundred times (and I think most of the times are for my friend Billy who loves this cake more than anyone else)!

Carrot Cake is one of my most requested dessert recipes of all time.  It's quick, incredibly moist,  and homemade. This cake fully loaded with pineapple, coconut, walnuts and raisins and all topped off with cream cheese frosting. If you like carrot cake, you are going to love this easy, from scratch recipe!

The walnuts in this cake add a nice nuttiness which is perfect with the cinnamon, you can certainly substitute pecans if you happen to have them on hand (but walnuts are my favorite in this recipe). Making a cake with crushed pineapple makes it incredibly moist (just like adding zucchini or banana to a cake adds moisture)! I grate my carrots using the larger holes on my cheese grater.

While a lot of carrot cakes are made in layers, those cakes tend to be a little bit lighter in texture and to be honest, I feel like making a layer cake is a bit too fussy for me. I prefer to bake cakes in a 9×13″ pan with a lid so that we can bake and serve (and even freeze) in the same dish.  I find these types of cakes easiest to make and to store.

Carrot Cake is one of my most requested dessert recipes of all time.  It's quick, incredibly moist,  and homemade. This cake fully loaded with pineapple, coconut, walnuts and raisins and all topped off with cream cheese frosting. If you like carrot cake, you are going to love this easy, from scratch recipe!

In fact, this cake is so good and so moist, you really don’t need frosting but I personally LOVE a good homemade Cream Cheese Frosting on carrot cake.  If you prefer, this is also amazing topped with whipped cream. Regardless of how you serve it, this is one dessert that is always a crowd favorite so don’t count on having any leftovers!

This cake is a deliciously rich cake and it’s very moist so I store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  It’s best if you bring it to room temperature for serving.  Keep in mind that this freezes well, in case you want to bake now and savor later!

Best Ever Carrot Cake

The Best Carrot Cake is one of my most requested dessert recipes of all time.  It’s quick, incredibly moist,  and homemade. This cake fully loaded with pineapple, coconut, walnuts and raisins and all topped off with cream cheese frosting. If you like carrot cake, you are going to love this easy, from scratch recipe!

Did you make this recipe?

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 cup walnuts , chopped
  • 1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • Cream Cheese Frosting

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×13 pan.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon with a whisk. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, buttermilk, applesauce, oil, sugar and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture just until mixed. Add carrots, coconut, walnuts, pineapple and raisins and mix until combined.
  4. Pour into prepared pan for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Cool completely and frost with cream cheese frosting.

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The Best Carrot Cake is one of my most requested dessert recipes of all time.  It's quick, incredibly moist,  and homemade. This cake fully loaded with pineapple, coconut, walnuts and raisins and all topped off with cream cheese frosting. If you like carrot cake, you are going to love this easy, from scratch recipe!
The Best Carrot Cake is one of my most requested dessert recipes of all time.  It's quick, incredibly moist,  and homemade. This cake fully loaded with pineapple, coconut, walnuts and raisins and all topped off with cream cheese frosting. If you like carrot cake, you are going to love this easy, from scratch recipe!

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Holly Nilsson

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

49 comments on “The Best Carrot Cake”

  1. yummy recipes that i could always want to try

  2. It looks realy good my family would love it

  3. Sound so delicious. I have question : What kind of oil. Do you think I able use the olive oil instead ?

  4. Sounds great. Going to make for Easter brunch.

  5. Could you make cupcakes with this recipe?

  6. This sounds delish! However, I am not a coconut fan. If I remove the coconut, do you think I need to replace it with something else? Thank you!

  7. Question. Can you use gluten free flour? I have allergies to wheat.

  8. Can I use coconut flour instead?

  9. This recipe looks wonderful! Could I also use it for cupcakes?

  10. That cream cheese frosting is everything!!!

  11. Can we discard apple sauce or what can we replace with it.

  12. I made this last night for my coworkers. I did not use raisins (the lady I was making this for does not like them) it still turned out great! I would post the picture, but it was gone before I took the picture. I used Cream cheese frosting.

    I was going to use Dried Cranberries instead of raisins, but did not want to risk it. Do you think that would work?
    Also – I removed the cake from the pan to cool, but served it in the pan. Could I cool it in the pan or better to remove it?

    Thank you again for the great recipe! It’s for sure will be permanent part of my baking “repertoire”.

    • Hi Allan,
      I think cranberries would be a yummy addition to this cake! You can cool the cake in the pan next time to save a step. I always consider it a good thing if the cake disappears before a photo is snapped, but maybe next time you will get a photo and share it with us on facebook? I would love that! Thanks for stopping by and letting me know you and your coworkers liked the recipe!

      • Thank you for your reply.
        I am baking this cake tonight and will post the pictures on Facebook. One question – Coconut flakes should I use sweetened or unsweetened? (I was planning to by sweetened, but accidentally end up with unsweetened and I used that). Maybe you mentioned that in the video, but unfortunately video never worked for me.(I am sure it’s my problem)

  13. hi ‘ what the replace for apple sauce

  14. Is the cocoanut sweetened or unsweetened for your carrot cake?

  15. This looks so delicious! I love that this is only one layer. I’ll be making it soon!

  16. Can you sub almond flour instead of regular flour or stevia for the sugar?

  17. Can I make this cake without the pineapple! Would I need to substitute something for it to make up for the loss of moisture? Thank you!

  18. Look so good Going to make it tonight .

  19. This week I baked this cake 4 times and I am going to bake it tonight again!
    First time for a potluck at work. 2 at the same time for my sister (one so she can take it to work, and one for her family and friends). I posted pictures on the Facebook and tagged your Facebook page. Then I baked again for our CFO – he came today with a visit and I promised long time ago to make a cake for him. (he loved it). Tomorrow we have a meeting with out Bible study group – I still have carrots (and rest of the ingredients) so I am making again tonight.

    I did not change a single thing in a recipe and in all cases I had very positive feedbacks. Everyone loved it. Some asked for recipe and I gave them link to this page.

    Thank you for a great recipe!

    • I am so glad that you have enjoyed the recipe! You have some lucky friends, family, and co workers!!

  20. Is the coconut sweetened or regular?

  21. Can this be made in a bundt pan? If so, does baking time increase or decrease?

    • I haven’t made this in a bundt pan so I can’t say for sure. I would ensure your pan is not more than 2/3 full and bake at 325. You’ll want to start checking your cake for doneness at about 40 minutes. Please let us know how it turns out for you.

  22. Making this as my new Easter cake! 2 9×13 with coconut cream cheese filling, then cut into a cross. The extra squares will be made into Bibles!! Creatively Christianity!!

  23. Has anyone made this as a layer cake?

  24. Wonderful cake receipes…

    Very eager to try!!

    But pls let me know how much does one cup measure!?

    One cup equals ____ ml

  25. This cake was a big hit with the family.

  26. If I want to bake half a portion (8×8) I suspect baking time will remain same or will I need to reduce it?

    • I would check the cake about 5 minutes earlier just to be sure, but it would take close to the same amount of time. Enjoy!

  27. Hi! Is it okay to not use flaked coconut? What can be used in place of apple sauce? Is molasses acceptable or will it ruin everything?

    Thank you in advance for your help.

    I am new at baking and would really love to hear your thoughts :)

    • I have only made this as written so I can’t say how your changes would affect the recipe. You can leave out the coconut and for the applesauce you can substitute extra oil. I would not recommend molasses.

  28. To make the carrot cake, can I use self rising flour instead of the regular flour?

  29. Is the applesauce sweetened or unsweetened? I am planning to make this today and I picked up applesauce which is not labeled as either sweetened or unsweetened. The label says it has 14g sugar in 0.5 cup. I am wondering if using this would make the cake too sweet and if I should reduce the amount of sugar in the cake. (I prefer to err on the side of not-so-sweet dessert)

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