Pineapple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

from 7 votes

Pineapple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting #recipe

You can now enjoy both your fruits and your veggies all in one serving … of cake. Call me crazy, but I’m pretty sure that information falls under the win-win category. And that is exactly where this easy recipe for Pineapple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting should be filed.

If you hate really moist cakes, then we should probably part ways at this point. Because this cake has mastered a moist crumb with a dense texture and the full flavor of pineapple and carrots. And did I mention there’s no butter involved? That is, until we get to the tangy bowl-licking-worthy cream cheese frosting. But I couldn’t stop there. Someone cue the kitchen twine, candy melts, piping bags and pastry tips!

Pineapple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting #recipe

As it turns out, cutting a 9-by-13-inch cake into carrot-shaped pieces requires a strong understanding of geometry. Either that, or Tetris. So rather than start slicing away until you reach that “oh crud” moment, I’ve devised a nifty trick: Use kitchen twine to outline and adjust your cuts prior to slicing.

You can follow the pattern I’ve outlined above to get 10 carrot-shaped slices with a few scraps left over for your favorite taste tester. What’s that? Your favorite taste tester is you? Hey! We’re twins! Now go preheat your oven and get ready to flex those mental muscles for Pineapple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. It’s a workout for the mind and the body.

Pineapple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting #recipe

Pineapple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting #recipe

Pineapple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting #recipe

Pineapple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting #recipe

Pineapple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting #recipe

Pineapple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting #recipe

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Pineapple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This easy recipe for extra-moist Pineapple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is part dessert and part tabletop décor!
Author: Kelly Senyei
4.72 from 7 votes
Pineapple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting #recipe
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 10 servings


For the cake:

  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 (8-oz.) can crushed pineapple with juice
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans

For the frosting:

  • 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

For decorating:

  • 1 1/2 cups orange candy melts
  • 1 1/2 cups green candy melts


  • Pastry bags; Small round pastry tip (such as Ateco #3)


Make the cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour a 9x13-inch cake pan.
  • In a large bowl, combine the grated carrots, flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add the eggs, oil, vanilla extract, crushed pineapple and chopped pecans, stirring until combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Transfer the cake, still in the pan, to a cooling rack to cool completely then invert it onto a large cutting board.

Make the frosting:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the butter and vanilla extract, beating until combined.
  • Stop the stand mixer, sift the confectioners' sugar into the bowl and then beat just until combined.

Decorate the cake:

  • Line a large baking sheet with wax paper. Melt the green candy melts in the microwave or on the stove per the package instructions then transfer it to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip. Pipe carrot stems onto the wax paper by piping a long line with leaves on the end. (See Kelly's Notes.) Set the carrot stems aside to cool until they have fully hardened.
  • Once the cake has cooled completely, frost it with the cream cheese frosting then slice it into carrot-shaped pieces. (See Kelly's Notes.)
  • Melt the orange candy melts in the microwave or on the stove per the package instructions then transfer it to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip. Pipe the orange candy coating across the top of the cake slices in your preferred pattern, and then carefully insert about three of the hardened candy carrot stems into the back side of each slice of cake. (See Kelly's Notes.) Serve immediately.

Kelly's Notes:

  • Cutting the 9x13-inch cake into carrot-shaped slices requires discarding (and/or eating) a small portion of the cake. If you'd rather feed more people and not have to discard any excess cake, simply cut the cake into squares and decorate as instructed.
  • I used an Ateco #3 small round pastry tip to pipe both the green carrot stems and the orange decoration on top of the cake slices.
  • The candy carrot stems break very easily when inserting them into the cake, so I recommend piping as many extra carrot stems as possible to allow for any breakage. You can also pipe a thicker carrot stem, which would make a sturdier candy piece to press into each slice of cake.
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!


Calories: 848kcal, Carbohydrates: 128g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 36g, Saturated Fat: 23g, Cholesterol: 89mg, Sodium: 420mg, Potassium: 235mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 104g, Vitamin A: 6805IU, Vitamin C: 4.5mg, Calcium: 40mg, Iron: 1.9mg


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Cake recipe adapted from All Recipes.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    My only go to recipe. So good. I make without frosting or with.
    The best carrot cake recipe out there period. Everyone asks me to sure this recipe who has tried it! Thank you

  2. 5 stars
    I made this two years ago and it was SO good and actually was easier than I expected for the cutting/decorating. Making it again this year for Easter cause I couldn’t stop thinking about it!

  3. 3 stars
    Loved this idea, and the decorating, if careful was a cinch! Icing is terrific! I found the cake to be too heavy and not very flavorful. I will definitely make this again, using your clever decorating ideas and excellent icing, but substitute my usual carrot cake recipe. Thanks very much!

  4. 5 stars

  5. 5 stars
    Can this cake be baked as a layer cake in 8 or 9 inch pans and if so how long would I bake them?
    Thank you

    1. Absolutely, Linda! However, I’ve never made this recipe in a smaller pan so I’m not certain of the bake time. Let me know if you give it a shot!

  6. I was planning on making these for Easter, but my concern is “serve immediately”, do I really need to? Or can I put them on a tray & allow our guest to serve themselves whenever?

    1. Hi Susana! It totally depends on how long you’ll leave the cake out and what the temp is (if it’s indoors, outdoors, etc.). Cream cheese frosting can be a bit finicky if not kept in a cool environment!

      1. Kelly, I want to thank you for your response, with all the comments/questions you must receive, it’s certainly very nice of you to take the time to respond.

        They’ll be set up indoors – I’d like to make them the night before as in right before bed in efforts of keeping them as fresh as possible. Another question (sorry): is there anything you recommend I do or store them in to keep them fresh?

        Thanks again!

      2. Hi Susana! I’d keep the cake in the fridge then slice and add the decorations on the morning of. Enjoy!

  7. Hello, how are you? I had feature your delicious recipe in my blog, I hope you don’t mind. Have a nice day!

      1. Absolutely, Donna! Definitely make sure the cupcakes have cooled completely before packaging them and stashing them in the freezer.

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