Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Amy Burke
Hands-On Time
30 Mins
Total Time
2 Hours
Makes 16 servings

The star of this classic carrot layer cake is the thick sweetened cream frosting that you spread between the cake layers and on the top and sides of the cake. The cake gets extra sweetness from the addition of crushed pineapple to the batter. You can also use this same batter to make Carrot Cake Muffins.

How to Make It

Step 1

Prepare Batter:

Step 2

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Whisk together pineapple and next 4 ingredients; add pineapple mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in carrots. Pour batter into 2 (8-inch) round cake pans coated with cooking spray.

Step 3

Bake at 350° for 22 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pans to a wire rack; cool completely (about 1 hour).

Step 4

Prepare Frosting:

Step 5

Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar to butter mixture; beat at low speed just until blended. (Do not overbeat.) Beat in up to 2 tsp. milk for desired consistency. Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate; spread with 2/3 cup frosting, and top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake.

Step 6

Try This Twist!

Step 7

Carrot Cake Muffins: Omit Frosting. Place about 15 paper baking cups in muffin pans, and coat with cooking spray. Prepare batter, and fold in 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans and 1/2 cup golden raisins with carrots. Spoon batter into baking cups, filling about two-thirds full. Bake as directed. Cool in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes about 15 muffins.

Step 8

Per serving: Calories 204; Fat 3g (sat 1g, mono 6g, poly 4g); Protein 8g; Carb 9g; Fiber 9g; Chol 28mg; Iron 2mg; Sodium 356mg; Calc 23mg

Chef's Notes

For best results, grate your own carrots rather than using a package of shredded carrot because the fresh carrot will be more moist.

Ratings & Reviews

steponme's Review

July 25, 2011
This was good, but not the best carrot cake that I've had. I felt it lacked some spice that a good carrot cake has. Also, I think next time, I'll put the pineapple in the blender or food processor; I didn't care for the big chuncks of pineapple ( I did use crushed pineapple) and I'd also add some nutmeg and nuts.

GritsinNH's Review

May 31, 2011
I was pleased with how this came out. So nice to cut down on the oil and increase the carrots, and still have a good cake. I used 3 eggs instead of the combo of 2 eggs and 2 whites, and it was fine. And I only frosted the layers, not the sides, so as not to have the extra sweetness where they meet. I think this just may be my new carrot cake recipe!

Gimhani's Review

June 13, 2014

CarlynO's Review

July 14, 2011
Changes I made: used 1/2 whole wheat pastry flour, only used 1/2 c sugar in the cake, used coconut oil instead of canola oil, added 1 t coconut extract & 1/2 t allspice, and used only 2 c of sugar in the frosting. With these changes I can say that this is the best carrot cake I've ever made. I've been on the lookout for a great low fat carrot cake recipe and have tried MANY and this one far surpassed them all. It actually tastes like carrot! And is surprisingly light instead of chewy and dense like others I've had. I'm giving it 4 stars because the recipe as is would be too sweet and is missing the coconut flavor I love so much in a good carrot cake. (by using coconut oil and coconut extract you're not messing with the texture of the cake or adding additional calories/fat, but just adding the flavor).I added a garnish of toasted chopped pecans to the top and everyone loved it! Thanks a bunch. Here's my blog post about it w/pictures-