So it should be no surprise that I am not a carrot cake person.
Never have been, probably never will be.
BUT – that said – I made this for you because I realize that most people do like carrot cake and I have a blatant lack of carrot cake recipes on my site. Probably because my family and I avoid carrot desserts like the plague.
And I have to admit… I REALLY liked this cake. I mean, it was close to feelings of love, for sure… but I don’t want to jump the gun just yet. I’d prefer to let our newfound relationship develop slowly, like a fine wine. Let us become good friends first and then go down the road of love. Ya feel me?
But – I really, really liked this cake. A lot. And I KNOW you will too, especially if you like carrot cake!
Now I know I say I don’t like carrot cake but I have tried it multiple times and I am confident in saying now that this truly is the BEST carrot cake recipe I’ve had. It is so supremely moist and fluffy, studded with carrots, pecans, and pineapple for extra zing and flavor. And the orange-spiked cream cheese frosting is heaven, y’all. The perfect accompaniment to this fabulous cake!
I also know that people have strong opinions about the mix-ins for their carrot cake, to which I say: MIX IN WHATEVER YOU WANT. Prefer walnuts over pecans? Throw them in. Like raisins in your carrot cake slice? Add ’em. Think pineapple is sacrilegious and has no place near your pizza or your cake? Leave it out. This is like a choose-your-own-adventure cake. There is no wrong thing to leave out or mix in.
That said, I did find that this cake was perfect with some crunchy pecans & sweet pineapple. Next time I think I’ll add in some coconut, too! (< And yes, there will be a next time!)
The Best Ever Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Author: Hayley Parker, The Domestic Rebel
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
This carrot cake recipe truly is the BEST carrot cake I’ve ever had and converted me into becoming a carrot cake lover! So supremely moist, fluffy and delicious. Add or omit mix-ins to suit your preference, but this cake has pineapple and pecans which give it ample flavor.
- One 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ⅛th tsp ground cloves
- 1 cup chopped pecans (may substitute walnuts)
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- (If you want raisins, add ¾ – 1 cup of raisins, optional)
- FOR THE FROSTING:
- One 8-ounce pkg cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 Tbsp orange juice
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 3 – 3 & ½ cups powdered sugar
- Additional chopped pecans for garnish, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 9×13″ rectangular baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the pineapple and eggs until combined. Whisk in the sugars, oil, and vanilla, followed by the dry ingredients until a cohesive batter comes together. Fold in the pecans, carrots, and raisins (if using) until combined.
- Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist, not wet, crumbs. Cool completely.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until combined and fluffy, about 1 minute. Beat in the orange juice and gradually add in the powdered sugar, about one cup at a time, until mixture is light and fluffy, streaming in the heavy cream as needed.
- Spread the frosting evenly over the cake and sprinkle with remaining chopped pecans, if using. Store covered in the fridge.
Moist, fluffy, tender spiced cake packed with juicy pineapple and crunchy pecans and topped with a glorious orange-spiked cream cheese icing. There is nothing better!
Have a super sweet day!