The Best Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing


A true classic, this is the best carrot cake with cream cheese icing that I have ever tried. That’s why I have been making this recipe for many years and it is the most requested birthday cake in the family! This classic combination has stood the test of time, sweet and moist cake with warm spices topped with decadent cream cheese icing. What’s not to love!.

When I tell people that there is crushed pineapple in this carrot cake they are often very surprised. You don’t really taste pineapple but it adds moisture and flavor that puts this cake over the top.

Hints and Tips for the best carrot cake with cream cheese icing:

  • Set the timer for 5 minutes less than the specified time in the recipe. Check the cake then for the following: If the cake is not done put it back in the oven to finish baking.
  • 1. A fully baked cake with spring back when touched in the center.
  • 2. The cake will also draw away from the side of the pan.
  • 3. A cake tester (or skewer/toothpick) inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • 4. Smell….trust your sense of smell, the aroma of butter and sugar wafting through the kitchen is a sure sign to check the cake.
  • 5. When the cake comes out of the oven, the structure is set, however it is still FRAGILE. Let the cake(s) stand in the pan(s) to cool on a rack for 15 to 20 minutes. Then run a knife around the edge of the cake before taking it out of the pan(s).
  • To remove from the pan, place a rack over the cake pan and invert the cake onto the rack to cool completely before icing.

Fillings for Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing:

Normally and the most common filling for carrot cake is more of the cream cheese icing. However, you are not restricted to just a basic filling. Because this carrot cake recipe has crushed pineapple in it I always seem to have extra crushed pineapple. I don’t like food waste so for me it made sense to try and make a filling that uses up the leftover pineapple. I decided to make a pineapple filling for this particular cake, and I must say, I will definitely do it again. It was delicious. All I did was take the leftover drained pineapple, the leftover juice from the entire can, and put it into a pot over medium heat. I then added a couple of tablespoons of flour and brought it to the boil, once boiling I added a heaping tablespoon of butter, to make it richer and glisten.

The simple recipe is: (you can adjust for whatever amounts you have left). This will yield 1 cup of filling

1 cup leftover crushed pineapple (from a 15 oz can)

1 cup leftover pineapple juice

2 T butter

3 Tbsp flour

The Best Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

This moist cake is a welcome addition to any occassion.
Course Baking, Dessert, desserts
Cuisine American
Servings 18


  • 1 13×9" (3.5L) metal cake pan *or 2 9" round pans


Cake Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 lg eggs
  • ¾ cup vegetables oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup drained canned crushed pineapple
  • ½ cup chopped pecans

Icing Ingredients

  • 2(8oz) pkgs cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 cup icing (confectioner's) sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350℉
  • Grease and flour the Cake pan (or pans if using round) and set aside
  • In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp baking soda, ¾ tsp salt and ½ tsp nutmeg.
  • In a separate bowl, beat together ¾ cup granulated sugar, ¾ cup packed brown sugar, 3 lg eggs, ¾ cup vegetables oil and 1 tsp vanilla until smooth.
  • Pour over flour mixture and stir just until moistened.
  • Stir in 2 cups grated carrots, 1 cup drained canned crushed pineapple, and ½ cup chopped pecans (if using).
  • Spread into the prepared pan(s).
  • Bake in the center of a 350℉ oven for 40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan on a rack for 15-20 minutes. (you can refrigerate the cake for up to 1 day before icing if desired)

For the Icing:

  • In a bowl, beat 2(8oz) pkgs cream cheese, softened and ½ cup butter, softened, until smooth.
  • Beat in 1 tsp Vanilla.
  • Beat in 1 cup icing sugar, one-third at a time, until smooth.
  • Spread over cooled cake, starting at the top.
  • Decorate as you like.


This is a delicious and moist carrot cake and it is one often requested by my family especially for birthdays.  
Keyword cakes, Carrot Cake
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