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the best carrot cake recipe

The Best Carrot Cake with Coconut, Pineapple and Nuts

This is the best carrot cake you will ever make! Packed with freshly grated carrots, crushed pineapple, coconut and nuts it is moist and fluffy and pairs perfectly with homemade cream cheese frosting.
4.98 from 38 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10 slices


  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • whisk
  • 2 9 inch round cake pans bottoms lined with parchment paper and prepared with butter and flour or baking spray
  • Wire Cooling Rack
  • Stand mixer with paddle attachment or mixing bowl with electric hand mixer
  • Baking Sheet optional, to toast toppings


For the Carrot Cake

  • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 2.5 cups freshly shredded carrots
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup canned crushed pineapple do not drain
  • 4 eggs room temperature
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup chopped nuts such as walnuts or pecans

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 8 oz packages of cream cheese I recommend full fat
  • 1 stick of butter, 8 tbsp
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5-6 cups powdered sugar

Toppings (optional)

  • sweetened shredded coconut, toasted and cooled
  • chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted and cooled


Bake the cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
    Prepare two 9 inch round baking pans with parchment (if desired) and butter and flour.
  • Shred the carrots then add to a medium size mixing bowl along with coconut and pineapple. Stir to combine and set aside.
    In another medium size mixing bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and ginger. Mix until well combined and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl add eggs, vegetable oil, sugar and vanilla extract. Whisk vigorously until very well combined.
    Add half of the flour mixture to the egg and oil mixture and stir to combine. Then add the remaing half and stir until no white streaks of flour remain.
    Add the carrots and fruit to the mixture and fold into the batter until well distributed.Then stir the chopped nuts into the batter.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans.
    Bake at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for about 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
    The cakes must be completely cooled before frosting.

Make the frosting

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer (or large mixing bowl with electric hand mixer) add in room temperature cream cheese and unsalted butter.
    Beat on medium high heat for a couple minutes until completely combined with no remaining lumps.
    On medium speed, beat in 1 tsp of vanilla extract then 5-6 cups of powdered sugar, adding ½ cup at a time. Once the frosting is thickened and sweetened to your taste it is ready.

Add toppings

  • While the cake is cooling prepare the toppings.
    Add a handful of sweetened shredded coconut to one side of a baking sheet. On the other side add a handful of chopped walnuts or pecans. Place in the oven.
    Toast the coconut and nuts at 350 degrees for around 5 minutes, checking and shaking frequently to ensure it doesn't burn.
    Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before decorating the cake.
  • Frost the cake with cream cheese frosting and decorate the top in a pattern of your choice with toasted nuts and coconuts.
    Serve and enjoy!
Keyword cake
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