For Easter, I’ll take this pineapple carrot cake with cream cheese frosting! The cake is filled with crushed pineapple, grated carrots, cinnamon and is packed full of flavor. Coat the layered cake with a cream cheese frosting infused with pineapple juice and garnish with toasted pecans.
Remember in my Peanut Butter Cake recipe I said that I would be pushing out a couple more Easter posts, WELL here you go! It’s been a busy week getting them tested and ready to go, but anything for my friends. It was a little for me too. Getting in the kitchen and creating some recipes is my therapy.
So the only issue that I had with the cake is that I couldn’t get a pretty slice. Not a big deal, right? I mean these things happen sometimes especially when you pack so much flavor into one little package.
The texture is a little different than a regular carrot cake because of the pineapple. It’s a little more chewy, but it’s quite pleasant. At least in my opinion it is, but my husband probably would have a different opinion since he has issues with texture.
I kind of really love how pretty the top of this cake turned out. I never know how to finish the tops of cakes when I run out of frosting to pipe swirls. So I start making wave-like swirls or C’s with my off-set spatula. I just go around and around until I was satisfied with what I have going on. I could probably work on trying to perfectly frost a cake for hours and never be happy with it. If you’re the same way, just know that it doesn’t have to be perfect. People aren’t going to notice.
So I’ve read where some places say cream cheese frosting is okay to stay out in a kitchen that is under 70 degrees for up to two days, but I don’t care to take chances. I like to store mine in the refrigerated. I’ll leave the decision up to you. It’s cool though. The cake isn’t going to harden up in the fridge. It can be left out at room temperature for serving too.
This pineapple carrot cake is filled with crushed pineapple, grated carrots, cinnamon and is packed full of flavor. The layered cake is then coated with a cream cheese frosting infused with pineapple juice and garnish with toasted pecans.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 3 T. vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 T. vanilla extract
- 2 cups cake flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 1 cup crushed pineapple, well drained
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
- 1 8 oz. package cream cheese, room temperature
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 3 T. pineapple juice
- 3/4 cup pecans, chopped and toasted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 3 8" baking pans with cooking spray. Add in 2-3 tablespoons of flour and tap it to cover the pan's sides and bottom. Tap out the extra flour into the garbage.
Using a cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer, pour in a can of crushed pineapple. I used a fine mesh strainer and a spatula to press all of the juice out. A cheesecloth would be easier to just squeeze, if it's available to you. Any excess liquid can throw the recipe off, so get as much of it out as possible. Reserve the pineapple juice for the frosting.
Grate 3 large carrots or enough to make 2 cups. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, add in butter, sugar, and vegetable oil. Mix until thoroughly incorporated. It won't be light and creamy.
Add in the eggs one at a time. As soon as each one is incorporated, add another. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Once all the eggs are combined, beat for an additional 2 minutes. It will become thick and very pale. This is absolutely necessary!
Measure out the milk and vanilla extract. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, sift the cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon.
Alternately add the flour and milk mixture, always starting and ending with flour. Mix on medium speed until combined. I normally do 3 parts flour and two parts liquid. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Dump in the shredded carrots and crushed pineapple. Using a spatula, stir until evenly distributed into the dough.
Divide the batter evenly into the 3 8" prepared pans. Bake for 34 - 37 minutes or until done. Mine took exactly 36 minutes. Use a toothpick and insert it into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. If there is batter or moist crumbs on it, let it go for another minute or two.
Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 15 - 20 minutes. Turn out onto the wire rack to finish cooling. Work on the frosting.
In a large mixing bowl, add in the butter and cream cheese. Beat on medium until smooth. Lumpy cream cheese is a no-go for frosting.
Add in the powdered sugar and pineapple juice. Turn mixer on low until the powdered sugar is incorporated then bump it up to high and beat for a minute until thick and creamy.
Place the first layer of cake on your cake plate. Add a decent amount of cream cheese on top and evenly spread out.
Repeat with the second layer of cake and cream cheese frosting.
Add the last layer of cake and give it a gentle press to make sure it is even.
Add 1/2 of the remaining frosting on top of the cake and work it around with the spatula. Make sure the top of the cake is even. The frosting is welcome to start working its way down the sides of the cake. Grab some more frosting and work on the sides of the cake.
Once the sides of the cake are covered, give it a final spin and even out the sides.
Using the end of an off-set spatula, draw C's in the top of the cake. I normally make the bottom of the C much longer than the top.
Coat the bottom of the cake with toasted pecans.
Cut and serve!
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