This is the Best Homemade Carrot Cake recipe because it is a sweet, moist, and dense Carrot Cake made from scratch with pineapple, coconut and pecans. When you want a dessert that everyone will love, make this cake!
You won’t find any boxed cake mixes in the ingredient list of this carrot cake. That is one of the reasons it is the Best Homemade Carrot Cake recipe.
The reason I had been working on perfecting this carrot cake recipe is because my Mother-in-Law had her 90th birthday this month and her favorite cake was her Mom’s carrot cake.
Celebrating 90 years of life is a special birthday celebration. So her birthday cake has to be special.
Obviously, I can’t get the recipe from her Mom, but I did my best to create what I think is the best homemade carrot cake.
With my Mother-in-Law, the cake had to be from scratch. There were no things as cake mixes in her house when she was growing up.
After much recipe tweaking, I think I have the perfect carrot cake recipe. I made this carrot cake for my Mother-in-Law’s birthday and it was a hit with everyone, especially Lois, my Mother-in-Law.
As a matter of fact, she requested that I make this cake not only for her birthday every year but also for every holiday dinner like Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
In fact, I had to rescue this last piece of carrot cake so I could take these pictures! The cake went so fast that I did not have time to get pictures before it was mostly devoured.
Tips For Making the Best Homemade Carrot Cake
Use quality cake pans to bake the cake. It truly makes a difference in how well and how evenly the cake cooks. It is true. The folks at Bakepedia have actually tested cake pans and found this to be true.
Make sure the baking powder and baking soda you are using are fresh. I’ve made this mistake before. If they are not fresh, your cake may not rise.
Be sure not to over mix the batter! It is easy to do. The reason that you don’t want to over mix it is because too much air can get into the batter and cause the cake to fall when it cools.
Make it easy on yourself and make the cake and frosting the day before you want to serve it. That’s right. It will still be good.
Cover the cake and keep it at room temperature overnight, and refrigerate the frosting in an air-tight container.
See the printable recipe below for all the specific ingredient amounts and step by step instructions.
Go ahead and make this Carrot Cake and come back and leave a comment to let me know if you too think it is the Best Homemade Carrot Cake!
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Best Homemade Carrot Cake
- 2-1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
- 1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups grated carrots
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 3/4 cup flaked coconut
- 1 8 oz can crushed pineapple drained
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 3 8 oz packages cream cheese softened
- 1 cup butter softened (2 sticks butter)
- 4 teaspoons vanilla
- 6 cups powdered sugar sifted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease and flour either two 9-inch round cake pans or three 8" cake pans.
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer or large mixing bowl, mix together on medium speed the sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla.
- Add the dry ingredients (flour mixture) into the mixing bowl with the wet ingredients (eggs, sugar, etc.) and mix until combined. (Don't overmix)
- Fold in the carrots, pecans, and coconut and pineapple into the mixture and stir.
- Divide the batter evenly and pour into the prepared cake pans.
- Bake in a preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of each cake comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool in the pans for about 10 minutes. After that let the cakes cool on wire racks. Let them cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Add the softened butter and softened cream cheese into a mixing bowl or stand mixer. Beat on medium speed until smooth.
- Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and mix or 2 or 3 minutes until the frosting is smooth.
- Either frost the cake immediately or refrigerate the frosting until you are ready to frost the cake.