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This is the BEST carrot cake recipe out there!! I’ve been making this exact recipe for over 20 yrs and gotten rave reviews!! You’ll never want to eat another carrot!!
Hi Ann Marie! That’s so funny….. not wanting to eat another carrot. Glad you like it. Carrot cake is my favorite!
Can this be made without the pineapple and coconut?
Hi, Bethany! Yes, I believe you can leave out the pineapple and coconut and be just fine. Enjoy!
I’m going to make this, I just would like to know how to take out the coconut? Add more carrot? More nuts? More pineapple?
Hi, Nicole! I’d just leave it out. Your cake might end up a little more dense and moist, but I think it should still be just fine. Adding more nuts would also be fine, but avoid adding more carrots or pineapple as that would throw off the moisture content in the cake. Enjoy!
This was a yummy recipe but I have a confession to make. I couldn’t bring myself to use olive oil, subbed canola oil instead. Also only iced the top and middle of the cake. I’m a light weight where rich icing is concerned and everyone still loved it!
What adjustments should I make to switch from canned, sweetened coconut to fresh coconut? I live in the tropics where fresh coconut is in abundance. I’ve never even seen it in a can lolll
Hi, Shanta! Unfortunately, I think that the moisture of fresh coconut would throw off this recipe quite a bit, so I’m not sure I can suggest a good substitution. Sorry!
Love this recipe! Decided to try making it as cupcakes this time for easier transport to my dad’s birthday celebration. They turned out great and he was thrilled to have his favorite carrot cake! : ) For anyone else who wants to try this, they took about 25 minutes (so maybe start checking at 20 mins). I also followed the suggestion from an earlier comment and used lemon zest (1/4 to 1/2 tsp) instead of the lemon juice. Tasted wonderful and kept the frosting from getting too “slippery” at room temperature. Thanks for yet another favorite recipe, Elise!
I don’t know if I had imagined it, but I thought I read that you could substitute grapeseed oil for the olive oil somewhere. Anyway, I wanted to ask how you frosted the cake. It looks beautiful and I’d like to try doing the same!
Great recipe!! Made this for my Mom’s birthday and everyone was very impressed. I was concerned about using olive oil in a cake but it came out tasting delicious. Don’t worry if your batter tastes like olive oil, it balances out after baking and icing, so just follow the recipe exactly! I made a little extra icing and cut my two cake rounds in half to made a 4 layered cake, it held together well and was a huge crowd pleaser. :)
Best carrot cake recipe! I’ve made it so many times…and it always amazes us !!
I made this cake for Easter and forgot to add the carrots. Since it was also April Fools Day, I called it an intentional prank. :) OMG this/these was/were FANTASTIC!!!! Even without the carrots! I halved the recipe, mixed it by hand, (no mixer needed) and made cupcakes out of it. I used the cream cheese frosting from the carrot cake cupcake recipe on this site and it was absolutely perfect. 1/2 c butter, 8oz. cream cheese & 1 cup confectioners sugar! Everyone raved about these and the leftovers were just as good the next day!
The cake tastes much better when you use vegetable oil as opposed to olive oil.
Hi Elise! This carrot cake is Amazing!! I’ve made this recipe many times and always receive tons of compliments. I would like to make it for a friend that is gluten-free and I was wondering if you had a gluten-free version?
Hi Jocelyn, I do not, though I’m guessing it would work fine with Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour. If you do a test, please let us know how it works out for you!
Hi Elise! There sure are a glut of carrot cake recipes out there but I know from experience that I can always count on your recipes to be the best of the bunch! I would like to make this cake for a friend for Christmas. I will need to ship it, however, which causes unique concerns.. I’ve used KFC paper cake pans in the past to do this so no worries on that front but I am concerned about shipping a cream cheese-based frosting. If I shipped it to arrive in two days, would there be any health risks? Carrot cake is his favorite and as a last resort, I could buy a store bought version and include it in the box for him to frost but we all know that won’t taste nearly as good as homemade. What would you advise? Thanks in advance! (I also appreciated your gift giving ideas list email today with Christmas just around the corner!)
Hi Karen, thanks so much for your kind words! I’ve never shipped a cake like this before. A fruitcake, yes, but not a frosted cake. If I absolutely had to get this cake to someone, I would ship it overnight, and put a lot of those freezer bags (the ones that you ship with frozen foods) around it.
Hi Elise! I’ve tried this several times and I love how it tastes! The only thing I have problem with is that the cake is not easy to cut. It tends to get crumbly so I can’t get a perfect slice. Any guess on why this happen? Any suggestion? Thanks, Elise!
Hi Eve, yep, carrot cakes can be hard to cut. I would try chilling the cakes before assembling and frosting them, and then using a serrated knife to slice.
AH HA! A carrot cake that uses pineapple. I don’t know the history of carrot cake, I thought pineapple was as standard as the carrots themselves but I found many recipes where it was omitted! I’m eager to make this as a wonderful fall dessert! I enjoyed a good laugh over you & your Dad adding an ingredient after the cake was already in the oven!! I’ve done THAT before!!
As many have commented – this cake is very forgiving. I made it, as directed by recipe with the following modifications: 1) left out the nuts 2) substituted 1 cup of fine petite dice apple that I microwaved for a minute or so in place of the pineapple 3) added a little nutmeg and 4) made 1.5 x the frosting. I am not at all a huge frosting fan, but I don’t see 1x frosting giving coverage to the cake.
Turned out gorgeous! So moist. Lovely flavor, Texture from the coconut makes it so special. Wouldn’t describe it as easy to cut – but the fantastic flavor makes you say, “who cares!” Next time I’ll use the pineapple – I bet the addition of flavor is fantastic.
Thanks, as always, Elise. Your blog is my go-to for new things to cook for my family. I’ve used buckets and buckets of your recipes and they have all been huge hits and proved the hard work, home-kitchen testing and personal commitment you put into your site and recipes. Not one has failed me. Thank you. -C
Hi Carol, thank you for your comment! So many people have mentioned the frosting that I’ve gone ahead and upped the quantities by 50%. So hopefully that will do the trick for folks!
Thanks Elise! I make this every Easter – probably since you first posted the recipe – and I THOUGHT it looked a little different than before!
I love this recipe. I’ve made it as a cake a few times. Today I decided to change it up by making it vegan and in cupcakes, and it turned out just as delicious as the standard cake recipe. Here are my vegan substitutes: Instead of 3 eggs in the cake, I mixed 3 Tbls ground flax seed with 9 tbls water, mixed and let it sit for 10 minutes. For the frosting, I used vegan cream cheese and vegan butter substitute. Taste was great but consistency was thin, so I am letting it get more solid in the fridge. They taste great without frosting too!
Hi Judy, what a great idea to make it vegan! So glad the substitutions worked for you. Thanks for letting us know!
Linz, I’ve made this cake a number of times in a bundt pan, and it always came out well for me.
Hi, please advise if this recipe can be made in a bundt pan
This is the same as my favorite carrot cake recipe, except I fiddled around with it, replacing 1/2c of the oil with sour cream, 1/2c of the white sugar with brown, and added 1/2 tsp of ground ginger. Soooo good.