A Carrot Cake Without Pineapple

Sneak Preview: This carrot cake without pineapple is a layer cake slathered with light cream cheese icing. It’s ideal for a celebration and for anybody who doesn’t like pineapple in their carrot cake.

Uncut layered Carrot cake without pineapple, decorated with chopped pecansPin

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Have you noticed how certain recipes attach themselves to one particular family member? You can’t prepare them or eat them without thinking of that person. This carrot cake is forever connected to my mom because we ate it yearly on her birthday.

This recipe is a good place to start with a carrot cake tradition. Plenty of carrots are involved with this cake, but there’s no pineapple in sight.

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The original recipe comes from my sister Kay. She’s a true southern cook who has spent most of her adult life in Alabama. She is unafraid of a little sugar and fat to make things taste good. Her husband claims it is absolutely one of her tastiest creations.

The modifications previously mentioned are heavily influenced by Dorie Greenspan’s carrot cake as published in Baking, From My House to Yours. Changes are noted inside the parenthesis.

A cream cheese icing:

Because it’s not quite as rich, I prefer my cream cheese icing recipe. It’s based on a version printed in a recent Cook’s Country magazine issue. However, it doesn’t make much, so consider doubling the recipe if you’re baking a layer cake and want to frost the sides too.

How to size down this carrot cake:

The cake pictured above is a half recipe baked in 3 6-inch round pans. It’s the perfect size for our rather small family, leaving us with a piece or two for the birthday person to enjoy later.

The recipe below is for a full-size eight or nine-inch 3-layer cake. Cutting the recipe in half is fairly simple, as most ingredients call for two of whatever it is. If you have a question, don’t hesitate to email me.

If you have questions or suggestions, email me privately for a quick answer: Paula at saladinajar.com. Hope to see you again soon! 


Carrot Cake Without Pineapple Recipe

Paula Rhodes
This is our family recipe for carrot cake with cream cheese icing.  A lighter version of cream cheese icing made with marshmallow creme is included.
4.54 from 15 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Cakes and Icing
Cuisine American
Servings 16 slices
Calories 325 kcal



  • 2 cups flour - 240 gr
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup oil - 198 gr
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar - 297 gr
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts - I use toasted pecans + 1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries + 1 cup shredded coconut

Cream Cheese Icing:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese - softened 227 gr
  • 1-1/2 cups marshmallow cream - 128 gr
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar - 57 gr



  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare 3 9-inch round cake pans or 10 x 14-inch rectangular pan by spraying with vegetable oil/flour combination such as Baker’s Joy or line the bottom of pans with wax paper or parchment paper (my preference).
  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  • Combine oil and sugar in mixer bowl until smooth. Add eggs and mix until smooth. Mix in carrots and vanilla.
  • Add dry ingredients and mix only until they disappear. Gently fold in nuts, fruit and coconut if using.
  • Bake for 25-35 minutes rotating pans half way through baking time. After cooling for 5 minutes, turn out onto baking rack and allow to cool completely before icing.

Cream Cheese Icing

  • Beat cream cheese, marshmallow cream and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and beat on low until smooth.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 325kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 413mg | Potassium: 147mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 4261IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword 3 layers cake, carrot cake recipe, carrot cake with cream cheese
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Recipe Rating


  1. I love the picture of Grandma!
    And I could eat the whole bowl of cream cheese icing!!!

  2. Wow, your presentation looks better than my cakes ever look. :+)
    I specialize in lop sided layers. Looks like I will be forced to make one in the new few days. It looks sooooo good.

  3. TheKitchenWitch says:

    Carrot cake is my favorite cake, too! You did a beautiful job, and happy birthday to your lovely mom!

  4. Other Sis says:

    Ah, yes–carrot cake! It is my husband’s favorite, so I’ve made a lot of them over the years. Here at altitude (in Denver), I’ve had to make a few changes–and the biggest one is that my layers always flop so I always make the cake in a 9″X13″ pan.

    Specifically, I don’t add any baking powder (just the 2 teaspoons soda), 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1-1/2 cups sugar. Also, just in case one “messes up” and throws everything in the mixing bowl at once…the cake comes out just fine that way, too. And, we use pecans here instead of walnuts.

    Great picture of Mother–and thanks for highlighting this great and long-time family favorite!

  5. What wonderful pictures!!! That carrot cake just jumps right out at you and the picture of your mom is great. You have great Daughter-in-laws that love your mom and I can’t wait to hear about the menu. Love to you all.

  6. Betty @ scrambled hen fruit says:

    Happy birthday to your mom! That’s a great looking cake- carrot cake is one of my favorites!

  7. What a beautiful cake, and a wonderful tribute to your mother. Happy birthday to her!

  8. A perfect birthday cake that must be as good as it looks! Sending Happy Birthday wishes to you mom!

  9. Lovely cake, I really like carrot cake too. Congratulations on your mother’s 93rd birthday that’s wonderful to still have your parents!

  10. Happy belated birthday to your amazing Mom! 93…Wow! What an awesome lady.

    The carrot cake looks scrumptious!

  11. Happy Birthday to your mom! Great photo. Carrot cake was my mom’s favorite cake too. Your cake looks fabulous. I haven’t made a cream cheese frosting with marshmallow cream before, but it sound great.

  12. UrMomCooks says:

    Happy bday to ur mom!!! U are very blessed! (awesome reminder on the wonderfulness of carrot cake! looks fantastic!)

  13. Carrot cake is a fav in this house. especially on Hub’s birthday. Yours looks pefect. Love the smaller size. Just right.

  14. That cake looks fantastic and delicious. And yay for your mom!

  15. Gorgeous birthday cake!

  16. Madam Chow says:

    That looks incredible. My mouth is watering.

  17. Hi Paula!

    I made this cake this past weekend and it was as delicious as it looks. It just might be one of my favorite desserts! I posted about it today. Thanks for all of the great recipes you share!

    Kindly, ldh

  18. Thelma Archer says:

    O MY GOSH! I want to eat the whole cake! I love carrot cake, it is one of my favorites, I can’t wait to try this recipie. I can’t believe the cake image it looks like I could cut myself a slice or TWO! Thanks.

  19. I’ve only gotten into carrot cakes recently and have been searching for the best recipe, which so far is Cook’s Illustrated’s 2003 version. However, no matter what recipe I’m using, I always cut the oil in half and use buttermilk for the other half. No one can tell the difference and you automatically cut 1/2 the oil calories. The buttermilk has the added advantage of tenderizing the cake. Reducing fat wherever I can, adding fiber with whole grains, and subbing Nu Naturals stevia for part of the sugar are some of my skinny secrets. I’m the same size that I was in high school but it takes a lot more work now, as I’m 70.

    1. Judy, you are my hero. The same size as in high school at 70–WOW! I’m finding it more work at 56 than just 5 years ago but doing a food blog might have something to do with it too. Love your hints for cutting calories in carrot cake. Thanks for sharing.

  20. Hi again Paula,
    I was looking at your recipe for carrot cake. I was wondering if you had ever heard of chia seeds. You can take 1 T chia seeds add to 9T water, let sit for 5 mins and it becomes like a gel. With that gel you can substitute 1/2 of any baking recipe for the oil. So your carrot cake recipe that calls for 11/2c. of oil can be as good using 3/4c. oil and 3/4c. of chia gel. Try it out ! It is amazing. There are also other good benefits for using chia seeds. Added to yogurt it is amazing!

    1. Nadine, I have never tried chia seed. Do they add a certain texture? Kinda like flax seeds? Well, I will certainly give them a try. Thanks for stopping by.

  21. Corrie Anne says:

    Hooray! My fiance is going to love that one! I can’t wait to try it out!

  22. persiangemini says:

    This looks great. So did you divide all these amounts by 2, to make it in a 6 inch pan? I am making a cake in a 6 inch pan and 4 inch depth and looking to see how I need to modify the ingredients that I have for a 9 inch pan to 6 inch pan. Any tips will be appreciated.

    1. No coconut are you trying to kill me

  23. Betty Harris says:

    Love carrot cake good to see recipe without pineapple

    1. Hi Betty,
      Not a pineapple lover? This recipe is especially for you. Hope you like it.