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A Carrot Cake Without Pineapple Recipe

Preview: This carrot cake without pineapple recipe is slathered with a light cream cheese icing. It’s ideal for a celebration.

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 every year on her birthday.

If you are looking for a place to start with a carrot cake tradition, this is it. Plenty of carrots are involved with this cake, but there’s no pineapple in sight.

Uncut Carrot cake

Recipe Inspiration:

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 not afraid 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. It’s based on a version printed in a recent issue of Cook’s Country magazine. However, it doesn’t make a lot, 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 actual 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 I give you below is for a full-size 8 or 9-inch 3-layer cake. Cutting the recipe in half is fairly simple as most of the ingredients call for 2 of whatever it is. If you have a question, don’t hesitate to email me.

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Pinterest image of Layered Carrot Cake.

Did you enjoy this recipe? If so, you can help others and me by leaving a 5-star 🤩 rating in the comment section below. No comment is required.

p.s. If you have any questions or suggestions, you can email me privately: Paula at

Hope to see you again soon!

Carrot Cake Without Pineapple Recipe

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.
Paula Rhodes
4.45 from 9 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Cakes and Icing
Servings 16 slices



  • 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: 1sliceCalories: 325kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 5gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 413mgPotassium: 147mgFiber: 1gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 4261IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 66mgIron: 1mg
Keyword 3 layers cake, carrot cake recipe, carrot cake with cream cheese
Cuisine American
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Recipe Rating


Sunday 16th of October 2011

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.


Saturday 13th of March 2021

No coconut are you trying to kill me

Corrie Anne

Saturday 21st of May 2011

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


Wednesday 11th of May 2011

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! Enjoy! Nadine


Saturday 14th of May 2011

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.


Monday 18th of April 2011

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.


Monday 18th of April 2011

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.

Thelma Archer

Monday 4th of October 2010

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.