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Pecan Pineapple Carrot Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Pecan Pineapple Carrot Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. My favourite version of carrot cake featuring a moist spice cake base with sweet golden pineapple and crunchy pecans. I love to make an Italian buttercream frosting for this cake instead of the traditional cream cheese frosting.

Pecan Pineapple Carrot Cake

Pecan Pineapple Carrot Cake

Originally published 20011. 2017 update to include baking notes for ingredient measurements and adjust the baking soda amount slightly. New photos are also added.

This is probably my favorite version of this classic dessert cake. It does not sway too far from a traditional recipe but does add some fresh golden pineapple for added moisture and outstanding flavour.

Pecan Pineapple Carrot Cake

Pecan Pineapple Carrot Cake

The lightly toasted pecans pair perfectly with the spicy carrot cake too. You can use your favorite cream cheese icing to fill and cover this cake of course.

Just to change it up a little, some luscious vanilla buttercream frosting is also excellent on this scrumptious cake.

Pineapple Pecan Carrot Cake, just out of the oven

Just out of the oven

If you’d like the recipe for cream cheese frosting instead of the buttercream frosting you’ll find it with our Sticky Toffee Banana Cake.

Pecan Pineapple Carrot Cake, so moist and tempting.

Pecan Pineapple Carrot Cake, so moist and tempting.

Love homemade cakes from scratch? We’ve put together a collection of the 25 Most Baked Cakes of the last 12 years on Rock Recipes. You are sure to find several to love.

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Pecan Pineapple Carrot Cake image with title text

Pecan Pineapple Carrot Cake

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Pecan Pineapple Carrot Cake
Yield: 16 servings

Pineapple Pecan Carrot Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

My favorite version of carrot cake featuring a moist spice cake base with sweet golden pineapple and crunchy pecans. I love to make an Italian buttercream frosting for this cake instead of the traditional cream cheese frosting.


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups grated carrots (see note), (not finely grated)
  • 1 cup fresh golden pineapple diced small (see note), Use canned pineapple tidbits only if fresh is unavailable, roughly chopped and then pressed through a sieve to remove the excess liquid.
  • 1/2 cup chopped lightly toasted pecans


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 6 egg whites at room temperature
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups softened unsalted butter


  1. Grease and flour two 8 or 9 inch cake pans.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar, eggs and vanilla and oil until light and fluffy.
  4. Stir in the grated carrots, pineapple and nuts.
  5. Fold in the dry ingredients by hand.
  6. Stir only until the dry ingredients are incorporated into the batter. Do not over mix.
  7. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees F or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.


  1. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Continue to
  2. boil over medium heat without stirring until the mixture reaches 240 degrees on
  3. a candy thermometer.
  4. Meanwhile beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and vanilla extract together to stiff peaks with the whisk attachment on your mixer..
  5. Slowly pour in the sugar syrup in a thin stream, hitting the side of the bowl and
  6. not the beaters.
  7. Continue beating the frosting for 10-15 minutes until the
  8. meringue is completely cool.
  9. When completely cool, slowly begin to add a few tablespoons of the butter at a time, beating constantly.
  10. Beat until smooth after each addition. When properly done, the texture of this frosting should resemble whipped cream. If storing in the fridge, you will want to bring the cake out to come up to room temperature before serving.


Be sure not to overmeasure the amount of pineapple and grated carrot in this recipe or your cake could get soggy and/or crumbly. I made the mistake once of adding more pineapple and it ruined the cake. 

Also, use the large side of the grater, and only lightly pack the grated carrot to fill 1 1/2 cups. Finely grated carrot will also introduce too much moisture into the cake.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size

1 slice

Amount Per Serving Calories 495Total Fat 28gSaturated Fat 16gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 92mgSodium 344mgCarbohydrates 59gFiber 1gSugar 46gProtein 5g

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Sunday 26th of April 2020

Looks wonderful! Do leftovers have to be refrigerated?


Monday 2nd of September 2019

I made this for my daughter’s birthday and it turned out perfectly and was a huge hit. I was a little intimidated by the frosting recipe, but it turned out so well. Definitely a recipe I will use again!


Monday 6th of May 2019

Can I make it in a 9X13 square pan?

Barry C. Parsons

Thursday 9th of May 2019

It will be a little higher bit probably ok.


Saturday 13th of April 2019

I ma wanting to do this for my Easter tea party. I have mini cake pans and was wondering if you think they would bake okay as minis?

Barry C. Parsons

Wednesday 17th of April 2019

I guess, just watch them carefully and of course the time will be much shorter.


Monday 17th of September 2018

Hi Barry, is the Butter Cream frosting recipe you provide the Italian Butter Cream you're referring to?

Barry C. Parsons

Thursday 20th of September 2018

Yes it is.

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