Old-Fashioned Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This old-fashioned carrot cake with pineapple and frosted with delicious cream cheese frosting is moist, delicious, and decadent! 

Old Fashioned Carrot Cake on a white plate with a fork.

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You’ll love this moist and delicious cake. It’s a family favorite recipe and frequently requested for birthdays, Easter, Mother’s Day and just about anytime we get together! With a buttermilk glaze, pineapple, cream cheese frosting and more, this old-fashioned carrot cake will become a family favorite in your home too!

Carrot Cake Pin 4

Too busy to make this right now? Pin for later to your favorite Pinterest Board!

Carrot Cake History

I always love researching and sharing a bit about a dish’s history and the carrot cake was particularly interesting as there are many theories!

Some historians believe that carrot cake may have originated in the Middle Ages when carrots were used as a sweetener in desserts as sugar was not available.

Interestingly enough, George Washington, one of our Founding Fathers, is believed to have served carrot cake to his guests! This is according to Taste.

However, it did not appear in a cookbook until 1827, when it was published in a French cookbook in England.

Whenever or wherever carrot cake originated from it’s become a popular dessert across the globe!

Carrot Cake frosted in the pan


This recipe has a rather long list of ingredients but I promise it’s super worth the effort to make this delectable homemade carrot cake.

Carrot Cake Ingredients

Eggs – I use large eggs in my baking recipes.

Olive Oil – Use a good high-quality brand of olive oil for the best flavor. I have also used coconut oil for a sweeter flavor and it works great!

Buttermilk – Using buttermilk makes for a rich and moist cake!

Sugar – Regular granulated sugar here!

Real Vanilla Extract  – For the absolute best flavor be sure to use real vanilla extract and NOT imitation!

Flour – All-purpose flour works perfectly in this carrot cake recipe but I have been known to use half all-purpose and half whole-wheat flour as well!

Baking Soda – To help our cake rise!

Cinnamon – This is the only spice used in this cake.

Salt – To enhance the flavors.

Crushed Pineapple  – This also helps keep the cake moist as well as adds additional flavor. Pineapple and carrot just go together!

Walnuts – I like to add nuts to my carrot cake but if you are nut-free feel free to omit them!

Chopped Walnuts on a wooden cutting board with a knife.

Shredded Coconut – This helps add sweetness and flavor to the cake. I love making carrot cake with pineapple and coconut for added moisture and flavor!

Carrots – Well you can’t make carrot cake without carrots right!?! This recipe calls for grated carrots. I like to use a food processor to quickly and efficiently grate my carrots.

Grated Carrots in a white bowl on a wooden cutting board.

Buttermilk Glaze Ingredients

To make this old-fashioned carrot cake extra moist, I use a buttermilk glaze to soak into the cake after removing it from the oven!


Baking Soda



Light Corn Syrup

Real Vanilla Extra

Carrot Cake with pineapple and coconut and cream cheese frosting piece on a white plate.

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

Top this delicious buttermilk glazed carrot cake with this simple cream cheese frosting.

Butter, at room temperature

Cream Cheese, at room temperature

Real Vanilla Extract

Powdered Sugar



This cake is made in 3 primary steps – the carrot cake, the buttermilk glaze, and, finally, the cream cheese frosting!

How to Make the Carrot Cake

To make the carrot cake, add the eggs, olive oil, buttermilk, sugar, and vanilla to the bowl of a standing mixer. Mix until well blended.

Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Mix until fully incorporated.

Mixing the old fashioned carrot cake ingredients in a standing mixer.

Add in the grated carrots, chopped walnuts, shredded coconut, and drained can of crushed pineapple. Mix until well blended.

Pour the carrot cake batter into a greased 9×13 baking pan, which is my preferred method, or two 9-inch layer cake pans.

Carrot Cake Batter with pineapple and coconut in the pan ready for the oven.

Baking at 350° F for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean.

Make the Buttermilk Glaze

When there are about 15 minutes until the carrot cake is done baking, make the buttermilk glaze.

In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the sugar, baking soda, buttermilk, butter, and corn syrup to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

Buttermilk Glaze ingredients in a sauce pan on the stove.

When the cake is done baking, remove it from the oven and using a butter knife poke holes randomly to help absorb the buttermilk glaze.

Slowly, pour the buttermilk glaze over the hot cake.

Slowly pouring the buttermilk glaze over the carrot cake after removing it from the oven.

It will look like a lot of glaze but I promise it will be absorbed and make the cake moist and delicious!

Buttermilk Glaze soaking into the carrot cake.

Allow the cake to cool for 15 minutes while the glaze absorbs. Now it’s almost ready to be frosted!

Buttermilk glazed soaked into the carrot cake.

How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting

This cream cheese frosting is super easy with only 5 ingredients and can be used anytime you need a quick cream cheese frosting!

In the bowl of the standing mixer, mix the butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Be patient here it will get fluffy!

Add the vanilla, powdered sugar, and milk. Mix until smooth and creamy.

Once the cake has absorbed the glaze and it has cooled, spread the frosting over the top of the cake! Chill the carrot cake for 1 hour in the fridge before serving!

Cream Cheese frosted Carrot Cake in a pan.

You might also like…

Chocolate Beet Muffins

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Carrot Cake Smoothie

Yield: 16 Servings

Old Fashioned Carrot Cake

Cake cake piece on a white plate with a fork

Delicious moist old fashioned carrot cake with pineapple and coconut is the perfect dessert for Easter or anytime!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes


  • Cake
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 20 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 cups carrots, grated

Buttermilk Glaze

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 stick of butter, at room temperature
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. To make the cake: In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the eggs, olive oil, buttermilk, sugar, and vanilla until well blended.
  3. Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt and mix until well incorporated.
  4. Add the pineapple, carrots, walnuts, and shredded coconut and mix until well blended.
  5. Pour the batter into a greased 9x13-inch baking pan or 2 greased 9-inch layer cake pans.
  6. Bake at 350° F for 50 to 55 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. While the cake bakes, make the glaze. In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the sugar, baking soda, buttermilk, 1 stick of butter, and corn syrup to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  8. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the vanilla extract.
  9. When the cake is done, remove it from the oven and slowly pour the glaze over the hot cake.
  10. Cool the cake in the pan until the glaze is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  11. To make the frosting, in the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
  12. Add the vanilla, powdered sugar, and milk and mix until smooth.
  13. Frost the cake and place it in the fridge for at least 1 hour or until the frosting is set.


Start the glaze 15 minutes before the cake finishes baking.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 630Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 84mgSodium: 484mgCarbohydrates: 79gFiber: 2gSugar: 63gProtein: 6g

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Whether you make this delicious old-fashioned carrot cake for Easter or a birthday, it’s sure to be a hit! It was the first thing I ever baked for my husband and he still asks every year for it for his birthday!

About the Author

A picture of me, the owner of Chaos & Wine, with a variety of ingredients on a wooden table.

Hey! I'm April, the owner of Chaos & Wine!

I can't wait to share all my family's favorite recipes and a few random thoughts as a mom!

So let the chaos settle, grab a glass of wine and relax with me or join me for a little chaos in the kitchen!

You can find out more about me here!

This page contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase after clicking a link, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. For more information please read my full affiliate disclosure.

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