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Slice of Old Fashioned Carrot Cake with Pineapple Flowers on a round white plate

Old Fashioned Carrot Cake with Pineapple Flowers

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This Old Fashioned Carrot Cake with Pineapple Flowers is my well-loved recipe made in a 9 x 13 -inch pan. Plus, I glammed it up with a few pineapple flowers for a holiday lunch. 

Slice of Old Fashioned Carrot Cake with Pineapple Flowers on a round white plate

Old Fashioned Carrot Cake with Pineapple Flowers

Years ago, I sent a dense, delicious carrot cake with cream cheese frosting with Bill to the hospital. The nurses, techs, heck, everyone, gave it rave reviews. So when an annual holiday luncheon was approaching, requests came pouring in. I tweaked my regular, carrot cake recipe and baked up this old fashioned carrot cake garnished with pineapple flowers.

Old Fashioned Carrot Cake with Pineapple Flowers in a 9 x 13 baking dish

Loaded Carrot Cake

I first tasted carrot cake in the ’70’s. My parents had discovered this new fangled dessert on a weekend trip to Minneapolis. Dense, moist with a most delectable cream cheese frosting, they brought some home for me and my sisters to sample. But, when my mom started baking a recipe with the bonus ingredients of crushed pineapple, coconut, and nuts, we never looked back.

If you’re not coconut lover, I’ll tell you that 2 of my taste testers at this lunch each ate a slice despite not liking coconut. This old fashioned carrot cake is just that fabulous. Of course, if you’re like my hubby and despise coconut, pineapple, and nuts of any kind, I don’t think I’ll be able to miraculously change your taste buds!

More Carrot Cake Desserts You’ll Love:

Old Fashioned Carrot Cake with Pineapple Flowers | A dreamy, loaded carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and a beautiful pineapple garnish

Old Fashioned Carrot Cake with Pineapple Flowers

 This Old Fashioned Carrot Cake with Pineapple Flowers is my well loved recipe made in a 9 x 13 -inch pan. Plus, I glammed it up with a few pineapple flowers for a holiday lunch. 

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Yield 24


Pineapple Flowers:

  • 1/2 whole pineapple, peeled, cored and sliced very thin (you'll need 12 or more slices)


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 1/3 cup cooked and pureed carrots
  • 3/4 cup crushed pineapple, drained


  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • A squeeze of lemon juice from half a lemon


*To make pineapple flowers, preheat oven to 225º. Line two baking sheets with Silpats[ or parchment paper. I sliced my pineapple with a benriner.

Place pineapple slices on paper towels, then top with another layer or two of paper towels to help dry up any excess juices.

Place slices on baking sheets. Cook until tops look dried, about 30 minutes. Flip slices; cook until completely dried, 25 to 30 minutes more. Let cool slightly.

Place slices into a muffin tin pressing down to make a cup shape. Return to the warm oven which has been turned off, to finish drying (I left them in overnight with a post-it on the oven reminding me not to turn it on!). Reserve pineapple flowers to garnish the finished cake.

To make the cake, preheat oven to 350º.  Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

Add dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk[ to combine.  Add oil, eggs, and vanilla.  Mix until well combined. Fold in walnuts, coconut, carrots, and pineapple.

Pour batter into the prepared pan.  Bake for 50-60 minutes or until edges have pulled away from the sides and a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Place on a wire rack to cool for 2-3 hours.

To make the frosting, cream together the cream cheese and butter in a mixing bowl.

Slowly sift in the powdered sugar and continue beating until fully incorporated and no lumps remain.

Stir in the vanilla and lemon juice.

Frost top of the cake, and garnish with pineapple flowers if desired.


* If you want to garnish with pineapple flowers, make them the day before, so they have ample time to dry.

Adapted from The New Basics Cookbook.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 365Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 230mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 1gSugar: 34gProtein: 4g


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Old Fashioned Carrot Cake with Pineapple Flowers | A dreamy, loaded carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and a beautiful pineapple garnish


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29 comments on “Old Fashioned Carrot Cake with Pineapple Flowers”

  1. I love carrot cake. This one looks nice and moist. I love the pineapple flower, they make the cake extra special.

  2. you are so talented who would have thought pineapple flowers on this moist and delicious looking cake to dress it up? WOW just beautiful!

  3. Looks splendid! I love my carrots with pineapple too. Must bake one soon.

  4. Definitely making this cake. I DO like coconut, crushed pineapples and nuts. Now those pineapple flowers may be a challenge for me. I wish I had known your Mother. I knew you Dad but cannot remember ever meeting your Mom.

  5. My sister’s birthday is coming up and carrot cake is her favorite. I’ll have to make this one for her, complete with pineapple flowers! They’re so fun!

  6. This cook looks so superb! It’s very similar to my mom’s recipe for carrot cake. Those pineapple flowers though!! So cool!

  7. Oh I am such a carrot cake lover. And the pineapple flowers make it extra special!

  8. Carrot Cake is one of my sons favorites! I love your pretty pineapple flowers:@)

  9. What a fun and pretty way to pizzazz up a delicious cake! I remember my first carrot cake back in the 70’s too, I couldn’t believe how wonderful it was!

  10. Those pineapple flowers are adorable! Carrot cake is my absolutely FAVORITE cake! This one is so pretty!!

  11. I love your carrot cake recipe Liz!! It’s got two of my favorite things-coconut and pineapple! Ad I love love those pineapple flowers!

  12. Been wanting to make these pineapple flowers in the longest years but just didn’t get to it. Love it! xoxo

  13. Who doesn’t like carrot cake? And your recipe looks superb! Love the pineapple flowers — pretty, and very tasty, I’ll bet. Good stuff — thanks.

  14. OMG pineapple flowers are my new favorite thing :)))

  15. Carrot cake is the bomb but wow this one is even better with the Pineapple Flowers, so cute! Will have to try that.

  16. Those pineapple flowers are adorable!! I love carrot cake too!  

  17. Oh my goodness this cake sounds wonderful and those flowers are gorgeous. You are an artist! Thanks for sharing this brilliant idea Liz – pinning!

  18. Seriously it is old fashioned but evergreen design with unique taste. Pineapple flowers are really looking adorable on carrot cake. Glad to see this and looking forward to make this at my place.

  19. I love the pineapple flowers! What a great idea! I love carrot cakes, and this one looks and sounds like it’s worthy of rave reviews. I’m a coconut lover, you can never put too much of it in anything for me 🙂

  20. Carrot cake was the first cake I ever made! And it was in home ec class! So good. But I love these pineapple flowers. Pinning so I don’t forget!

  21. I love carrot cake! I can’t wait to try making this!

  22. So delicious, Liz! I love carrot cake and I love those flowers!

  23. Hi Liz,
    addition of pineapple flower to carrot cake have taken the dish to a different level.will share you the picture of my carrot cake with pineapple flower.

  24. I will have to try this very soon! Looks divine xoxo

  25. The pineapple flowers are very decorative and look right at home on your cake. Carrots, pineapple and coconut are a match made in dessert heaven.

  26. I am about to hit the print button on this one as soon as I finish writing this. What a beautiful way to present carrot cake Liz!! I’ve always wanted to try making those pineapple flowers – thanks for the tutorial. Can’t wait to try this.

  27. Yummy! This cake is our favorite! It was a big hit here at the house! Can’t wait to to make this again!

  28. This cake is so moist and delicious! The frosting is the perfect compliment. Pineapple flowers add a pretty touch to make it just a little fancy!

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