This recipe was inspired by my colleague Chloe, whose family has carrot cake on their dessert menu every year for Easter. Growing up she was told that canned pineapple is the secret to making the best carrot cake. So, we partnered with Del Monte® to create your new favorite carrot cake using Del Monte® Deluxe Gold® Pineapple. Del Monte® Deluxe Gold® Pineapple Chunks deliver a pop of color and naturally-sweet flavor to this tasty dessert.
Honey Carrot Cake
- 1/ 2 cup milk (or non-dairy alternative)
- 1/ 3 cup plus 1 tablespoon neutral oil
- 3/ 4 cup honey
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/ 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup toasted pecans or walnuts, very finely chopped
- 1/ 2 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 1/ 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 1/ 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/ 4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 medium carrots, peeled and finely grated (to make 1 ½ packed cups)
- 1 (20 ounce) can Del Monte® Deluxe Gold® Pineapple Chunks, drained (juice reserved)
- 1/ 4 cup raisins (optional)
Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 3 tablespoons reserved pineapple juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/ 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch of kosher salt, to taste
Candied Carrot Ribbons
- 2/ 3 cup reserved pineapple juice
- 1 medium carrot, peeled
Make the Cake
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Coat an 8” or 9” round cake pan with nonstick spray and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
Stir milk, oil, honey, eggs, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl until well combined.
Whisk flour, finely chopped pecans or walnuts, coconut, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate medium bowl.
Gradually add milk mixture to dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Add grated carrots, 1 ½ cups drained Pineapple Chunks, and raisins and stir until well combined. Transfer batter to prepared pan and bake for 55-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with a few moist crumbs. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. (Note: If using a 9” pan, start checking for doneness after 45 minutes)
Allow cake to cool completely on a wire rack.
Make the Cream Cheese Frosting
Combine cream cheese, pineapple juice, honey, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl until smooth and well combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Make the Candied Carrot Ribbons
Meanwhile, make shaved carrot ribbons using a vegetable peeler. Start with one side of the carrot at a time to make thick ribbons, then turn and shave the other side.
Simmer carrot ribbons in remaining pineapple juice in a small pot over low heat for about 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely before using.
Top cooled cake with chilled cream cheese frosting. Arrange candied carrot ribbons and remaining ¾ cup Pineapple Chunks decoratively over the top. Cake can sit out at room temperature for up to two hours, but should be chilled until about one hour before slicing and serving.