Easy Carrot Cake

It’s almost Father’s Day and I made carrot cake.

It’s almost Father’s Day and I wish the Philippines wasn’t a 24-hour flight away so I can hang out with my dad as often as I want to, but for now FaceTime will have to do.

If only I can FedEx this carrot cake to my dad. I know he will love it, because I do. But he’s getting a different cake delivered to him in Manila, and I’ll just have to make this again next time we see each other in person.

But you, dear reader, can still make this for your dad! Or your mom. Or just yourself and your husband while you are watching Good Omens.

I’ve been thinking about this cake for weeks now. My family loves carrot cake. My sister Patty and her husband Marlon served carrot cake at their wedding reception. So did Matt and I (we got ours from Flour Bakery). I would’ve wanted to bake my sister’s wedding cake, but I didn’t have time, and worse, I didn’t have a go-to recipe.

But now I do, and I hope it becomes your go-to, too. Because this is really good carrot cake. The kind that has pineapples, raisins, and walnuts. The kind that requires only one bowl to make (plus the bowl for frosting). The kind with a thick layer of cream cheese frosting so delicious, you’ll want to eat it by the giant spoonfull.

This Easy Carrot Cake is soft and tender but dense, with lots of texture and different flavors. Crushed pineapple lends moisture and sweetness, walnuts add crunch and earthiness, raisins contribute even more chew. It’s a onelayer cake. It’s baked in a square pan. It’s ready in less than an hour. And it’s oh so fragrant, thanks to coconut oil. It’s pretty perfect in my opinion. And when I discover perfect things I want to share them with my perfect dad.

Every year I post a little Father’s Day tribute on this blog for my dad, but there are not enough words or recipes or pictures to really express how much I love and trust and admire him. Every year I write about how similar we are, how incredibly patient and intelligent and hardworking he is, how he makes me want to be a better person. Every year I think about how great it would be to share a dessert with my dad on Father’s Day, but then I realize it doesn’t have to be Father’s Day for us to do that. And it certainly doesn’t have to be Father’s Day for me to feel lucky to have him.

Hope your weekend is filled with cake and loved ones.

Easy Carrot Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes


carrot CAKE

1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups grated carrots
1 cup canned crushed pineapple
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup raisins

cream cheese frosting

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Make the cake. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper, making sure all sides are covered and there's some overhang. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the sugar and oil. Make sure you're using the oil in liquid (not solidified) state. I typically microwave mine to melt it to a liquid.
  4. Add eggs, carrots, pineapple, and vanilla. Mix well.
  5. Add the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir until combined. 
  6. Fold in walnuts and raisins.
  7. Pour the batter into prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes. Set aside and let cool before frosting.
  8. Make the cream cheese frosting. Place cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat until creamy.
  9. Add confectioners sugar and vanilla. Beat until fluffy and smooth.
  10. Spread frosting on top of cake, cut into bars, and serve immediately or chilled. Cake also keeps well, refrigerated in an air-tight container for up to 5 days.

Happy Father’s Day to my sweet dad!

If you’d like to read more Father’s Day tributes and recipes inspired by my dad, check out these posts: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, No Churn Coffee Cake Ice CreamFilipino Avocado Ice CreamBanana Caramel Upside Down CakeJapanese Fried Cauliflower RiceSalted Chocolate Banoffee PieSteak on the Stovetop, and Nutella Banana Pudding.


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