I was rummaging through the back of my pantry yesterday and came across a couple large cans of crushed pineapple. I must have purchased them earlier in plans of making a specific recipe, but I never got around to it; does that ever happen to you?
Well, coming across these tasty cans of pineapple sparked a craving in me for something sweet, so I decided to search a few of my favorite food blogs for inspiration. Within minutes I found my recipe. Over at SkinnyTaste, Gina had created a moist and delicious carrot pineapple cake with cream cheese frosting…yes please!
Following her recipe relatively closely, I discovered that I had the majority of ingredients on hand – what I didn’t, I just left out (this includes the shredded coconut, walnuts, and whole wheat flour). Now if you know me, or have read my earlier posts, you will know my extreme aversion to any kind of nut in my baked goods; I hate them. It’s a texture thing; don’t put crunchy things in my soft and fluffy dessert. End of story. That said, if you don’t have this weird hatred of crunchy things in your soft baked goods, (like most normal people…) by all means, add them in!
The other major change I made was in the frosting. You may be thinking, “Paula, that picture does NOT look like cream cheese frosting…” and you’d be right. Seeing as I’m lactose intolerant, I avoid dairy when possible, so the frosting you see pictured is a concoction of crushed pineapple, a package of cheesecake pudding, and cool whip. Yes, I realize this sounds like a bizarre combination, but it is actually quite delicious. Plus, when you are denied the glorious flavors of cream cheese frosting, it makes for a great substitute. If you don’t have a dairy allergy, certainly try the cream cheese frosting, but for you lactose intolerant readers out there, give this alternative frosting a try.
Since this recipe came from Gina, I am not surprised by its incredible flavor. Do keep in mind, however, that Gina’s recipes are lightened up a bit, so you wont see the standard cup of oil going into this carrot cake; the crushed pineapple makes up for the oil and provides a sweet, moist, and wonderfully flavorful cake. I stored mine in the refrigerator and found that the flavor improved after each day; if you have the time, I recommend letting the cooled and frosted cake chill for at least eight hours (or over night) for the flavors to really pop. Enjoy!
Carrot Pineapple Cake with TWO Frostings
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (Gina calls for 1/2 whole wheat; I prefer all-purpose in my baked goods)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup flaked coconut (I omitted due to lacking ingredient)
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 tbls. canola oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 2 cups graded carrots
- 20 oz. can crushed pineapple in juice – drained
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts plus 1/4 cup for topping (I omitted due to my aversion of nuts in baked goods)
- 8 oz. 1/3 less fat cream cheese – room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 20 oz. crushed pineapple
- 1 package cheesecake jello pudding mix
- 1 cup Cool Whip
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 OR bundt pan with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, optional coconut, and spices.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in grated carrots and pineapple.
- Fold wet ingredients into dry. If using, fold in chopped nuts.
- Transfer batter to prepared pan.
- Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes (depending on what size pan you use) You will know the cake is done when it pulls away slightly from the sides and when you insert a toothpick it comes out clean.
- Cool cake completely on a wire rack.
- Frost with desired frosting (two options listed below)
- If time allows, cool cake in refrigerator for eight hours or overnight for optimal flavor results.