My vintage inspiration for Vintage Carrot Pineapple Cake comes from my copy of the 1966 “Better Homes & Gardens Pies and Cakes” cookbook. It’s interesting that the original recipe was written in paragraph form as opposed to a standard cookbook list form.
I have taken this recipe for Vintage Carrot Pineapple Cake and baked it modern by doubling the recipe, adding more spices, additional carrot and some nuts to the batter. This recipe also doubles the frosting with the exception of the powdered sugar as I prefer it a little less sweet.
Bakers tips for Vintage Carrot Pineapple Cake:
Grate fresh carrots:
Use fresh carrots instead of pre-shredded as they will provide additional moisture to the cake. I like to use tri-color carrots which are fun to use in carrot cakes as they add a variety of color.
Quality spices add more flavor:
If you can, purchase spices pre-ground in bulk. My favorite spices are Frontier Spices which are mostly all-natural and organic. These spices have a much deeper flavor than conventional spices found in the grocery store.
Using oil makes for a moist cake:
When making a cake that has a lot of flavor from its spices, fruit or nuts, use oil instead of butter for a super moist cake. Canola oil is perfect since it has a neutral and light flavor. I like to use a combination of canola oil mixed with extra light virgin olive oil. If your cake recipe calls for butter, you can always use all oil or if you still want to get flavor from butter use a combination of oil and butter together.
Use the proper baking sheet:
When baking, always use aluminum cake pans since they conduct even heat. My favorite brand of baking pans are Nordic Ware or Fat Daddios. I wanted to stay true to the recipe and used a vintage 9×9 square pan, however, if you only have a quarter baking sheet or 9×13 pan that will work too.
Full-fat, block cream cheese is best for the frosting:
Frost with my homemade cream cheese frosting or simply dust with confectioners sugar. For the best all natural taste and texture, use full fat cream cheese sold in the brick. Do not use cream cheese in the tub which is acutually a spread and has additives. Cream cheese frosting tends to be thin, so if you are going to pipe the frosting, add 1-2 tsp. of unflavored gelatin or cornstarch to the confectioners sugar. Although just adding additional confectioners sugar would also make it thicken up, it makes the frosting too sweet.
Keep vintage cake decorating simple:
If your pan was well-greased, you can use a knife around the edges and release the cake onto a piece of parchment paper. Take a serrated knife and cut cake in half. Use an off-set spatula to top the bottom half. Place other half on top of the frosting. Spread frosting on top layer of cake and coat the sides. Finish the look with a simple garnish of chopped pecans all the way around the lower third of the cake.
Looking for more cake recipes? Try my Vintage Banana Cake
Vintage Carrot Pineapple Cake
- 3 c. unbleached flour
- 2 c. sugar
- 1/2 c. chopped pecans
- 1 T. baking powder
- 1 tsp. soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. clove
- 1 1/3 c. oil canola or extra light virgin olive oil
- 4 eggs
- 1 c. crushed pineapple (in 100% juice)
- 3 c. shredded carrots
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 8 oz. cream cheese room temp
- 1/2 c. unsalted butter room temp
- 3 c. confectioners sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1/2 c. chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare square pan 9" x 9" x 2" by spraying with cooking oil spray and flour lightly.
- Whisk together dry ingredients in bowl and set aside.
- Finely grate carrots and set aside.
- Finely chop pecans and set aside. Reserve 1/2 c. for the frosting.
- Place butter and cream cheese on counter to soften.
- Place dry ingredients into the mixer.
- Add wet ingredients and blend until just combined.
- Pour batter into greased pan and bake for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick placed in center comes out clean. Allow to cool before icing, then cut into squares.
- In a mixer, cream together cream cheese, butter until light and fluffy.
- Add confectioners sugar, vanilla, and pinch of salt.
- Add remaining 1/2 c. of pecans.
ASSEMBLE THE CAKE
- Slide knife around the perimeter of pan. Turn cake out onto a piece of parchment paper and slice in half. Place one half on cake plate and frost.
- Place top layer of cake over frosted side. Frost top layer and sides.
- Finish by placing chopped pecans around the bottom third of the cake around all 4 sides. Place a couple whole pecans on the top center of the cake.