Whole Wheat Carrot Cake

5-Star Carrot Cake

5-Star Carrot Cake

Homemade carrot cake is the best! I use a box-style grater to shred the carrots. The best way to drain the pineapple is to squeeze it in your hand. Bake and frost just the top in the pan or double the frosting recipe, split the cake and make 2 layers. - Jenny Jones

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Makes: 8 to 10 servings

5-Star Carrot Cake


  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (or 3/4 cup each all purpose & whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1/3 cup low fat buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup grated carrot, lightly packed (one great big carrot)
  • 1/2 of an 8-ounce can crushed pineapple in its own juice, well drained
  • 1/2 cup diced toasted pecans
  • Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 2 ounces reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-3 teaspoons milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease an 8-inch round baking pan.
  2. Sift dry ingredients into a bowl or onto wax paper. Set aside.
  3. With electric mixer on medium-high speed beat the oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla for 3 minutes until thick.
  4. Reduce speed and add buttermilk, carrot, & pineapple followed by flour mixture. Fold in pecans.
  5. Bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan. Frost and keep refrigerated.
  6. Cream Cheese Frosting:
  7. Beat all ingredients well and add just enough milk, a little bit at a time, to get a good spreading consistency.

No buttermilk? See Substitutions in my blog.

To Skip The Pineapple increase buttermilk to 1/2 cup and sugar to 2/3 cup.

28 Comments on "5-Star Carrot Cake"

  1. Ivy

    Hi Jenny. I came across your recipes about 7 years ago. I absolutely love everything I’ve made from your collection so far. Your Xmas cookies, breads and baked ziti are my favourites. 5 years ago we started a vegan diet. Until then, your baked ribs were our favourite! We still make your meatloaf and other meat dishes but substitute vegan burger for ground beef or pork. Your videos are loaded with great tips and comedy. Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes and fantastic personality.

  2. Lena

    Hi Jenny! Can canned pumpkin be used here instead of carrots?

  3. Charles H

    Hi Jenny, I am looking at your recipe and the frosting calls for only 2 ounces of cream cheese. To me, that does not seem to be enough of a frosting when others call for 8 ounces.

    • Beth

      2 oz of cream cheese doesn’t sound like much — but it actually works for this recipe. It makes enough frosting for a single layer cake.

  4. Aisha

    Love your easy recipes and simple ingredients!
    Fan of your healthy approach to baking!

  5. Anita

    I love how you’re cakes are single layered, I mean, how much cake and frosting do we need?

  6. Pat

    Hi Jenny, l love all your recipes but I think the carrot cake needs a little salt.

  7. Carm

    Love your recipes and videos. Th❤nk you I never heard of pastry whole wheat flour and can’t find it in the store. Can I substitute?

    • Jenny Can Cook

      I changed the recipe to use only all purpose flour with the option of whole wheat pastry flour, which is always hard for people to find.

  8. Karen Zielinski

    Hi Jenny, I made the carrot cake recipe you provided and it was fabulous!!!

    I used the whole can of pineapple with the juice and it worked perfectly.

    Thank you for sharing all of your delicious recipes?

    Karen Zielinski

  9. Karen

    Can’t wait to try the carrot cake I’ll let you know how it turns out thanks Jenny

  10. Liz

    I made this and it was so easy. I am not the baker in my family but now I think I can do anything.
    As a Canadian, the conversion is always the frustrating part. Cream cheese is 227g and can of pineapple 398ml or 14oz.
    But now I can make it all the time. And so tasty.

  11. Asl

    Hi Jenny, can I make this recipe in a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan? And can I omit the pineapples? Thank you!

    • Asl

      Hi Jenny, I just made your carrot cake recipe in a loaf pan and it turned out good. 🙂 It wasn’t as moist as I thought would be but I guess it was because of the whole wheat pastry flour…

      • Jenny

        I find this cake moist made in a cake pan and also the pineapple adds moisture as well. If you left it out, that may be the reason but I’m glad you still liked it. I just made it last week!

  12. ChaliseP

    Love this Carrot Cake Recipe !! 🙂
    Definetly one for the book √
    Yummy highly recommend !!

  13. jack simms

    Thank you for making cooking fun and easy.
    It’s a relief to cook-work at a Large data center and it keeps me smiling to cook.
    Do you still play the drums?


    • Jenny

      I don’t play the drums any more but I often play a beat on the kitchen counter between cookies.

  14. Melissa

    Can I omit the 1/2 of an 8-oz. can crushed pineapple in its own juice, well drained, and can I use 1% milk instead of buttermilk?

  15. Jennie

    Hi Jenny, should I use Extra Light olive oil or Extra Virgin? Not sure if it would make a difference.

    • Jenny

      Extra LIGHT olive oil is better for baking since it has practically no olive flavor or smell. Extra VIRGIN olive oil is richer in flavor and aroma and better suited for salads and sauteing.

      • Jennie

        I can’t wait to make them, they look delicious! Thank you for this recipe!

  16. Terri

    When I would juice my carrots, I would wash and peel them just to save the pulp to make carrot cake. It was soooo good, people would beg me to make it 🙂

  17. Melle

    Love, love , love your recipes. So glad I found your boards and cannot wait to try them. Thanks so much!

  18. Rosalie

    Turned out great made it for mother in laws birthday,I’m hooked on Jenny.

  19. Zarah J

    I just found you on you tube and made the tunnels of cinnamon raisin bread and i must say i am a fan! I’m about to try this carrot cake, i love the fact that your recipes are “Healthy”!
    Great Job =)

  20. Dorna griffin

    I love your recipes their all so simple nothing too fancy .i’m going to try carrot cake.

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