I used to be the pickiest eater until about my mid-twenties. I had never even tried carrot cake until I turned about 30 years old! I sure did not know what I was missing! Then, I finally gave it a try and have never looked back. I found my initial recipe labeled as Copycat Cracker Barrel Carrot Cake. After making it a couple of times, and adding a few tweaks, I personally think this recipe is way better than anything you can get at a chain restaurant.
This Copycat Cracker Barrel Carrot Cake is so moist, flavorful, and perfectly sweet. It does require several ingredients, but is super easy to make, and well worth the effort. With pineapple, shredded coconut, and a bit of oil, you end up with a soft cake that stays fresh for days!
The Copycat Carrot Cake
To get things started, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 pan with non-stick cooking spray. Finely grate 3-4 individual carrots until you have about 2 to 2 1/4 cups.
Next, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.
In a large bowl, or the bowl of an electric stand mixer, beat together the vegetable oil, sugars, vanilla extract, and eggs until smooth and fluffy.
Next, add the pineapple and juice from the can, coconut, and carrots and mix well (optional: add the walnuts and/or soaked raisins, if using during this step).
Gradually add the flour mixture from earlier, about 1/3 at a time until incorporated.
Pour the batter into your greased 9×13 pan and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
The cake will be golden brown, be careful not to overcook! Doesn’t it look delicious already? This cake will feel fairly dense and heavy when you take it out of the oven, that is normal!
Perfect Cream Cheese Frosting
While the cake is cooling, soften the cream cheese and butter.
Once the cake is cool, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.
Add the vanilla extract and gradually add the powdered sugar until incorporated. Adjust the mixer speed to medium-high and beat for about 2 minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy.
Evenly spread all of the frosting over the cooled cake. Top with chopped pecans if you like nuts. I don’t usually enjoy nuts in my cake, so I didn’t put any in it or on it this time. My extended family loves nuts, so sometimes I will top half of the cake with chopped pecans so everyone gets their perfect slice!
Serve and enjoy! This Copycat Cracker Barrel Carrot Cake can serve up to 24 people. Perfect for a big family meal, potluck, or Easter dinner!
Refrigerate any leftovers, and enjoy for up to 5 days.
Copycat Cracker Barrel Carrot Cake
- 2 1/4 cup Finely Shredded Carrots
- 1 8oz Can Crushed Pineapple (with juice)
- 1/2 cup Finely Shredded Coconut (sweetened)
- 1 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
- 1 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 cup Brown Sugar, lightly packed
- 3 large Eggs
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 3 cups All Purpose Flour
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 2 tsp Baking Soda
- 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
- 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 8oz Box Cream Cheese
- 1/2 cup Salted Butter (softened) = 1 stick
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 cups Powdered Sugar
- 1/2 cup Chopped Pecans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Finely grate 3 medium to large individual carrots until you have about 2 – 2 1/4 cups shredded.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together the vegetable oil, sugars, vanilla, and eggs until smooth and fluffy.
- Add pineapple, coconut, and carrots to the mixing bowl and blend well (if using walnuts or soaked raisins – add during this step).
- Gradually add the flour mixture from step one about a third at a time until blended through.
- Pour batter into a greased 9×13 pan and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Soften cream cheese and 1 stick of salted butter while cake is cooling.
- Beat cream cheese and butter in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract and gradually mix in the powdered sugar until blended.
- Turn mixer on medium-high and beat until the cream cheese frosting is light and fluffy. Spread all of the frosting over the cooled cake (optional: sprinkle top with chopped pecans).Refrigerate leftovers, if you have any! Cake will stay fresh for 4-5 days in the fridge when covered.
- You can add 3/4 cup finely chopped English walnuts to the cake batter when adding in the carrots, pineapple, and coconut, if desired.
- You can also add 1/2 cup pre-soaked and drained raisins to the batter if you like them in your cake.
- Top the cake with chopped pecans after frosting
Like this recipe? Try my super delicious Sheet Pan Peanut Butter Cake!
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