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Grandma's Triple Layer Carrot Cake

Grandma's Triple Layer Carrot Cake is the ultimate carrot cake recipe. Every piece of this cake is tasty. The carrot cake is fluffy and moist, and the cream cheese frosting is creamy, sweet, and incredibly delicious. If you are looking for a filling, impressive cake to bring to your next Easter gathering or family dinner, this carrot cake will steal the show. Grandma's Triple Layer Carrot Cake will be enjoyed by all and may even become a new family favorite recipe. 

This recipe can also be adjusted according to your personal taste. If you dislike nuts, you can leave them out. If you aren't a fan of layered cakes, or you don't have the time to construct one, you can consult the notes below to find out how to adjust the recipe for baking in a 13 x 9-inch pan.

Chilling Time1 hr

Cooking Time30 min


  • For the cake:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 4 cups loosely packed shredded carrots (about 6 carrots)
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • For the frosting:
  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2 sticks butter at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts for garnish


For the Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease 3 9-inch cake pans. Cut circles from parchment or waxed paper to fit the pans, lay them in the bottom and grease them.

  2. Measure flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt into a large bowl and fluff with a fork to mix.

  3. Combine sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl and mix with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about 2 minutes.

  4. Add the dry ingredients gradually with mixer on low, scraping down the bowl and mixing until all dry ingredients are mixed in.

  5. Add the pineapple and carrots and mix on medium low for 1 minute. Stir in the coconut and nuts by hand.

  6. Pour batter into the prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes. Top of cake should spring back and not leave fingerprints when cake is done; or insert a toothpick in the center. The toothpick should come out clean with no wet crumbs.

  7. Remove to a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Turn out cake layers onto cooling racks upside down and carefully peel off the paper liner. Continue to cool completely before assembling the cake.

For the Frosting:

  1. In an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, butter, milk and vanilla on medium high until mixed and fluffy, for 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber scraper.

  2. Add the powdered sugar gradually and continue to beat until frosting is mixed, adding a bit more milk if necessary to reach spreading consistency.

To Assemble:

  1. Place one layer, top down, on serving plate. Spread with about 1/2 cup frosting up to the edges. Add another layer and spread another cup frosting in a smooth layer up to the edges. Add the final layer, top up, making sure layers are stacked evenly and top is flat and even.

  2. Begin the final frosting by spreading a light coating evenly over the sides. Use half of the remaining frosting to spread evenly over the top and then the final half to spread on the sides for a final coat. Using a frosting spatula (sometimes called offset spatula) makes this easiest.

  3. Sprinkle top with nuts to garnish and chill for 1 hour before serving for most even slicing.


You may omit the coconut or nuts if you wish. 

The cake may be baked in a 9 x 13 bake pan for 40-45 minutes instead of the layers.  If you are making the 9 x 13, you will only need half of this amount of frosting, so cut the quantities in half. Or make approximately 18 cupcakes, and use half of the frosting recipe.

How to Make Frosting and Frost a Cake

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Carrot cake is another type of cake I'm crazy about. It is so yummy in the mouth, it's simple, and it's filling and the taste is so unique and leaves an amazing aftertaste. I want to make this one of these days.

This looks simply decadent. What a great way to celebrate Easter!

Wow, this looks beautiful! I recently started making layer cakes and I'm becoming addicted. They're not as hard as you'd think! I'm stealing this frosting recipe to put on my own carrot cake this Easter.

Was enjoyed by everyone, had everything in it. Made it in a 9x13 pan. Will make it again maybe in a bundt pan or similar to cupcakes. May be the best I've had.


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