Carrot Cake – Pistachio Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

I decided to switch things up so we could eat veggies today!

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In pistachio carrot cake form. OF COURSE.

pistachio carrot cake with cream cheese frosting I #carrotcake #pistachio #cake #creamcheese #frosting

I was weird about carrot cake until ten-ish years ago. Actually! I think it was at my bridal shower. We had a few carrot cupcakes and I was sold. It tasted so good. And it was probably because of my cream cheese frosting obsession!


Which I know. I’m reeeeeally running that obsession into the ground at the moment. I just can’t stop. My brain is coming up with desserts based solely on the cream cheese frosting. Like I didn’t even care about the carrot cake until I considered the cream cheese frosting.

Total game changer.

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But! The biggest game changer here? For me, at least? Are the pistachios.

By now, you know that’s another obsession that I do a number on here on the blog. It’s the obsession I never expected to have, because I used to think only OLD people liked pistachios! Now I’m old and I love them. I’ll shout it from the rooftops.

Also I’ll stop saying obsession. I know.

pistachio carrot cake with cream cheese frosting I #carrotcake #pistachio #cake #creamcheese #frosting

So regular carrot cake sounded a little MEH to me. I added in some pistachios and better yet, added some into the cream cheese frosting too. This cake kind of reminds me of the pistachio cake in my first book, Seriously Delish, which I just adored. It is majorly pistachio infused and wonderful.

pistachio carrot cake with cream cheese frosting I #carrotcake #pistachio #cake #creamcheese #frosting

Since I took a few days this week to talk about things with The Pretty Dish, I’m going to shove a whole bunch of Easter recipes in your face next week! In a good way. We have a trashed up scalloped potato recipe coming, another crazy deviled egg recipe, an amazing quiche and a banana cream pie. I wanted to do a ham, but I just can’t get behind ham. No idea why. I’ll just buy one from Honeybaked and watch everyone else eat it.

While I steal all the cheesy potatoes.

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Anyhoo! Back to the cake.

You guys know I don’t have much patience for layer cakes. I don’t have a ton of patience for baking in general. But I can handle cakes like this where the frosting doesn’t have to look perfect, so that’s what I went with. And even though I love cream cheese frosting, frosting isn’t my #1… so I love that there is just a touch here to make it sweet!

pistachio carrot cake with cream cheese frosting I #carrotcake #pistachio #cake #creamcheese #frosting

This cake is LOVELY. It’s so flavorful and moist (no, seriously, there is no other word to use!), with a little bit of spice and some crunch from the pistachios. The coconut might be my favorite part too.

Oh, one more thing! This adorable pan! I am in love with Nordic Ware baking pans and when I saw this, it also inspired me to do a carrot cake this year. Can’t even wait to bring it out on Easter! Cutest and just makes me want to bake.

pistachio carrot cake with cream cheese frosting I #carrotcake #pistachio #cake #creamcheese #frosting

Pistachio Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 1/2 cups freshly grated carrot
  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup chopped pistachios (I like using roasted, unsalted ones!)

cream cheese frosting

  • 2 (8-ounce) blocks cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped pistachios


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease (or spray with nonstick baking spray!) three 9-inch cake pans (or the ones I used were a 7 cup on top and an 8 cup on the bottom!). I’m obsessed with these carrot cake ones!

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together until combined. beat in the oil, buttermilk and vanilla extract until combined. Beat in the dry ingredients until just combined. Use a spatula to fold in the carrot, pineapple, coconut and pistachios.

Drive the batter evenly between the 2 pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown and the center is set. Let the cake cool completely.

For the cake in this pan, I like to do a layer of frosting in the center and then a light layer on the outsides, leaving the top plain. Sprinkle the top with powdered sugar before serving!

cream cheese frosting

Beat the cream cheese and butter together until creamy. Beat in the sugar until combined. Beat in the vanilla extract. Fold in the pistachios. Frost the cooled cake! I like to pop the cake in the fridge because we love cold cake!

slightly adapted from myrecipes

All images and text ©.

pistachio carrot cake with cream cheese frosting I #carrotcake #pistachio #cake #creamcheese #frosting

Face-plant worthy, for sure.

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