This Slow Cooker Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is going to change your life! Free up the oven and get the moistest carrot cake you’ve ever had – right from your slow cooker! Made without oil or butter and loaded with coconut, pineapple and pecans!
I’m thrilled to announce I’m a 2016 Reynolds Ambassador!
One of the most popular recipes on my site is my Nana’s To Die For Carrot Cake recipe. It’s a recipe that I posted YEARS ago and continues to remain popular because it is just that good. The cake is unique in that I don’t use any oil or butter in the recipe – just applesauce. Combined with pineapples and loads of shredded carrots, it makes for a wonderfully moist cake.
I can’t tell you the number of times I have been asked by readers if this recipe could be made in the slow cooker. I was like, “Um, yeah, I don’t know.” I have one slow cooker cake recipe on my site (Slow Cooker Pumpkin Pie Cake) and it really is AMAZING. I decided that I owed it to myself AND my readers to find out if this cake could be done in the slow cooker. Good news…it can!
Let’s talk about why you might want to make a cake in the slow cooker. One, it frees up the oven for other dishes. This cake is frequently requested for holidays and birthdays at my house. Whether I’m making this cake for Easter or another occasion, I’m not typically making just the cake. I’ve got a main dish, side dishes, etc. that are being prepared at the same time. Freeing up the oven is a major bonus.
Two, I am a HUGE fan of moving the slow cooker outdoors during the summer to avoid heating up the house. Let me tell you, between June and July, I make carrot cake at least a half a dozen times. No joke. The mere thought of not having to heat my house up further on 105 degree days brings me to very grateful tears.
Three, and this may be the best reason of all, using Reynolds® Slow Cooker Liners means no scrubbing cake pans which is something I can totally get behind. I love being able to just throw out the liner and all that mess! It’s kinda the highlight of my day :) Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners are certified kosher, BPA-free, and safe for cooking at standard slow-cooker temperatures. The liners are made from a nylon-resin, not plastic, so no worries there.
Spraying the liner with a non-stick cooking spray ensures that this insanely moist cake releases nicely from the liner. This is a good thing. Let the cake cool completely before frosting. I went ahead and cut the cake into two layers because, well, I hate missing opportunities for more frosting :)
As you can see, I topped this cake with toasted coconut. I did this for my dad’s birthday this year and it was a big hit! I think it looks beautiful and is just one more wonderfully yummy element to this already amazing cake.
Tips for a successful slow cooker cake:
- Use the foil sling method for easy removal from the slow cooker insert. (Two pieces of foil, perpendicular and long enough to use as handles to lift the cake out.)
- Generously spray the slow cooker liner with cooking spray, preferably one with flour in it.
- If your slow cooker cooks unevenly, rotate the insert (not the liner) 90 degrees ever 30 minutes or so.
- Let the cake cool in the insert for a good 30 minutes before removing. This lets the cake cool enough that it won’t fall apart on you.
- PIN IT NOW!
- 1¼ cups unsweetened applesauce
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 cups grated carrots
- 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
- 1 cup chopped nuts (optional) I used pecans
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 8.25 oz can crushed pineapple - do not drain
- ½ cup butter (softened)
- 8 oz cream cheese (softened)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 lb powdered sugar
- Lay down two pieces of foil perpendicular to each other making sure there is enough foil that it hangs over the edges of the slow cooker. These will be your handles later.
- Line your slow cooker with a Reynolds® Slow Cooker Liner and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- Whisk together applesauce, sugar, and eggs.
- Whisk in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
- Stir in carrots, coconut, nuts, vanilla extract, and pineapple.
- Gently pour batter into the prepared slow cooker.
- Place several folded paper towels between the lid and the slow cooker - this will absorb some of the steam and keep it from dripping back onto the cake.
- Cook on low for 2 hours 45 minutes to 3 hours and 15 minutes, rotating the insert 90 degrees every 30 minutes or so. (Not necessary if your slow cooker heats evenly.)
- Test if the cake is done by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. The cake should be slightly domed when done.
- Remove the insert from the slow cooker and place on a wire rack. Let the cake cool in the insert for 30 minutes.
- Use the foil sling to lift the cake, still in the liner, out of the insert. Place on a cooling rack. Gently remove liner from the cake.
- Let the cake cool completely before frosting.
- Beat the butter and cream cheese until nice and fluffy. Add in the vanilla and powdered sugar and beat until nice and smooth.
- Frost the completely cooled cake, cutting into layers if desired.
- Top with toasted coconut (optional).
More cake recipes!
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