Homemade Carrot Cake (Instant Pot)

Author: Lisa Childs

Comments: 36

Category: Dessert Recipes

Published Date: April 16, 2019

Updated Date: January 12, 2023

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This homemade carrot cake recipe is dense and JAM PACKED with carrots, nuts, coconut, pineapple, and the BEST cream cheese frosting (and even an optional cheesecake swirl!) Make it in your Instant Pot for an extremely moist carrot cake!

homemade instant pot carrot cake with flowers and easter eggs

The Best Carrot Cake Recipe

I’m a huge fan of carrot cake, which is something Brett won’t touch (he also thinks I’m 87 years old because I love rice pudding and bread pudding). I developed the best carrot cake recipe ever in the Instant Pot so it’s moist, and super thick.

a slice of carrot cake being taken out of the larger cake

This cake isn’t so much cake as it is carroty, coconutty, pineapply goodness bonded together with a little batter. I am not a fan of “carrot cake” that’s basically spice cake with a few specks of carrots and nuts.

Carrot Cake Cheesecake

You can add a cheesecake swirl to my homemade carrot cake recipe to make it a carrot cake cheesecake! All you need to do is add an easy cheesecake mixture and swirl it into the batter.

Carrot Cake Cross-Section displaying all ingredients

I actually prefer this cake without the cheesecake swirl, so then I can have a higher ratio of cake to cream cheese frosting 🙂

Try my S’mores Instant Pot Cheesecake recipe!

instant pot cheesecake recipe with sour cream and cherry topping. Easy instant pot dessert recipe

Or, the best classic Instant Pot Cheesecake recipe.

Carrot Cake Ingredients

Like I said, this cake is FULL of every delicious ingredient that should be in carrot cake, as well as a couple simple pantry ingredients:

Picture of carrot cake ingredients
  • Carrots
  • Pineapple
  • Nuts (I used walnuts and pecans)
  • Coconut
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Oil
  • Vanilla
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Clove
  • Baking Soda
Carrot Cake with cream cheese frosting and coconut walnut garnish
What’s carrot cake without the cream cheese frosting? My recipe for cream cheese frosting is sweet, but still lets the cream cheese flavor shine through.
A whole carrot cake with two slices taken out of it on a green cake plate
The BEST homemade carrot cake recipe EVER made in the Instant Pot!

How to make Homemade Carrot Cake

To make homemade carrot cake, first combine the oil with the sugars. Add the eggs and vanilla, and sift in the flour and spices.

Picture of carrot cake ingredients

The batter is super thick, almost like a dough.

Then, I dump in all the stuff that gives it substance! Carrots, coconut, and nuts. I let the batter rest for about 5 minutes to allow moisture from the carrots and pineapple to soften the batter.

Carrot Cake Batter in 6 Inch Cake Pans

Next, evenly divide the mixture into two greased, six inch cake pans. Cover the pans tightly with foil.

Instant Pot Carrot Cake

To the Instant Pot, add 2 cups water. This next part takes a little planning ahead, so make sure your pans fit before you start cooking!

Place one cake pan onto a silicone pressure cooking sling and place it in the Instant Pot. Then place something in between the first and second cake pan to allow air flow. I used the rack from my air fryer.

Try two chopsticks, or the trivet. Place the second cake pan on top.

homemade carrot cake with flowers

Lock the lid, turn the knob to sealing, and cook on manual high pressure for 60 minutes. I know this seems like a long time, but this batter is really thick and the pressure has to get through the pans too. Allow a full natural pressure release, about 15-30 minutes.

Carefully remove cakes from the pot, and let cool for about 15 minutes before placing in the fridge for at least 5 hours, overnight preferred.

Cake Decorating

Remove the cakes from the pans and move them to a cake plate. Add a generous scoop of frosting between the layers, then do a quick crumb coat by frosting a thin layer of frosting around the whole cake.

Freeze the cake for about 15-20 minutes, then finish frosting the cake and decorate with additional nuts, coconut, frosting swirls, or pineapple.

a slice of carrot cake being taken out of the larger cake
Graphic of Instant Pot Carrot Cake with two picture of carrot cake.
A whole carrot cake with two slices taken out of it on a green cake plate

Homemade Carrot Cake (Instant Pot)

This homemade carrot cake is made in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker to make it incredibly moist! Top it off with the best cream cheese frosting for a stunning, delicious carrot cake.
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cooling: 5 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 1177kcal
Author: Lisa Childs


Carrot Cake

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 2/3 cup pineapple drained
  • 1 cup nuts (I used a combination of walnuts and pecans)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut sweetened or unsweetened

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 6 tablespoons butter softened
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk or cream as needed

Cheesecake Swirl

  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla
  • 16 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar


Carrot Cake

  • In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, white sugar, and oil until no lumps remain. You can use a stand mixer or a hand mixer. Add eggs and vanilla and blend until combined.
  • Sift in flour, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and cloves. Stir to combine. The batter will be very thick, like soft peanut butter or loose cookie dough.
  • Add carrots, nuts, pineapple, and coconut. Stir well, then let rest for 5-10 minutes to allow the moisture from the carrots and pineapple to soften the batter. Stir once more.
  • Evenly divide the mixture between two greased, six inch cake pans. Cover tightly with foil.
  • To the Instant Pot, add 2 cups of water. Place one cake pan onto a silicone pressure cooking sling or trivet and place it in the Instant Pot. Place a trivet (or other oven/pressure cooking safe rack) on top of the first cake pan. I used the rack from my air fryer, but anything that will allow adequate airflow between the cake pans will work. Try two chopsticks, or the trivet. Place the second cake pan on top.
  • Lock the lid, turn the knob to sealing, and cook on manual high pressure for 60 minutes. Allow a full natural pressure release, about 15-30 minutes.
  • Carefully remove cakes from the pot, remove the foil, and let cool to room temperature. Replace with foil or cover with plastic wrap, then refrigerate for at least 5 hours, overnight preferred.
  • Remove the cakes from the pans. The cakes will shrink a little bit and might stick. I recommend sliding a knife around the edges of the pan, then shaking the pan from side to side (with the foil back on it) to dislodge the cake. It should then pop out perfectly.
  • Ice the cake with cream cheese frosting and decorate with additional chopped nuts, coconut, frosting, and pineapple. I recommend crumb coating the cake by adding a thin layer of frosting to the entire cake, then freezing for 15-20 minutes. Then, frost with the remaining frosting. This will help lock in the crumbs and yield a beautiful cake!

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Combine all ingredients except the powdered sugar in a medium bowl or stand mixer and blend together until smooth.
  • Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Incorporate each cup of sugar before adding the next. Add milk or cream as needed to thin.


  • Optional Cheesecake Swirl:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend with a whisk or hand mixer.
  2. In the greased cake pan, add half of the carrot cake batter. Then, a dollop about 3 spoonfuls of the cheesecake batter right on top. Swirl the two batters with a spoon (but not too much!)
  3. Add the other half of the cake batter on top of the swirled batter, and repeat.
  4. Repeat with the other cake pan. Cover both pans with foil and cook as directed.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 1177kcal | Carbohydrates: 127g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 70g | Saturated Fat: 31g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 33g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 226mg | Sodium: 779mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 102g
Tried this recipe?Mention @triedtestedandtrue!

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Recipe Rating

  1. Could this also be baked in the oven?

    I have a 6qt Instantpot and amd not sure I could fit two pans in at the same time?

    1. Post

      Hi Deren! This recipe is developed specifically for pressure cooking, so it is much thicker than a cake that I would bake. I fear it might dry out in the oven due to how it was developed. I haven’t tested this in the oven, but if you do, please let me know! – Lisa

  2. You mention it needs 2 cups of water. Is this the amount for a 6 quart? Would the time be the same making one at a time? I can’t fit 2 pans in mine Also, have you tried it without the coconut?

    1. Post

      Hi Sue Marie! Yes two cups of water for the 6 quart. You should be able to fit two pans in a 6 quart Instant Pot but if you want to do one layer at a time, you can keep the cook time the same. Omit the coconut if you prefer 🙂

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  3. 5 stars
    I was a little weary of making a carrot cake in my instant pot but I wanted to try, followed this recipe to a T and it’s by far the best I’ve ever tasted! Thanks so much for submitting your recipe!

  4. Pingback: 20 Easy Instant Pot Desserts and Sweets - Catching Nova

  5. I made the carrot/cheesecake swirl in the oven because my instant pot isn’t big enough….it was really good. I covered both spring form pans with foil and put a pan full of water in the oven. I baked it for a little over an hour and cooled somewhat so I could pick it up and finished cooling in the freezer. I did make my own cream cheese icing. My co workers and my feller loved it. I do have to say it was a really moist cake.

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  6. 5 stars
    Great recipe thank you for sharing! It was moist, dense, and delicious. I blended the pineapple so there wasn’t big chunks, I think it would be great with some raisins as well.

  7. I can’t fit 2, mine are 6 x 3. I will try doing one at a time(same time cooking) also have a mini I can use, how much time on that one? Thx looking forward to trying this

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  8. Hello! I don’t have 2 pans so I wanted to make this in a 7 inch bundt pan. Would cooking time stay the same? Thank you so much!

    1. Post

      Hi! I have never tried it in a 7 inch bundt pan so I can’t tell you what time would work. I would probably try it at the written time and if it was still doughy, put it back in for 10-20 more minutes. Let us know if you tried it! thanks!

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  9. I just bought the ingredients and the accessories you suggested for my new 8 qt Instant Pot Duo Pro coming tomorrow. Do you suggest that I add an extra 1/2 cup of water for most recipes I make in the 8 qt? Thanks. Love your videos and your Instant Pot classes

    1. Post

      Thank Kuby! Yes, the minimum amount of liquid I would use in an 8 quart is between 1 1/4 and 1 1/2. Things that already have liquid in them like chicken or meat can get away with less than foods that don’t have any, like baked potatoes.

  10. 5 stars
    I whined when I saw this recipe at the many ingredients and the 6 inch pans. I hit the bullet and got everything as written and I wasn’t sorry. The cake and frosting were out of this world delicious. Your directions were perfect as far as keeping in the fridge for 8 hours. If I have any complaints it’s just that I had tons of leftover frosting. The only way I deviated from the recipe is I put an extra cup of water to make up for the 8 qt size of the instant pot.

  11. I made this as a birthday cake for my picky future daughter in law. She said it was the best carrot cake she’s ever eaten! It’s easy and the perfect size for a smaller family.

  12. 5 stars
    First time making a cake in the Instant Pot and it turned out brilliantly! I made it bundt style since I didn’t have 2 cake pans that matched, and it was an 8qt instant pot so an 8qt bundt pan, turned out great, just the right amount of batter to fill the bundt pan 2/3 of the way and cook to 3/4 of the way up. I love how moist it is, fantastic cake!

    1. Thanks for the kind feedback! So glad you enjoyed the carrot cake. We love to learn how you successfully adjust the recipes.

    1. You may substitute with additional carrots and/or applesauce, though the pineapples provide a lot of bulk and moisture, so your results may vary!


Hi! I'm Lisa!

I founded Tried, Tested, and True in 2019 to help moms like me develop confidence and joy in the kitchen.

Since then, I have taught millions of home cooks around the world through our tried and true recipes and Youtube tutorials.

In 2021, I wrote my first book called, “I Love My Instant Pot: Cooking for One”!

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