I’m not sure how many different carrot cake recipes I’ve tried or modified over the years. I never really kept track. But no matter the recipe, there was always something missing. Some of the recipes I’ve tried resulted in a texture that was much too dry while other recipes resulted in cakes that were dominated by the taste of the spices being used.
For several years I relied on a recipe published in the Seattle Times that used crushed pineapple as a main ingredient. While on the right track, it had its own shortcomings: the cake was extremely heavy, and the taste of the carrots were simply lost–the recipe called for more pineapple than carrots.
Eventually I looked toward solving these issues, and this recipe is the result. I tweaked the ingredients just a bit, dropping down the pineapple content and making another minor change or two, and the result is the recipe you see here. I think it’s perfect. Give it a try and decide for yourself. Let me know what you think!
- 3 cups sugar
- 2 cups vegetable oil
- 4 extra large eggs, room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp. baking soda
- 2 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 1/2 lbs. grated carrots
- 3/4 cup crushed pineapple
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 18 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 12 ounces butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 pounds confectioner’s sugar, sifted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat the sugar, oil, and eggs together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light yellow. Add the vanilla. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Toss the raisins and walnuts with 1 tablespoon of flour. Fold in the carrots, pineapple, raisins, and walnuts.
- Divide the batter equally between two 10-inch cake pans. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
- Mix the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until just combined. Add the sugar and mix until smooth.
- Place one layer, flat side up, on a flat plate of cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.