Who loves carrot cake? It’s healthy right? Carrots, pineapple, coconut….those things are healthy! Ok, maybe not the cream cheese frosting but you guys, being healthy is about moderation. It’s not about starving, it’s about eating right and enjoying the sweet things on occasion. I try to keep Sunday as my treat day….
This is a favorite recipe though. I make it only every few months because you truly can’t stay out of it. It’s the perfect cake. Not too heavy or sweet, just heavenly.
Crap, now I want to make it. Wonder if I can talk my husband into making it for me since I kept the kids alive today!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare two 9 inch cake pans by spraying with Vegetable non-stick spray (like Pam Spray) and line with a parchment paper round on the bottom then spray the top of the parchment. Or spray a 9 X 13 baking pan with Vegetable non stick spray (like Pam Spray) or use 20 jumbo Cupcake liners in a Muffin tin without using Pam spray.
In a large bowl whisk well: Flour, Sugar, Brown Sugar, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Salt, all Spices.
Peel then Grate approx 5-6 medium Carrots to yield 2 cups packed. Grate Carrots finely to no more than 1/4 inch pieces. Or process in a food processor until finely grated but not mush. It isimportant that you peel the Carrots before grating. You do not want the tough skins in your cake.
In a medium bowl or KitchenAid bowl add Carrots, Grated Fresh Orange Peel, Drained Pineapple, Raisins (optional), Coconut Flakes, Walnuts or Pecans and mix well with a big spoon.
To this mixture add the Vegetable Oil, Vanilla Extract and Eggs one at a time mixing in well then add 1 T of the reserved Pineapple juice and mix well. Scrape down bowl often.
Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with a hand mixer or Kitchen Aid for about 1 minute until well mixed. Do not over mix.
Pour divided into prepared (as above) 9 inch cake pans, or 9 X 13 pan, or approximately 20 Cupcake liners filled 3/4 full or a 9 X 13 baking sheet sprayed with Pam but no parchment paper needed.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 mins for Cupcakes, 35-40 minutes for 9 inch layer cakes and 45-50 mins for 9 X 13 in the center of the oven. Half way through cooking rotate the pans for even cooking. A toothpick will come out clean when done. All ovens vary in timing so check at lowest time first and if not done put back in oven and recheck in 2- 3 minutes.
Allow to cool completely in pan for 1-2 hrs. before removing to ice with Cream Cheese Icing. Recipe below. Place 1/4 of icing between the two layers and when placing the top cake layer on, put the flat side of the cake (the bottom when it was in the cake pan) facing up for a flat top which makes a more attractive cake and easier to ice.And to top it off here is the amazing Cream Cheese Frosting!2 sticks Butter, unsalted, softened
16 oz. Cream Cheese, softened (2 bars)
3 c Powdered Sugar
4 t Vanilla Extract
1/4 t Almond Extract
1 small pinch Salt (very small pinch)Total Prep Time: 7 minutes (except time to soften butter and cream cheese.)
- Allow Butter and Cream Cheese to sit out until at room temperature and softened.
- In a large bowl, place the softened Butter.
- Cream the Butter with a hand mixer for 2 minutes. Then add the Cream Cheese and cream for 2 minutes or so more until well mixed.
- 1 cup at a time, add the Powdered Sugar and blend well.
- Add Salt, Vanilla and Almond Extracts and mix well. Taste and add more Powdered Sugar to be mnore sweet or more Cream Cheese to suit your taste.
- Keep Cream Cheese Icing at room temperature for the best consistency to ice Cakes.
- Refrigerate unused icing. To use again, bring to room temperature then mix with a hand mixer for about 1 minute before using.
- OPTION: For those that like a very strong Cream Cheese taste add another 4 oz. of Cream Cheese for a more intense flavor.