Nutty Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
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This is an easy recipe which includes carrots and nuts only. It's not the crushed pineapple and coconut version, but they also have that recipe on the website.
However, you can add raisins or coconut to this recipe, or any other additions, up to 1.5 cups. Add them when you add the carrots.
The oil in this recipe makes the cake ultra moist.
King Arthur's Carrot Cake
(from the King Arthur website with my preferences)
Serves 16. Makes a 9x13" cake or a 2-layer 9"inch cake
1.5 cups vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
1 t. salt
4 large eggs (I like to use room temperature ones)
1 T. cinnamon (I prefer Vietnamese cinnamon for cakes)
1/2 t. ginger (dried powdered is what they mean, not grated fresh)
1/4 t. ground cloves
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 t. baking soda
3 cups finely grated carrots (it's about a 1 lb. bag)
1.5 cups chopped pecans
1/2 cup (8 T.) unsalted butter (easier to whip if at room temperature)
one 8-ounce package cream cheese (ditto)
1/4 t. salt
2 t. vanilla
2 cups confectioner's sugar if you like it tangy like I do, but up to 3.5 cups
(To grate the 3 cups of carrots, I like to use the Cuisinart with the grating blade, but a traditional hand grater works just as well.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two 9 inch round layer pans, or one 9x13 pan.
Beat together the oil, sugar, salt, eggs, and spices. (In a mixer, not by hand.)
Mix the flour with baking soda, and stir in. (Don't overbeat, just mix together.)
Add the carrots and nuts, and mix until just blended. (Fold in with a spatula.)
Pour into prepared pan(s).
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes (mine took 35) or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. (Don't overbake.)
Allow the cake(s) to cool completely. If you are using round layer pans, remove the layers from the pans after about 15 minutes, and place them on a rack to cool. (If making a 9x13 let the cake cool completely in the pan. Takes an hour or two.)
To make the frosting, beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. (In a mixer, not by hand.) Add the salt and vanilla. Beat in the sugar. Add a teaspoon of milk or cream if the frosting is too stiff to spread; add additional sugar if it's too thin. (Start with 2 cups and taste it and evaluate the texture. Then, just add a little more at a time, until you get it just right. I was happy with a tangy, spreadable frosting at 2 cups.)
Frost the sheet cake right in the pan. For the layers, frost the top of one layer,( add the second layer), frost the top of the second layer, then frost the sides of the cake, (if you wish.) (Or just put lots of frosting in between the layers and on top, leaving the rich dark cake exposed on the side.)
I sprinkled some extra confectioner's sugar on top. (To make it a little sweeter for Tom.)