My Favorite Carrot Cake
Carrot Cake and Spring go together pretty well. This is the best carrot cake I've ever had. It's not dry, it doesn't take forever to make and you probably have most of the ingredients in your fridge/pantry. A little tip, I like to shred the carrots in my food processor. I also wasn't able to get whole carrots, so I used a bag of baby carrots instead.
Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten:
For the cake: 2 cups granulated sugar 1 1/3 cups vegetable oil 3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 1 cup raisins 1 cup chopped walnuts 1 pound carrots, grated 1/2 cup diced fresh pineapple For the frosting: 3/4 pound cream cheese, at room temperature 1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted For the decoration: 1/2 cup diced fresh pineapple
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.
For the cake: 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 2 1/2 cups flour, the cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Toss the raisins and walnuts with 1 tablespoon flour. Fold in the carrots and pineapple. Add to the batter and mix well.
Divide the batter equally between the 2 pans. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool completely in the pans set over a wire rack.
For the frosting: 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 1 layer, flat-side up, on a flat plate or 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. Decorate with diced pineapple.