Our Best Carrot Cake Recipe

I made this carrot cake cake the other day for my Mother-in-law’s birthday. I was happy to do it, I love carrot cake! This was a great opportunity to make some to share, and some to save for later…

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This is such a simple recipe – I tweaked this recipe from the one I made a bit for here – the first one I made seemed to have just a wee bit too much flour in it. And I decided it could have used more carrots and raisins. It was still good. Everything comes out yummy when it’s covered with a rich, fluffy cream cheese frosting.

Carrot Cake

This recipe makes quite a bit of batter! It makes one beautifully high 9″ x 13″ cake or three 9″ layers. I made round 9″ two layer cake and one 9″ x 9″ square cake. 

Butter your cake pans well and set aside. You can lightly dust them with flour as well, but I found it wasn’t necessary. In a small bowl, soak 2 cups raisins in hot water; set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a mixer, combine:
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 cup vegetable oil

Mix on high speed for 2 minutes, should be very creamy and smooth. Add:
3/4 cup buttermilk or half & half
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
2 cups freshly ground soft wheat flour
1 cup unbleached white flour

Mix until the flour is incorporated, but do not over mix. Add:
2 cups finely shredded carrots
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
soaked and drained raisins (1 3/4 cups)
1 cup crushed walnuts

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Blend in ingredients well. Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. For layer cake: Cool cakes for 10 minutes in the pans, then invert on to baking racks to finish cooling.

For a simple cake in the pan: Be careful not to over bake the cake as the cake will continue to cook just a bit more in the pan after you take it out of the oven – Take the cake out as soon as the cake springs back when poked with your finger. Cool in the pan completely, and then frost.

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Cream Cheese Frosting

In a small bowl, combine:
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup half & half
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Beat on high speed for 3-4 minutes until very fluffy and creamy. Frosting may be a little stiff (I left this to you to adjust according to your humidity level) Add a little more half & half, 1-2 tbsp. at a time, until you achieve just the right consistency. Chill for 15 minutes before frosting the cakes.

To frost layer cakes – Place the first cake layer on the cake plate. Cover the top with a layer of frosting. Stack the 2nd layer on top. Cover the top and sides with a thick layer of frosting, and don’t forget to swirl it into pretty patterns with the frosting spatula. Sprinkle the edges with crushed walnuts.

Keep the cake chilled in the refrigerator. Remove 45 minutes before serving so the cake can soften slightly before serving.

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