Carrot Cake has got to be one of my favorite cakes of all time. Probably second to Chocolate-Chocolate cake : ) You just can’t beat chocolate… My Father’s favorite cake has always been Carrot Cake and every once in a while he would make one from scratch. Now, you have to understand, anything from scratch was a rarity for me growing up. Everything was in cans or boxes, made from pre-fab mixes or frozen bags. So when he made this cake, I was in heaven! He had a very unique recipe that he used. It was in a very old, small, coil-bound book that held a collection of recipes from some of Americas grandest hotels. I always loved this recipe book. The cake was the only thing we ever took from it because everything else was so fancy and up-scale, but just the nostalgia of the old cookbook really got to me.
This particular Carrot Cake gets an extra boost of moisture from crushed pineapple. Some variations use applesauce, others neither, depending solely on carrots and oil. And as far as the add-ins, I’ve seen quit an array- raisins, chopped walnuts, coconut, etc. There are so many recipes out there that use any combination of those, no two seeming the same. Well, this recipe here relies on raisins and chopped walnuts. If neither suits your tastes then you can go ahead and omit them, but personally I think they make that cake.
And talk about making the cake- you can NOT have Carrot Cake without Cream Cheese Frosting. It is just essential. Most cream cheese frosting recipes use 2 sticks (1 cup) butter per 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese but I always take a different route with my cream cheese frosting. I use 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter per 12 oz cream cheese. This ratio creates a much strong cream cheese flavor. It is absolutely divine! You really can’t ask for a better cream cheese frosting recipe.
The whole thing paired together creates one heck of a bombshell. The cake is incredibly moist and fluffy thanks to the crushed pineapple. It’s exactly what you want from a cake. If you’re worried any pineapple flavor comes through, don’t- there’s not a trace of it, it’s simply there for the moisture. The nuts and raisins add extra texture and flavor, pairing perfectly with the cinnamon spice. AND THE FROSTING- Ammmmmmazing! I just love this cake : )
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1¾ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1¾ cups white sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups finely shredded carrots
- ¾ cup chopped walnuts
- ¾ cup raisins
- 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
- For the Frosting:
- 12 oz (1½ packages) cream cheese, softened
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×13-inch pan.
- Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Whisk to evenly distribute. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla. Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir with spatula until almost all the flour is absorbed. Stir in carrots, walnuts, raisins, and pineapple.
- Pour into 9×13 inch pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely on wire rack.
- For the frosting: Cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the confectioners sugar and beat until creamy. Add in the vanilla.