Prep 20 mins
Cook 30 mins
This is the best, most moist & flavorful carrot cake that I have ever eaten and it is definitely something everyone who tries it will remember! As with most of my recipes, they are bits & pieces from different places all put together to achieve (in my opinion) the perfect recipe. I make this as a 12", 4-layer cake to sell at my restaurant. You can easily half this recipe to make an 8", 3-layer cake or a regular 9 x 13 pan.
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 1⁄2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 2 cups vegetable oil
- 6 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 cups shredded carrots
- 1 1⁄2 cups sweetened coconut
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup crushed pineapple, drained (or 8oz can)
- 2 cups raisins
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 20 ounces cream cheese
- 5⁄8 cup butter, softened
- 7 1⁄2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract (use the clear type if you want really white frosting)
FOR THE FROSTING CARROT DECORATIONS (use cream cheese frosting reserved from above)
- red food coloring
- yellow food coloring
- green food coloring
- powdered sugar, as needed to thicken the frosting
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (If using a commercial convection oven, set it for 325 degrees on high fan).
- FOR THE CAKE:.
- Grease & flour four 12" round pans.
- Whisk first six ingredients in a large bowl until combined(flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt & cinnamon).
- In a separate smaller bowl, lightly beat oil, eggs & vanilla until combined.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture until just combined.
- Carefully stir in the carrots, coconut, walnuts, pineapple & raisins until everything is evenly dispersed.
- Pour the batter into your greased & floured pans.
- Bake in the oven, turning half way through, until a toothpick comes out clean. When you lightly push on the cake it should spring back if it is done. (It takes about 25-30 minutes in a convection oven, but will probably take longer in a household oven).
- Cool the cake on cooling racks until it is room temperature. I cool mine in the fridge to speed things up -- but either way will work.
- FOR THE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:.
- While the cake is baking & cooling you can make your frosting.
- Beat cream cheese & softened butter in your mixer until it is light & fluffy.
- With your mixer on low, slowly add the powdered sugar a little at a time so it doesn't fly out everywhere.
- Continue beating until the frosting is smooth.
- Add the vanilla to the frosting & continue to mix until combined.
- This frosting should be a thick fluffy consistency so you can spread it easily but it won't run.
- If you want a thinner frosting add less powdered sugar, if you want it thicker add more powdered sugar.
- TO ASSEMBLE CAKE:.
- When the cakes are cool, put a dollop of frosting on each one & spread around so there is an evenly covered layer (about 1/4" - 1/2" thick).
- If you put too much frosting it will squish out from the weight of the stacked cakes.
- Spread the remainder of the frosting on the sides of the cake.
- FOR THE CARROT DECORATIONS:.
- Take two small bowls of frosting.
- To one add green food coloring until you get a nice "carrot stem green" color.
- To the other bowl add red + yellow food coloring to make a nice "carrot orange" color.
- Add extra powdered sugar to each to make the frosting very thick. Then use a pastry bag to pipe little carrots with green stems on the top of the cake.
- You can use a zip-top bag with a tiny hole cut in the corner to pipe out the frosting carrots if you don't have a pastry bag.
This was truly a yummy cake! However, there are a couple of changes I made that improved it the next time (IMHO):
2 cups applesauce instead of oil, added a little more cinnamon, baked at 325 degrees for about 50 minutes. When I made the cake straight by the recipe, the center fell almost as soon as it began to cool, even though the tester came out clean, so i think the added, lower temperature, cook time is crucial! BUT, it is a fantastic recipe!