The Best Carrot Cake

My dad came up to visit two weekends ago and it also happened to be his birthday.  So, for a treat I made him his favorite dessert, carrot cake.

I made this cake last year, but I have to say, I forgot just how good of a recipe it is.  There isn’t anything really special about this cake.  It comes from the Pillsbury Complete Cookbook that I received right before I left for college over 5 years ago.  Both times I have made it now the cake is so moist and flavorful. 

I think there are two tricks to making it so delicious.  I think one is the pineapple in the recipe and the other is a personal tip.  Instead of buying pre-shredded carrots I shred my own on the small grater side (not the zester) of my box grater.  In the end there ends up being about a pound of carrots in the cake.  I think the freshly grated carrots are so much more moist than the ones you buy in the store.  I really think that might be the trick there.  Whatever it is, I need to start making this cake more often, it really is worth it.  I think it is my husband’s second favorite cake after chocolate with chocolate frosting.  That is saying a lot if you know how much my husband loves chocolate (yes, I married a man who loves chocolate more than I do). 

So, if you are looking for a nice treat that is a break from the traditional chocolate or vanilla cake, try making this.  Just as a note, I made mine in 3-8″ cake pans to make it a layer cake, you just have to reduce the baking time and keep an eye on it in the oven. 

DSC01146

The picture isn’t the prettiest, but the cake is definitely better than it looks here. 

Recipe: (Adapted from Pillsbury Complete Cookbook)

Cake:

2 1/2 cups AP flour

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

2 cups sugar

1 cup oil

2 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

2 cups shredded carrots

1 (8 1/4 oz) can crushed pineapple, well drained

1/2 raisins

Frosting:

3 cups powdered sugar

1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, softened

2 tbsp butter, melted

1 tsp vanilla

Pre-heat oven to 350degrees.  Grease and flour a 13×9″pan.  In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; mix well.

In a large bowl, combine sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs; beat well.  Add flour mixture; mix well.  Stir in carrots, pineapple and raisins.  Pour and spread batter into greased and floured pan.

Bake at 350degrees for 50-60 minutes or until cake springs bake when touched lightly in center.  Cool completely.

For the frosting, combine all ingredients and mix well until you reach a creamy, frosting consistency.  Spread over cooled cake.

(Note: for 3-8″ pans I baked them for approximately 35 minutes.  If using 9″ pans, increase that slightly.)

Enjoy!

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