If there were going to be one cake to rule my mom’s kingdom….it would be carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. When you are a little kid, you hear ‘cake’ and you think YES!!!!, but then ‘carrot’ and you think, ‘what kind of a fool do you think I am?’. It took me a long time to put my faith in the almighty carrot cake. Who knew that carrots could be both sweet AND good for you? Once again I wonder what kind of hardship must have pushed that first person to put carrots in a cake…..probably the next door neighbor to the inventor of Zucchini Bread. But my mom was no fool and she knew a very good thing when she saw it. I had to use two different recipes (right next to each other) to get the cake and the cream cheese frosting together, but you’ll see that it is worth it.
I remember this particular cake…with its pineapple and coconut additions…and you will find that once you taste it, it’s like they never belonged anywhere else.
Turn on your oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour your Bundt pan. You can use 2 cake pans or a loaf pan or a casserole dish, but today we are going to be faaaaaancy and use a Bundt pan. When you butter and flour a pan, it creates a kind of seal on your cake and it pulls away and falls out of the pan super easily.
Mix sugar and oil together. Do it.
Grate 2 cups of carrots (about 3 large carrots) and put it in the sugar/oil bowl with the eggs, pineapple, coconut, and vanilla. DON’T FRET about the pineapple and coconut. This will not taste like carrot pina coladas. The coconut gives it a slight sweetness with some good texture and the pineapple keeps the cake moist. I did not add nuts. I just plain didn’t feel like it. So there. AND MIX!
Put flour, soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in your sifter. Sift over a sheet of waxed paper. After it has all been sifted together, pick up the waxed paper and dump into carrot mixture and mix. Ta-dah! Easy clean up!
Put in oven for an hour.
Now listen…you are going to smell this amazing aroma pouring out of the oven, but that doesn’t mean that your cake is ready. After an hour, stick in a toothpick and make sure it comes out clean. If it doesn’t, put that cake right back in for a few more minutes.
When you take it out of the oven, let it sit in the pan and cool for awhile before you dump it out onto a cooling rack. If you are using a Bundt pan, wait until that cake is cooooool, and then turn it over.
Do not frost the cake until it is completely cooled down. When you feel like you are getting close to wanting to frost your cake, put a stick of butter and the cream cheese on the counter to soften them up. Once softened, put cream cheese and butter in mixer and whip them up! Add vanilla and powdered sugar and mix completely. If you put in all of the sugar at once, you will create a sugar tornado cloud all over your kitchen….so, the choice is up to you. This is where it gets really hard. I say that, because you are going to want to eat the frosting all by itself. No joke. It is some of the best frosting out there. But it tastes even better with the cake, so have at it.
If you find that after you serve the cake, you have some left over, make sure you seal it up as good as you can and put it in the refrigerator. Your frosting is made with dairy, so it’s not the best idea to leave it on the counter top. Not like you really need to worry about it, because we all know that there won’t be any leftovers.
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 1/4 c. oil
- 2 c. sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 c. grated carrots
- 1 c. crushed pineapple with juice
- 1 c. shredded coconut
- 1/2 c. nuts (optional)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 3 c. flour
- 2 tsp. soda
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 pkg. cream cheese
- 1 stick butter
- 1 tbsp. vanilla
- 2 c. powdered sugar, sifted
- Combine the oil and sugar. Beat well.
- Add the eggs, grated carrots, pineapple, coconut, nuts and vanilla.
- Sift together the flour, soda, cinnamon, salt and baking powder.
- Add to the first mixture.
- Bake in a loaf or tube pan for 1 hour at 350 degrees.
- Wait until cool to remove from pan.
- Beat together cream cheese and butter.
- Add vanilla and sifted powdered sugar.
- Frost cake.