Happy Easter to all my Christian Orthodox friends! We went to a party yesterday and I made this carrot cake to take there. I decorated it with jelly beans in bright colors, so the kids have fun. :) This cake is THE best carrot cake you will have in your life! I absolutely guarantee it! I am forever grateful to our friend, Don Cotrell, for sharing this recipe with me!
2 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/4 tsps baking soda
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tsps cinnamon
3 large eggs
2 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups white sugar
8 oz crushed pineapple with the juice
1-1/2 cups shredded coconut
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and line two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans with parchment or wax paper.
2. Mix flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon together.
3. Separately, beat oil, sugar and eggs WELL.
4. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture
5. Fold in pineapple, carrots, coconut and walnuts (if using)
6. Bake at 350 F for about 40-45 minutes (but you may start checking at 35 minutes because different ovens take different time).
Note: One trick I have started using when baking my cakes is wrapping a wet tea towel around the cake pans and securing it with a pin (one that is all metal, no plastic on it), then baking the cakes just like that in the oven- don't worry, the towels don't burn because they are wet- they just dry out and brown- make sure you use old towels for this. :) This way, the cakes bake very evenly on top and the sides do not get too hard in order for the center to bake through- which seems to be a tendency for this particular recipe, as wonderful as it is. The wet towel strips around the cake pans during baking totally solved this problem for me and the cake was extremely moist throughout. Give this a try! Of course, you could also use ready store-bought baking strips from stores such as AC Moore but the tea towels work great for me. :)
I frosted the cake with a simple Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tsps vanilla extract
Cream the butter and cream cheese well. Add the powdered sugar gradually, covering your stand mixer with a towel to avoid sugar flying all over the place. :) Add vanilla extract and beat until fluffy.
This frosting can be made with a lot less sugar but for my purposes, I need it stiffer in order to pipe it when decorating, so the 4 cups make just the right consistency- and I haven't had anybody complain about it being too sweet. :)
Special thanks for this fabulous carrot cake recipe to my husband's co-worker, Don Cotrell. This one is a keeper!