Loaded with carrots, pineapple, coconut, raisins and walnuts, this Classic Carrot Cake recipe is truly decadent. Finished with a thick layer of cream cheese frosting and toasted coconut makes this cake worthy of any special occasion.
Hot Fudge Sundays are my favorite dessert. I am pretty sure all you fellow chocoholics can understand. Then comes cheesecake like Tall New York Cheesecake and Frozen Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake. Regular old cake is pretty far down on my list of favorites, but at the top of the cake list is carrot cake. I admit, I have an ongoing love affair with nuts and coconut.
Classic Carrot Cake is something I have made over the years with mixed results. Sometimes it turned out dry and sometimes the carrots still tasted raw. My kids would accuse me of trying to hide “vegetables” in their cake! So anytime I would see a new recipe for carrot cake I got excited. Would this be the one that turns out just right? Well, here it is.
The Ultimate Classic Carrot Cake. It has every classic ingredient , but uses oil to keep it moist. And I think the secret ingredient is using crushed pineapple that has been drained, but left just a little wet.
INGREDIENTS TO MAKE THIS CLASSIC CARROT CAKE RECIPE
- Granulated Sugar
- Vegetable Oil
- Vanilla Extract
- Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Baking Soda
- Cream Cheese
- Crushed Pineapple
- Flaked Coconut
- Powdered Sugar
CAN I MAKE THIS CAKE AHEAD OF TIME?
The best part of Classic Carrot Cake is that the flavor is even better as they get a chance to blend together after baking. Over the hours and days after baking, the cake will taste even more amazing, with the pumpkin pie spices really settling in. The cream cheese frosting will deepen in flavor and you might even find yourself swiping your finger thru it.
This cake can be made up to three days ahead of serving, stored in the refrigerator tightly covered. Frost right away or just before serving.
Don’t let it’s good looks fool you. This cake is a beast. It is dense, packed with rich, delicious flavor and feels like it weighs 10 pounds. Really, you will need both hands to pick it up.
Classic Carrot Cake Recipe
FOR THE CAKE:
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
- 3 extra large eggs at room temperature
- 1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour divided
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1-1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 pound carrots grated (about 4 cups)
- 20 ounce crushed pineapple canned, drained but not dry
- 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
TO MAKE FROSTING:
- 12 ounce cream cheese 1-1/2 (8 ounce) boxes at room temperature
- 1/2 pound unsalted butter (2 sticks) at room temperature
- 1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups powdered sugar add more if frosting is too thin
- 1/2 cup flaked coconut toasted
TO MAKE CAKE:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line the pans with parchment paper, then butter the paper and flour the pans.
- Beat the sugar, oil, and eggs together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until pale yellow. Add the vanilla and mix until just blended.
- In another bowl, sift together 2-1/2 cups flour, the pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just blended.
- In a medium bowl, toss the raisins and walnuts with 1 tablespoon flour , then add in the carrots, coconut and pineapple. Add to the batter and mix well.
- Divide the batter between the prepared pans, and bake on the middle oven rack for 55-60 minutes. The cake is done when it springs back when you touch the center, or a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Allow the cakes to cool completely on a rack before frosting, at least 1 hour.
MAKE THE FROSTING:
- Place the cream cheese, butter and vanilla into a mixer bowl, using the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until until just combined. Add in the sugar and mix until the frosting is smooth.
- On a plate or pedestal, place one of the cake layers flat side up. With an offset spatula or knife, spread the top with frosting. Place the second cake flat side down on top of the frosted layer, so the cake has the rounded side up. Frost the top and sides of the cake evenly.
- Press the toasted coconut up the sides of the cake, pressing slightly to adhere the coconut to the frosting. Distribute the coconut evenly around the sides of the cake.
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