Carrot Cake

carrot cake square

CARROT CAKE

Many years ago, my friend Margie made this cake for a teacher appreciation luncheon and it stole the show. This is more delicious than the average carrot cake. Packed with carrots, pineapple, coconut and pecans, the chewy texture, spicy flavor and creamy frosting combine to create an exciting balance.

This recipe can be made as a layer cake, a 9X13 rectangle, muffins, or muffin tops.  And you can even bake the batter as waffles, if you add another 1/2 cup or so of flour.

CAKE:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 cups finely grated carrots
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup well-drained crushed pineapple
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup chopped pecans, divided
(reserve 1/2 cup nuts for top of cake)

CREAM CHEESE FROSTIING :
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2-3 cups confectioners sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add eggs, oil, carrots and vanilla; beat until combined. Stir in pineapple, coconut and 1/2 cup of nuts. Pour into a well-greased and floured 13″x9″ baking pan or two round 9” pans. Sprinkle top with nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool. If using round pans, remove to wire racks after ten minutes. Combine frosting ingredients; mix until well blended. Frost cooled cake. Decorate top with toasted pecans, if desired. Refrigerate leftovers.
Yield: 12-16 servings

Notes: Add golden or black raisins if you like them! This frosting recipe makes a gracious plenty, enough to frost a two layer 9 inch cake.

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