Husband loves carrot cake and I have made it for him a handful of times. He has several specifications for good carrot cake; raisins, pineapple, minimal or no nuts and lots of cream cheese frosting. I concur, except for the raisins. So we decided I would make a 9X13 pan with raisins in half. I would love to make a layer cake; so pretty and layers of frosting! But that would make the half raisins idea quite a challenge.
So I made the following.
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1-1/2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional) I left them out
1/2 cup (8 ounces) canned crushed pineapple in juice, drained
1 cup raisins, soaked in water for 15 minutes, and drained
1 cup (about 2 large) finely grated carrots (see Note)
Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
reheat oven to 350 F. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with non-stick foil or grease with butter liberally.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
In a smaller bowl, beat brown sugar, vegetable oil, and eggs until well-combined.
Add egg mixture to flour mixture and mix well. Stir in walnuts, crushed pineapple, raisins, and carrots. Mix until evenly distributed.
Pour into prepared pan and bake about 30 minutes or until center tests done. Cool to room temperature.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
Beat cream cheese,confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Spread on cooled cake. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup walnuts and press gently into frosting.
Note: It’s important that the carrots be finely grated. Most graters and/or food processors won’t do the trick. This is the perfect job for a microplane grater/zester. If you want to add an extra kick, soak the raisins in rum. You can also use this batter to make miniature 3 x 6-inch loaves, miniature bundt cakes, or large muffins. The baking time should be about 25 to 30 minutes.
My personal notes:
I put an extra 5 minutes on the baking time to make sure the middle was done. This is a dense cake.
I also doubled the cream cheese frosting. I made it as directed the last time and the frosting was sadly lacking. Doubling it now I question how I managed to cover the cake the last time.
I am not crazy about walnuts but I love pecans. I chose to sprinkle pecans on my half of the cake. Seems to be a fine substitute.