A few weeks back I made the mistake of strolling through our local grocery store’s bakery. I don’t do it often but sometimes I needsomething and I just don’t feel like baking. That day I needed carrot cake. So I bought these mini carrot cake cupcakes and I was so excited the whole drive home. You know how the story ends. The cake was dry and gross and the “cream cheese” frosting was most definitely not made of cream cheese.
I finally got around to making myself a real carrot cake a couple of days ago and I couldn’t be more thrilled with how it turned out. I’m kind of a carrot cake purist – only carrots and nuts please – so I was worried about the pineapple and coconut in this recipe but I seriously love both additions. The cake was so moist and seemed to get better after sitting in the fridge overnight.
For the cake:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups grated carrot
- 1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
- 1 cup sweetened coconut
- 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
For the cream cheese frosting:
- ¾ cup butter (softened)
- 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 1 3-ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 3 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- Line 2 (9-inch) round cakepans with wax paper; lightly grease and flour wax paper. Set pans aside.
- Stir together first 3 ingredients.
- Beat eggs and next 4 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add flour mixture, beating at low speed until blended. Fold in carrot and next 3 ingredients. Pour batter into prepared cakepans.
- Bake at 350Â° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake.
- To make the frosting: Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth.