Perfect Carrot Cake! This one is so easy, made in a 9×13 pan, loaded with extras and topped with creamy frosting!
I feel like I have been holding out on you. I’ve had this carrot cake in my back pocket for years and years. I’ve made it countless times…sometimes as a layer cake, but most of the time in a 9×13 because…well…it’s easier, and I am lazy. #alreadyestablished.
Carrot Cake has always been a favorite of mine. BUT I am a little picky about my carrot cake. I am not a fan of “plain” carrot cake. I want ALL THE TEXTURE. Which means I like to pack about as much crunch/chew/flavor into every bite. If there aren’t bits of carrot poking out…a raisin here or there…coconut to add sweetness…or (gasp) walnuts to add crunch…well, no thank you, please.
So this recipe is all about how I like carrot cake. And since we’re old friends here, I am pretty sure that you will like it too. And I know, I know, I will get questions…can I leave out the coconut? Can I skip the nuts? Can I CHANGE ALL THE THINGS? Well, the answer is yes. But no.
Sure, you can leave out the coconut. SURE YOU CAN. But I’m just asking…unless you have a life-threatening allergy…try it my way. Just once.
The cake batter is really easy. I make mine in my stand mixer, but you could even just use a big bowl, a wooden spoon and some elbow grease.
And like I said before, you can ABSOLUTELY make this into a layer cake. Yes.
Of course you will need carrots. And a grater.
Do NOT use the pre-grated carrots they sell in the produce section. They’re too hard, too thick, too crunchy…
Grating isn’t hard. I promise.
The batter is pretty tasty…. I use vegetable oil in this cake instead of butter just to add to the overall softness. Also, there is crushed pineapple in there too…but be sure to drain it. Otherwise you will have a wet, dense cake.
When it’s baked it will be all gorgeous like this…
See the texture?
And then you absolutely can’t skip my recipe for cream cheese frosting on top. This has the perfect amount of tang, a little extra sweetness and a creamy, fluffy texture!
I always steal a piece. Quality control and all that…
I know you guys will love this cake!
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1¼ cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups flour
- 2¾ cups grated carrots, approximately 5
- 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
- ¾ cup chopped walnuts
- ½ cup raisins (regular or golden)
- 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
- 1 (8 ounce) block cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ cup butter, room temperature
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9x13 pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix both sugars, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla together on medium speed until smooth, 1 minute. Add in the cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and continue mixing for 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Mix in the flour until just combined. Add in the carrots, pineapple, walnuts, and coconut and stir until evenly incorporated.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted int he center comes out clean.
- Allow to cool completely.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix the cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until combined. With mixer on low, slowly add in the powdered sugar. Once incorporated, turn the speed up to medium and mix for 1-2 minutes until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Spread the frosting on top of the cooled cake.
* I don't ever refrigerate this cake, even with the cream cheese frosting, and it's fine. But you can absolutely refrigerate this if desired.