I made Lenny this super moist carrot cake to celebrate his birthday. Carrot cake is his favorite cake so I make it once a year to celebrate his birthday. Whenever he has a slice of carrot cake somewhere else, he always says that mine recipe is the best.
It has been a strange year for us. Not the usual work is crazy kind of strange, just a lot of personal things that have changed the way we normally do things, like celebrating birthdays. Last minute we booked tickets and flew back East in July. It was nice to be in the hot humid weather for a few days, after all, summer is supposed to be hot. We went to Boston and spent time with his family on the Cape. His only request was to keep his birthday simple and not make any fuss. I love birthdays so this was hard for me. It ended up being a pizza delivery kind of night with a bottle or two of red wine for fun. It was really nice being together with family celebrating love and laughing a lot.
When we came home I extended the birthday celebrations with gift opening at home, a dinner at the house with some friends as well as dinner out with more friends. It was a lot of fun and while he does not admit it, I know he secretly enjoys the extended birthday celebrating. Then I made a cake.
My carrot cake recipe has definitely evolved over the years and was inspired by many recipes that are floating around the internet. A few years ago, after much trial and error, I finally knocked it out of the park. I have been making carrot cake the same way ever since. I love this recipe, and Lenny says every year when I bake this cake that is is the best. It is insanely moist and flavorful.
I am almost positive that the secret is using really fresh ingredients. I buy fresh carrots at the farmer’s market; not prebagged carrots or those that are already grated. It only takes a few extra minutes to wash a carrot and grate it. I also use fresh pineapple as it is more flavorful and less sugary. I leave out nuts and add a few extra raisins. The coconut oil adds a lovely subtle tropical flavor to the cake. If you don’t like coconut oil you could use canola oil. We aren’t really into the frosting so much so I keep it even simpler by frosting only the top and between layers. If you love a lot of frosting, double up the recipe and go crazy. Otherwise, enjoy this amazing carrot cake recipe, rustic style like the way we enjoy it!
Super Moist Carrot Cake
1 1/3 cups melted coconut oil or canola oil
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste (I like paste)
2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon cardamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup raisins
3/4 cup diced fresh pineapple
1 pound carrots, grated
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
1 pound powdered sugar
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
Preheat oven to 350.
Butter two 8″ round cake pans, then line with parchment paper and lightly butter the paper and flour the pans.
In a large bowl sift together the dry ingredients (flour, cardamon, baking soda and salt). Set aside.
Mix the carrots, raisins, and pineapple with 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
In the mixing bowl of a mixer beat together the coconut oil and sugar until light yellow. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well. Then add the vanilla and mix. Add the dry ingredients and mix.
Fold in the carrots and raisin mixture, then mix well.
Divide the batter between the two cake pans. Tap on the counter to release air bubbles. Bake for 55 – 60 minutes; a toothpick will come out clean when you poke the center. All the cakes to cool completely in the pans set over a wire baking rack. Once cool remove from the pans and set aside on the racks until ready to frost.
Mix the cream cheese and butter together until creamy. Sift the powdered sugar into the cream cheese mixture, then add the cream and vanilla. Mix until smooth, fluffy and creamy.
Smear about a tablespoon of frosting onto the cake plate. Place one layer on top of the plate and frost the top with half of the frosting. Top with the other cake layer and frost the top with the remaining frosting.