“Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.” -Jim Davis
Who would have thought that eating a vegetable could be considered a guilty pleasure? Well, when it comes to decadent carrot cake lathered in cream cheese frosting, no vegetable oozes sweet seduction like this one. And yet, I still try and convince myself that what I’m eating is really healthy. It is still a vegetable after all…and don’t forget about the nuts and fruit! Maybe I can get away with just one more slice…
Adapted from King Arthur Flour’s recipe for King Arthur’s Carrot Cake
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 cup crushed pineapple, drained (or substitute 1 cup applesauce)
- 3 cups grated carrots
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 Tbs cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup raisins
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 8oz package cream cheese
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, plus more to taste
- 2 Tbs buttermilk or cream (add more to adjust consistency as needed)
Grease one 9″ x 13″ rectangular pan, or two 9″ round baking pans, set aside. Preheat oven to 350 °F.
Combine the oil, eggs, sugar, vanilla, pineapple, and carrots. In a separate bowl, blend the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Combine the dry mixture with the wet mixture, and add the walnuts and raisins. Stir until combined.
Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center of cake comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting. (For round layer cakes, cool 15 mins in pan, then turn out onto wire rack. I strongly suggest wrapping the layers in plastic wrap after they have cooled, and placing them in the freezer overnight before frosting.) Frost the sheet cake in the pan. For the layer cake, frost the top of one layer, top with the second layer, and then frost the top and sides of cake. Dust the top lightly with nutmeg for garnish.
This cake is even better the second day… if you still have any left by then.