This is, by far, the best carrot cake ever!! It is sweet, moist, flavorful and it stays fresh tasting for days. It is full of sweet carrots, raisins and pineapple and it is absolutely excellent for a crowd, it also freezes well!!!
Directions below are for a 10" layer cake OR 36 cupcakes.
I like to make cupcakes because we are "empty nesters" and I can just take a few at a time out of the freezer, rather than a whole layer cake.
Sorry about the bad photo........I was in a hurry (as always).
FIVE STAR CARROT CAKE
4 cups grated carrots
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup raisins
1 cup crushed pineapple (squeezed dry)
1 cup vegetable oil
1� cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
1� teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans
If you are making a layer cake, lightly spray two 10" baking pans with vegetable spray, and line the bottom with parchment paper, then spray again. See note about baking pans at the end of this recipe.
If you are making cupcakes, it takes 36 cupcake papers. Preheat your oven to 350.
Mix shredded carrots and brown sugar and set aside at room temperature for 1 hour. After 1 hour, stir in the raisins and set aside. The sugar will draw a lot of liquid out of the carrots and it will all look soupy.........ignore that and DO NOT DRAIN!!!
Beat eggs until they are light colored and foamy (about a minute or so at high speed), gradually beat in the white sugar, vegetable oil and vanilla. Stir in pineapple.
In another bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon...mix well. Add this dry mixture to the wet mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time, making sure everything is moistened before you add more flour.
Stir in the carrot-raisin mixture as well as the nuts.
Bake at 350� for 45-50 minutes if you are baking two 10� layers. Test for doneness by inserting a dry toothpick into the center of the baked cake. If it comes out clean when you take the toothpick out, the cake is done.
If you are making cupcakes, bake at 350� for 21-23 minutes. My standard electric oven takes 22 minutes. Cool completely and frost with cream cheese frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
(1) 8 ounce cream cheese (room temperature)
1/4 cup UNsalted butter (room temperature)
1� teaspoons vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
Beat room temperature cream cheese and room temperature Unsalted butter until it is sooth and creamy. Add powdered sugar (1 cup at a time) along with the vanilla. If the frosting seems thick, add a tablespoon or so of milk and beat again.