Carrot cake is one of those desserts that are perfect to make for spring especially for Easter. I made this cake this past Easter and it was such a hit at our Easter dinner. I like my carrot cake to have coconut and pineapple in it because it helps moisten the cake and gives it such amazing texture. I used walnuts in my cake but you can use pecans as well. I have made it both ways and they are both equally delicious.
Ingredients to Make Carrot Cake
For the Cake-
3 cups of all-purpose flour
2 cups of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of baking soda
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1 1/2 cups of canola oil
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups of walnuts, chopped
1 1/2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
2 cups finely grated carrots
1 cup of crushed pineapple, drained
For the icing
12 oz of cream cheese, softened at room temperature
9 tablespoons of unsalted butter, room temperature
3 3/4 cups of powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
Extra whole or chopped walnuts, for topping and sides
Directions to Make Carrot Cake
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9-inch cake pans.
2. Sift flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda into a bowl. Add sugar and whisk well. Add oil, eggs and vanilla and blend well with a hand or standing mixer.
3. Fold in chopped walnuts, coconut, carrots and pineapple. Stir until well combined.
4. Pour batter into pans. Set on the middle rack of oven and bake at 350°F for 45-50 minutes until edges have pulled away from sides and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
Directions to Make the Icing
In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or using hand mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter. Slowly sift in the powdered sugar and beat until mixture is free of lumps. Stir in vanilla and lemon juice.
Once the cake has cooled, remove from the pans and frost. Add chopped walnuts to the side and arrange walnut halves in the shape of a cross if celebrating Easter.