Carrots are popular at our house. A one pound bag lasts about one meal – and that’s for three people! I had to work fast after my grocery buying trip to have enough to make carrot cake. And it was so worth it! Carrot cake is good. Spiced carrot pineapple coconut cake with nuts and raisins is celestial!
Carrots have been used in desserts since the Middle Ages because they are somewhat sweet by themselves. They were plentiful and easy to obtain and much less costly than sweetener imported from distant lands. The Scandanavians are credited with the carrot cake, while Britons made carrot pudding popular in the 1700s. English colonists brought carrots to the New World where they were eaten as a side dish. Carrot cake didn’t turn up in American recipes until 1913. It wasn’t until the early Sixties that carrot cake and cream cheese frosting were wed. In 2005, carrot cake was declared among the top five favorite American desserts. One taste of this and you’ll see why!
This looks like a long recipe, but it really goes together quickly. Do take the time to measure the dry ingredients and mix them together before adding to the other ingredients. The mixing time with the wet ingredients is so short that it’s possible the flavors wouldn’t mix or you could end up with too much soda in a bite. Use flaked coconut as it really adds to the finished texture and flavor. Be sure to peel carrots before grating. Or, do like I did, grab a bag of baby carrots already peeled and put them through the food processor. You’ll want small pieces so stand the carrots up in the hopper so that the small diameter is cut instead of the longer length of the carrot. Or run the longer shreds through twice. Pecans can be substituted for the English walnuts.
The cream cheese frosting is not a sweet frosting and is a perfect complement to the dense cake. Beat it a little longer than most frosting to incorporate air into the mix and make it light. You can add up to one more cup of confectioner’s sugar to the mix, if you want a sweeter, more firm frosting. The recipe also doubles nicely if you decide to layer the carrot cake or make cupcakes.
This is THE best carrot cake ever.
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