Hubby wanted a cake that used my cream cheese frosting for his birthday, and after thinking about what type to bake, we settled on a carrot cake. I looked all over the internet for a recipe and finally combined elements of about three different ones for this cake. It was pretty easy to make and absolutely delicious.
For an excellent frosting for this cake, use my cream cheese frosting recipe. Adjust the amount of sugar you use to your taste.
3/4 c buttermilk (I prefer Cruze Dairy Farm buttermilk)
3/4 c vegetable oil (you can use coconut oil)
1 1/2 c white sugar
2 t vanilla extract
2 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t salt
1 c whole wheat flour
1 c white/all purpose flour (alternately you could use white whole wheat or freshly milled spring wheat)
2 t baking soda
2 c grated carrots (I used the fine grate)
1 c dried coconut (I used the kind that is already sweetened)
1 c raisins
1 c canned crushed pineapple (don’t drain)
1 c nuts, optional (walnuts or pecans)
1. If you choose to use the nuts, toast them in a cast iron skillet over low heat, stirring frequently, until you can smell the nuts and they take on a slightly browned appearance. Set aside to cool. Note that I did not choose to use the nuts per Hubby’s preference. Toasting the nuts prior to baking them helps to prevent them from developing a bitter flavor once cooked in the batter.
2. Mix the dry ingredients together (flours, salt, soda, cinnamon). Remove 1/4 c of the dry mixture and set both aside.
3. Grate carrots and mix them with the coconut and raisins. If using nuts, add those to this mixture. Add the 1/4 c of your dry mixture. This will help to keep the heavy ingredients from sinking in your cake. Set aside.
4. Mix eggs, buttermilk (if you don’t have buttermilk just add a squirt of lemon juice to the measured milk and let it curdle for a few minutes on the counter before mixing), oil, sugar, and vanilla extract together.
5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
6. With a large rubber spatula, fold in the carrot, raisin,coconut, and nut mixture. Then fold in the pineapple.
7. Cook in a deep 9x13 pan or 3 round cake pans. Cooking time will vary, but when we cooked this in a 9x13 pan it took just under an hour. Remove when the cake is set and the toothpick comes out with no liquid but the cake crumbles just sticking on the toothpick. This will make the difference between your cake being dry and moist.
8. Let cool and then frost with the cream cheese frosting recipe. I chose to store it in the refrigerator to keep the ingredients fresher.
Get the kiddos involved. Our daughter was able to ready the mise en place, measure the coconut and raisins, mix the dry ingredients, fold in the raisin mixture, and grease the pan. She loved helping to make her Daddy’s birthday cake.