Apparently carrot cake is something people get very contentious about. The list of items that people feel quite strongly should or shouldn’t be included in a carrot cake is substantial: pineapple, coconut, raisins, nuts. So let me be very clear: this is my personal favorite style of carrot cake, I’m not trying to define this as THE way to bake carrot cake but I will certainly assert that this is a very delicious recipe (if you’re not too offended by the ingredient list).
Carrot cake is probably my favorite cake and I’m very picky about its flavor and texture. My recipe includes crushed pineapple, shredded coconut, and raisins with a chopped walnut and cream cheese frosting. These ingredients GUARANTEE a highly moist, dense cake with a ton of texture. There’s a healthy amount of spices for a rich, deep flavor, and a lot of fresh carrot, more than I’ve found in most recipes.
I prefer my desserts less on the sugary side, so I prefer a carrot cake with a cream cheese frosting that isn’t too sweet. This frosting recipe has more cream cheese and butter, and less of the powdered sugar, which means it has a definitive cream cheese tang to balance the sweetness and complement the spice of the cake.
Basically this recipe is awesome and you should make it. I think carrot cake tastes best the next day after kept chilled, which makes it perfect for a make-ahead recipe. In the recipe notes I’m included options for different baking formats and icing styles. This is a really fun recipe to make with kids because you can have them “help” measure, scoop, and pour so many ingredients, and stir it all together without a stand mixer. Even spreading the frosting can be a kid’s job – we’re not so fussy with this cake!Print