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Carrot and Pineapple Cake

Served by Michele, January 2015, for “A Signature of All Things”
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups vegetable or coconut oil (melt then cool to room temperature)*
  • 3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans*
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 cup diced fresh pineapple or canned crushed pineapple
  • 1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut*
  • 1/2 cup rum or pineapple juice* (optional for soaking raisins)

For the frosting:

  • 1 lb cream cheese, at room temperature (2 8-oz packages)*
  • 1/2 lb (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pound confectioners’ sugar, sifted (about 3 cups, to taste)

For the decoration:

  • pineapple slices
  • unsweetened flaked coconut*

Instructions

To soak the raisins in rum, measure 1 cup raisins in a small bowl, pour some rum over the top, let soak for a few hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then flour the pans.

For the cake:

Beat the sugar, oil, and eggs together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light yellow. Add the vanilla.

In another bowl, sift together 2 1/2 cups flour, the cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry flour mixture to the wet ingredients.

If soaking raisins, drain, then combine 1 cup raisins and 1 cup chopped nuts with 1 tablespoon flour. Stir to combine, then add to cake batter.

Fold in the carrots and pineapple. Add to the batter and mix well.

Divide the batter equally between the 2 pans. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool completely in the pans set over a wire rack.

For the frosting:

Mix the cream cheese, butter and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until just combined. Add the sugar and mix until smooth.

Place 1 layer, flat-side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with pineapple, coconut flakes, and a hula girl if possible. 🙂

Notes:
Makes one 2-layer cake. Served 12-14*, with vanilla ice cream and coffee.
* Modifications