Easter makes me think of Carrot Cake. Is that true for everybody? Maybe it’s the whole correlation between Easter Bunny being a rabbit (duh!) and rabbits eat carrots? Yeah, okay, I’m crazy.
But I’ve been craving carrot cake for the past couple of weeks… and here’s what started it…
Several months ago, I was asked to make a from-scratch carrot cake. Specifically, the request was for a Cracker Barrel Carrot Cake.
Well, honestly guys… I don’t eat carrot cake. Or rather I should say, I didn’t eat carrot cake.
I had never made it before and when given a choice at a restaurant, church get-together, or pretty much any other event – it would be near the bottom of the list of desserts I’d choose to eat.
And this recipe? It’s got coconut (I don’t really like). Raisins (I could live without). And shredded carrots baked into a cake… who wants a shredded vegetable in their cake? Not I.
Until this. With a quick Swagbucks search, I found several “copycat” recipes, so I picked the one from Food.com and gave it a try.
Oh my goodness. This cake is fantastic!! I couldn’t get enough of it!! I started calling it “loaded” carrot cake because it has so much stuff in it – walnuts and pecans. Pineapple and raisins. Coconut and spices. And of course, lots of fresh grated carrots.
Then of course, there’s the smooth, delicious, cream cheese frosting on top. To. Die. For.
The only change I would recommend is this… double the frosting! This is the type cake that you spread the frosting right onto the cake while it’s still in the pan (cooled, of course) and when I spread it all out, the cake wasn’t even fully covered.
So I made another batch and voila – perfection!!
I still haven’t had carrot cake from Cracker Barrel, but if it tastes like this – I might have to consider ordering it sometime!
Did I miss any details? Do you have any questions about this cake? Please leave them in the comments!Print
Loaded Carrot Cake
This carrot cake is loaded with fruit and nuts and coconut. It’s so full of flavor and texture – you’ll never be able to get enough!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 2 cups finely shredded carrots
- 1 cup crushed pineapple (8 oz. can with juice)
- 1/2 cup finely shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup raisins that have been soaked in water until plump and then drained
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
- 8 ounces cream cheese (at room temperature)
- 1 stick of butter (at room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans for garnish
- *If you haven’t already, pour your raisins into a bowl and cover with water so they’ll plump up!
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- In a large mixing bowl, add together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Whisk together.
- Set aside.
- In separate bowl, use a mixer to combine the vegetable oil, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and eggs. Beat until completely smooth.
- Add pineapple, walnuts, coconut, carrots, and raisins and mix on low until incorporated.
- Gradually add flour mixture a half at a time until blended through.
- Pour batter into a prepared 9×13 inch pan (I use non-stick butter spray) and bake for 35-45 minutes.
- Leave the cake in the pan and when completely cooled, frost with cream cheese frosting.
- CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- While the cake is baking, prepare the frosting!
- In a medium bowl, cream the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.
- Add vanilla.
- Gradually add the powdered sugar until all has been blended well.
- Beat the frosting on high until it becomes light and fluffy.
- Spread over the completely cooled cake (still in the pan – don’t try to flip it out!)
- Sprinkle with chopped pecans.
NOTE: I double the frosting recipe to get a really good thick layer on top. But that’s just me… I like frosting!
Recipe adapted from Food.com.