2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 cups Sugar
1/4 cup Brown Sugar (dark or light)
1 1/2 t Baking Soda
1 t Baking Powder
1 t Salt
4 t Cinnamon
1/4 t Nutmeg
1/8 t Ground Cloves
1/4 t Ground Ginger
2 cups Finely Grated Peeled Carrot, packed
1 cup Coconut Flakes, sweetened
1 cup Raisins (Optional)
1 can 8 oz Crushed Pineapple, drained (reserve 1 T of drained Pineapple juice)
1 1/2 cup Walnuts or Pecans, chopped small pieces
1 cup Vegetable Oil
2 t Vanilla Extract
1 T Finely Grated Fresh Orange Zest
3 Eggs, extra large
Pam (non stick cooking spray)
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Prepare two 9 inch cake pans by spraying it with vegetable non-stick spray and line it with a parchment paper. You could also use 20 jumbo cupcake liners in a muffin tin without spray.
3) In a large bowl whisk well: Flour, Sugar, Brown Sugar, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Salt, all Spices.
4) Peel then Grate approx 5-6 medium Carrots to yield 2 cups packed. Grate Carrots finely to no more than 1/4 inch pieces. Or process in a food processor until finely grated but not mush. It is important that you peel the Carrots before grating. You do not want the tough skins in your cake.
5) In a medium bowl or KitchenAid bowl add Carrots, Grated Fresh Orange Peel, Drained Pineapple, Raisins (optional), Coconut Flakes, Walnuts or Pecans and mix well with a big spoon.
6) To this mixture add the Vegetable Oil, Vanilla Extract and Eggs one at a time mixing in well then add 1 T of the reserved Pineapple juice and mix well. Scrape down bowl often.
7) Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with a hand mixer or Kitchen Aid for about 1 minute until well mixed. Do not over mix.
8) Pour divided into prepared 9 inch cake pans, or in your 20 cupcake liners (3/4 full)
9) Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 mins for Cupcakes and 35-40 minutes for 9 inch layer cakes. Half way through cooking rotate the pans for even cooking. A toothpick or cake tester will come out clean when done. All ovens vary in timing so check at lowest time first and if not done put back in oven and recheck in 2- 3 minutes.
10) Allow to cool completely in pan for 1-2 hrs. before removing to ice with Cream Cheese Icing. Recipe below. Place 1/4 of icing between the two layers and when placing the top cake layer on, put the flat side of the cake (the bottom when it was in the cake pan) facing up for a flat top which makes a more attractive cake and easier to ice.
Cream Cheese Icing :
2 sticks Butter, unsalted, softened
16 oz. Cream Cheese, softened (2 bars)
3 c Powdered Sugar
4 t Vanilla Extract
1/4 t Almond Extract
1 small pinch Salt (very small pinch)
1) Allow Butter and Cream Cheese to sit out until at room temperature and softened.
2) In a large bowl, place the softened Butter.
3) Cream the Butter with a hand mixer for 2 minutes. Then add the Cream Cheese and cream for 2 minutes or so more until well mixed.
4) 1 cup at a time, add the Powdered Sugar and blend well.
5) Add Salt, Vanilla and Almond Extracts and mix well. Taste and add more Powdered Sugar to be more sweet or more Cream Cheese to suit your taste.
6) Keep Cream Cheese Icing at room temperature for the best consistency to ice Cakes.
7) Refrigerate unused icing. To use again, bring to room temperature then mix with a hand mixer for about 1 minute before using.
8) OPTION: For those that like a very strong Cream Cheese taste add another 4 oz. of Cream Cheese for a more intense flavour.