My mother-in-law loves carrot cake and I intended to make some for her birthday in February, but I didn't ... can't remember why. I think we already had a cake? Anyway, what goes better with Easter than carrot cake? I made this yesterday and divided it into two round cake pans: one with nuts, one without. The one with nuts is in the background of the photo - I put chopped walnuts on top to distinguish it from the other. I used the cream cheese frosting from The Best Cupcakes Ever.
adapted from Carrot Cake III on Allrecipes.com
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 tsp. vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 or two round cake pans.*
In a large mixing bowl, beat together eggs, sugar, brown sugar, oil, applesauce, and vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix in carrots and pecans, if using. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If using a 9x13, cool in pan. If using round cake pans, cool for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
To make frosting: In a medium bowl, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add vanilla. Beat in powdered sugar one cup at a time. Frost cooled cake. Sprinkle with chopped nuts, if desired. Store in the fridge.
*If you are using round cake pans, I have a tip for making it easier to get the cakes to come out. Grease the pans, then, using a pencil, trace the bottom of the pans onto waxed paper. Cut the circles out and place them in the bottom of the pans. Pour batter in and bake as usual. When it's time to take the cake out of the pan, run a knife around the edges and turn the pan upside down. The cake should fall out easily. Gently remove the wax paper and discard. Cool cake on a wire rack.