This is my mother’s carrot cake recipe. I swear this is the easiest cake to make, ever. The prep time is about 15 minutes, even if you’re inefficient and trying to get two children to do their homework while you’re making dinner AND a carrot cake at the same time (not that I ever try to do that many things at once). It is super lush and moist, just like good carrot cakes should be. But I must say just one thing. This is NOT a good carrot cake. No, this is an exceptional, outstanding, exemplary carrot cake – one that will bring you accolades from your friends and awe from your neighbors (assuming you’ve actually met your neighbors – and if you haven’t, this is the perfect time to do it – and take over a little piece of cake when you go).
- 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup canola oil
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup drained crushed pineapple
- 2 cups grated carrots
- 3 ½ ounces shredded sweetened coconut
- 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Mix together the eggs, oil, and buttermilk until thoroughly blended. Add the sugar gradually, and the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients in thirds (or quarters or fifths – just don’t dump the whole thing in at once for heck’s sake) stirring until just blended. Add the pineapple, carrots, coconut and walnuts, one at a time, stir until blended.
Placed the mixture in a 9 by 13 greased cake pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes. The edges will start to pull away from the sides and a cake tester should come out clean. Allow cake to cool completely before frosting. Store leftovers (if there are any) in the refrigerator.
Optional – Top with lemon cream cheese frosting as follows:
- 4 ounces light cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 cup sifted powdered sugar (is is really important to sift the sugar – otherwise you’ll have frosting that looks like cottage cheese – not so good)
- 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
Mix together until spreading consistency (add more powdered sugar or lemon juice as needed).