This incredibly moist homemade carrot cake is full of sweet spices, coconut, and carrots (both shredded carrots and carrot puree!). This carrot spice cake is completed with a homemade cream cheese frosting that is topped with toasted coconut and chopped pecans. This carrot cake is the best Thanksgiving dessert or Christmas dessert!
Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, my Christmas shopping was wildly successful!
It’s a recurring problem I have so you’d think I’d be more prepared to say no to those amazing deals, but, well, apparently not.
I prefer to have time to decide whether or not I want something. You know, weigh the pros and cons–see if I can’t stop thinking about it.
(Oh how I wish this applied to my love of sweets–I can NEVER stop thinking about them, especially when it comes to carrot cake, or maple snickerdoodles, or pumpkin spice cracker toffee or pumpkin bundt cake…I’ll just stop now).
But during these crazy discounts, there’s a pressure to get the deal before it’s gone because what if the deal doesn’t come back and I end up really wanting the thing and now it’s way more expensive.
Ugh, see my quandary?
Anyway, I don’t do great under pressure, hence my success this past weekend.
Anyhow, even if my credit card bill is a little higher than normal, it’s December 1st!
Which gives me all the feels (happy, sad, nostalgic…I know).
Because Christmas is my favorite holiday, I spend the rest of the year wishing it would arrive a leeetle but quicker, but as soon as it gets here, I’m ready for it to slow down a bit so I can savor and enjoy the whole season. Like, Christmas Everyday status. (Anyone get that fabulous 90’s reference??)
This cake, however, is not.
It is an amazingly delicious carrot spice cake and super simple to make! My sister introduced this recipe to me, and now I’m hooked–it really might be the best carrot cake I’ve ever had.
Okay, a couple things to note here in this insanely delish recipe.
First things first, this recipe uses carrot puree as well as shredded carrots. The addition of the carrot puree totally makes this cake what it is. It not only adds a depth of concentrated flavor, it makes the cake extremely moist (sorry if you hate that word, but there’s really no other way to explain it 😉).
Another thing to note is that sometimes when carrots and baking soda meet (i.e., if the baking soda isn’t as evenly distributed in the batter as it could be), there can be a reaction between the two while baking.
What is this reaction? Ohh, I’m so glad you asked. Some of the carrots might be green. There’s a whole scientific explanation for the reason why they change color; however, I won’t bore you with those details. What I will tell you is that it is perfectly safe to eat!
Ready to spice up your life?
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp baking soda
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground all spice
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 2 tsp salt
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups grated carrots
- 8 oz carrot puree baby food--trust me!
- 1 cup shredded coconut sweetened
- 12 oz cream cheese at room temperature
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 4 - 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- salt to taste
- Toasted Coconut
- Crushed Pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9" cake pans with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, all spice, and salt. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Stir wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Add in grated carrots, carrot puree, and coconut. Mix until just combined.
Split batter evenly between the two cake pans and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
In a 300 degree oven, toast 2 cups of coconut on a baking sheet, spread out in an even layer, about 8-12 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Allow to cool while working on the frosting.
Beat butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Slowly add in powdered sugar, beginning with 4 cups. Add in vanilla extract and salt to taste. If the frosting is runny, add in 1/2 cup more powdered sugar.
Place one cake on a plate and spread 1/2 cup of frosting over the cake. Add the second layer on top, and spread the rest of the frosting evenly over the top and sides of the cake.
Press coconut to the sides of the cake and sprinkle crushed pecans on the top.
Adapted from The Bride & Groom First and Forever Cookbook
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