Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting
For the cake:
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup canola oil
1-1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups grated carrots (from 4 – 5 large carrots)
1 cup canned crushed pineapple, drained
2 cups walnut pieces
Set the oven to 350 degrees, with a rack in the center. Grease a 9 x 13-inch pan and dust the pan with flour, tapping out the excess.
Sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
Beat the oil and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer for 1 minute. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl when necessary. Beat in the vanilla. Add the carrots and pineapple to the batter and beat just until combined.
With the mixer set on low speed, add the flour mixture to the batter and mix until the dry ingredients are moistened.
With a rubber spatula, fold in the walnuts. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake in the center of the oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Set the pan on a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes. With a knife, cut around the edges of the cake to release it from the pan. Turn the cake out onto a rack, turn it right side up, and let it cool completely while you make the frosting.
For the frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons orange juice
3 cups confectioner’s sugar (sifted)
Beat the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl when necessary. Beat in the orange juice and confectioner’s sugar just until thoroughly combined.
To frost the cake:
Cut the cake in half to make two smaller rectangles 4-1/2 x 6-1/2 inches. Set one piece, right side up, on a cutting board. Set the other piece, right side up, on top of the first. Trim the hard edges of the cake (these are treats for the baker).
Remove the top piece of cake. Set it right side up on a cake stand or large rectangular platter. Use a long metal spatula to spread the cream cheese frosting on the top and sides of the cake. Set the other piece, right side up, on top of the first. Frost the two pieces together and serve.
Note: You can let the cake sit for several hours in a cool place before serving or it can sit overnight in a cool place without harm.
From The Way We Cook, by Sheryl Julian and Julie Riven, 2002