I have a love/hate relationship with carrot cake. I love the frosting and the cake if done right is good too ONLY if you don't ruin it by putting raisins in it. Raisins have their place just not in carrot cake. OH MY...this was a little over the top and very rich! I couldn't even fit the sucker in my fridge with out moving racks. Just be sure to close your eyes towards the bottom of the recipe and don't look at the "health" facts per serving.
Recipe from Cooking Pleasures Magazine
Outrageous Carrot Cake
This lavish cake boasts three layers loaded with carrots, pineapple, coconut and walnuts. It’s filled and crowned with a cream cheese frosting. While cake layers are often created by slicing a single layer horizontally, the fruit and nuts in this cake make that difficult, so the batter is baked in three pans.
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups canola oil
2 1/2 cups finely grated carrots (about 6 carrots)
2 (8-oz.) cans crushed pineapple in juice, well-drained*
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 cups powdered sugar
11/2 cups finely chopped walnuts, if desired
1. Evenly space 2 baking racks in oven. Heat oven to 350ºF. Spray bottom and sides of 3 (9x2-inch) round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Line bottoms with parchment paper; spray parchment with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Sift flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into medium bowl.
3. In large bowl, beat eggs and sugar at medium speed 1 to 3 minutes or until thickened and slightly lighter in color. Beat in oil at low speed. Stir in flour mixture until blended. Stir in carrots, pineapple, coconut and 1 cup walnuts until blended. Divide batter evenly among pans. Bake 25 minutes; turn and reverse cake pans. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and cake pulls slightly away from sides of pan. Cool in pans on wire rack 15 minutes. Invert onto wire rack; remove parchment. Cool completely.
4. To make frosting, beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl at medium speed 3 minutes or until blended and smooth. Beat in vanilla. Add powdered sugar; beat at low speed 1 minute or until blended and smooth.
5. Place 1 cake layer on serving platter or cardboard round; spread with 1 cup frosting. Repeat. Top with remaining cake layer; spread top and sides with thin layer of frosting. Coat sides with another smooth layer of frosting; spread remaining frosting on top. Press 11/2 cups walnuts onto sides of cake. (Cake can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated, or 3 weeks ahead and frozen. To freeze, place cake in freezer until frosting is firm; wrap in plastic wrap, then heavy-duty foil. To defrost, place in refrigerator overnight; remove wrapping. Serve at room temperature.) Refrigerate leftovers.
TIP *If pineapple has any large pieces, finely chop.
PER SERVING: 755 calories, 45 g total fat (13.5 g saturated fat), 8 g protein, 84.5 g carbohydrate, 105 mg cholesterol, 330 mg sodium, 2.5 g fiber