Carrot Cake

After trying different recipes for carrot cake over the last few years, I finally came upon the one worth publishing! My former attempts always came short in terms of flavor or moistness. This one has it all, it tastes gorgeously rich and moist, and the flavor combination is well balanced. The only thing I added to this recipe is raisins (gotta have them).
Note: I made this carrot cake in a loaf shape because I got tired of round cakes, which I've made a lot of lately.



CARROT CAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 large eggs
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated carrot
1 (8-ounce) can of crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted (optional)

Frosting
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese
2 tablespoons buttermilk (optional)
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Line 3 (9-inch) round cakepans with wax paper; butter and flour sides and set aside.
Mix dry ingredients together (flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg).
In another mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar vegetable oil, buttermilk and vanilla at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add flour mixture, beating at low speed until blended. Fold in carrot, pineapple, raisins and nuts.
Pour batter into prepared cakepans. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 15 minutes.
To make frosting, beat cream cheese and buttermilk at medium speed until softened (about 2 minutes). Add confectioner's sugar and vanilla and beat until well blended and smooth.
Remove from pans and let cool completely. Spread cream cheese frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake.


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