I am picky about carrot cake. Raisins are not acceptable in carrot cake. Pineapple is SO not acceptable in carrot cake! Pecans however, are necessary. (This is where me and my husband disagree.)
Not too many pecans, just enough to add a little bit of texture, you know?
I like to go a little heavy on the spices and to slather the whole thing in cream cheese frosting. This cake is totally worth the 20 minutes it takes to finely grate the carrots! (Anybody else have an aversion to grating things? Seriously, I would rather swallow staples.)
What's your favorite way to enjoy carrot cake?
Recipe adapted from Allrecipes
-2 cups all-purpose flour
-2 tsp baking powder
-2 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp salt, heaping
-2 tsp cinnamon
-1/4 tsp nutmeg
-1 cup vegetable oil
-1/4 cup applesauce
-2 cups granulated sugar
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-3 cups lightly packed finely grated carrots (about 6 medium carrots)
-1/2 cup chopped pecans
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup salted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease 2 6-inch cake pans, or a 13x9 cake pan. (I line my 6-inch pans with parchment paper to make it easier to get the cake out.)
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. In a large mixing bowl, beat together vegetable oil, applesauce, eggs, granulated sugar and vanilla. Slowly stir in dry ingredients and mix until well blended. Stir in grated carrots and pecans.
Pour mixture into pan(s).
Bake 13x9 cake for 40-50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Bake 6 inch cakes for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Allow to cool completely.
For frosting- Whip together cream cheese, butter and vanilla until fluffy. Add powdered sugar and mix until well combined. Use to frost cake.
Garnish with piped carrots or extra pecans.