This classic carrot cake is one of our favorites. It’s a great cake to make year-round or for a special occasion.
Makes one 9-inch layer cake; serves 10 to 12
4 cups peeled and grated carrots
1½ cups coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup dark raisins
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 cup canola or safflower oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 recipe Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease and lightly flour two 9-inch cake pans and set aside.
3. Mix the carrots, walnuts, and raisins in a bowl and set aside.
4. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, cloves, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl and stir to mix. Set aside.
5. Combine the eggs, oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla together in a separate bowl and whisk until well blended.
6. Slowly fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture and stir to blend just until all the dry ingredients are moist and blended. Do not overmix. Fold in the carrot mixture and stir just until combined.
7. Divide the batter evenly between the 2 prepared pans and bake 45 to 50 minutes, until the cakes are firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean.
8. Remove from the oven and cool the cakes 10 to 15 minutes in the pans. Remove from the pans and continue to cool on a baking rack.
9. Once the cakes have cooled completely, use a long, serrated knife to slice off the top rounded portion of each cake to make a flat, even surface. Discard the trimmings.
10. Place one of the layers cut side down on a cake plate. Top with about one-third of the frosting and spread evenly to cover the top of the cake layer. Place the next layer, cut side down, on top of the frosting and spread the top of the cake with about one-half of the remaining frosting. Use the remaining frosting to cover the sides of the cake.
11. Slice into portions and serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. This cake keeps well for several days.