I remember my Mother's carrot cake well. She would add pineapple and coconut and it would come out so moist and delicious. I decided to make it this past weekend but instead of storing a whole sheet cake, I made little individual cakes to store in my freezer. This is a keeper my friends. One of the best carrot cakes you've ever tasted.
My Mom's Carrot Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
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 crushed pineapple, drained
1 (3 1/2-ounce) can flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9 by-13-inch pan and line the pan with a wide piece of parchment paper cut so that it tucks neatly along 2 opposite sides and hangs over edges by about 1 inch on the other opposite sides to create flaps to use as handles for lifting the cake. Butter and flour the paper. Set pan aside.
Stir together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Next beat the eggs with the sugar, oil, buttermilk and vanilla at medium speed until smooth. Then add the flour mixture a little at a time while mixing at low speed. Fold in carrots, pineapple and coconut and pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Place cake pan on cooling rack for 15 minutes. Then using the parchment paper flaps, remove cake from pan and place on cooling rack until completely cool.
Cream Cheese Frosting
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth. Spread Frosting on top and sides of cake. And then with the palm of your hand, press nuts into sides of cake.
For my cake I cut my cooled caked into rectangles. Then I frosted each piece on the top and sides and pressed chopped walnuts onto the sides. I then piped the cream cheese frosting on top in a pretty design. After each piece was frosted, I reserved some frosting in two separate bowls.
In bowl one, I reserved enough frosting and added orange food coloring to make my Carrot garnish for each piece of cake. And in bowl number two I reserved just enough to make my stems and added green food coloring. I then used a pastry bag to pipe my carrot on top of each piece and added a little green for the stem. Then I stored the finished cakes in the refrigerator until ready to serve and sat them out at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes.
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