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Moist Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

This recipe yields the most moist, decadent carrot cake you will ever eat, and it is well worth the calories. If you don’t like pumpkin pie spice, or don’t have any in your pantry, the suggested substitution works just as good.

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
1¼ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon Himalayan salt
1 – 1¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
¾ cup canola oil, plus more for pans
¾ cup packed brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
8 medium carrots (about 2 cups), peeled and grated,
¾ cup pineapple, drained and crushed (optional)
½ cup pecans, coarsely chopped (optional)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup water (if omitting pineapple)
VARIATION: substitute 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg for pumpkin pie spice

Cream Cheese Icing

1 package light Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¼ cup butter, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Equipment – two 9×1½-inch round cake pans

Directions for cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and lightly flour two round cake pans. Line the bottom of pans with parchment paper, and lightly flour sides; set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.

In a separate mixing bowl, combine oil, granulated and brown sugars; beat until smooth. Add eggs one at a time; mix well after each addition, about 2 minutes. Add carrots, pineapple, pecans, and vanilla extract. Stir to combine; mixture should be moistened. Pour egg mixture into flour mixture; mix thoroughly and pour evenly into prepared pans.

Bake cake in center of 350 degree oven for 35 minutes. Cool cakes for 15 minutes in pans, then invert onto wire racks to finish cooling.

Directions for Icing:

Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Slowly add vanilla, butter, and confectioners’ sugar. Beat until light and whipped.


Place one cake on a flat plate or platter. Frost the top of the cake with the cream cheese mixture. Place the second cake on top of the frosting. Continue by generously spreading frosting over the top layer and sides of cake.

Carrot cake is an all-American favorite. What’s nice about the recipe is that you can use a variation of ingredients to suit your taste. Remember to be extremely generous with the cream cheese frosting—it’s really yummy. Enjoy.