Waterproof boots and a down coat are standard issue for those who live with the grey skies, drizzly rain, and the cold weather winds of Seattle. However, when the sun occasionally breaks through it amazes me how quickly rain gear is shed and the mood and disposition of Seattleites lighten up. Once the sun disappears behind a thick blanket of grey clouds thoughts turn immediately to when the next time the sun will appear. Well, we recently got a sneak peak of sunshine, and to add more hope six fully bloomed bright yellow daffodils are now displaying their splendor along the edge of our lawn. Accordingly, I’m now thinking about spring.
When thinking about transitioning into the next season I start baking recipes reflecting the change. This week, with several pounds of carrots needing to be used in my kitchen, the answer was right in front of me: carrot cake.
Today I have a wonderful classic carrot cake recipe studded with chopped walnuts and shredded coconut. It is moist, slightly dense, and perfectly spiced. Topped with a nice cream cheese frosting, this carrot cake is perfect for Easter – or for any occasion.
As an added bonus the cake freezes very well, so any leftovers can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the freezer until ready to consume. Just allow the cake to thaw an hour before serving. I typically only bake half a cake and cut any leftovers into small servings which I wrap individually in plastic wrap and store in my freezer. Sometimes I’ll grab one and add it to my kids’ lunches as a small dessert. A 2×2 inch serving makes the perfect lunch dessert size.
The key to making this great carrot cake is to make sure you grate or chop the carrots finely using a food processor. This cake is a family favorite that I hope will be for your family too!
Recipe: Classic Carrot Cake
A delicious, moist, carrot cake recipe studded with shredded coconut and chopped walnuts. Perfect for Easter, Spring, or any occasion.
¾ cup vegetable oil
½ cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 ¾ cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups All-Purpose Flour or White Whole Wheat Flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
3 cups finely chopped or grated carrots
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup unsalted butter
4-ounces cream cheese (half package)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Milk – as needed
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Generously coat a 9”x13” pan with non-stick spray.
Mix together the oil, apple sauce, sugar, salt, eggs, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Stir in the carrots, coconut, and nuts. Stir in the flour and baking soda until evenly mixed.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until done. Use a toothpick and insert it into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean the cake is done. If it comes out wet, bake for 6-8 more minutes.
Allow the cake to completely cool before spreading with frosting.
To make the frosting, cream the butter and cream cheese. Add the vanilla extract, lemon juice, sugar and salt. Cream on low speed until the sugar is incorporated then cream on high for a minute. Add additional milk if needed.