I love a good slice of carrot cake, but hated making my own until my grandmother discovered this recipe and sent it my way. This is about as easy as a cake can get and it tastes absolutely phenomenal! Enjoy!
PINEAPPLE CARROT CAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
(adapted from The Cake Mix Doctor Returns)
For the cake:
Shortening, for greasing the pans
Flour, for dusting the pans
1 package (18.25 oz) plain white cake mix
1 package (3.4 oz) vanilla instant pudding mix
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple, with juice
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
4 large eggs
2 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
For the frosting:
4 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick salted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I left this out because the cake was already pretty “spice-filled”)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two round 9-inch cake pans.
In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding mix, crushed pineapple, vegetable oil, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, and eggs. Beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for about 2 minutes. Add the carrots (make sure they are finely chopped, I shredded mine in a food processor), coconut, and walnuts and stir until well combined.
Pour equal amounts into each pan and bake for 28-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for about 5 minutes before removing from the pans and allowing to cool completely, about 30 minutes.
While the cakes cool, combine the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract in a medium sized bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for about 30 seconds. Scrap down the sides of the bowl and continue to beat until mixture is fluffy. Add the confectioners’ sugar in half cup increments, then add the cinnamon. Continue to beat on high until frosting is light and fluffy. If frosting is too thin, you can add up to a 1/2 cup more confectioners’ sugar.