Time for another sister Linda recipe! One of us found this carrot cake recipe online several months ago and when I spent a few days with Linda in November we decided we had to make it. We were sure it was our job to test and taste it, yeah that’s the story. Off we went to the store to pick up a couple ingredients we needed.
We returned to her kitchen and made the carrot cake recipe as cupcakes and absolutely loved them. They were so moist with just the right amount of spices. They don’t force cinnamon and nutmeg down your throat like some spice cakes. The frosting wasn’t super sweet because we could control the tang by using less powdered sugar in the recipe. It has an excellent ratio of frosting to cake.
When I returned home Linda sent a few cupcakes home with me and my P.S was charmed. He loved them as much as we had. They were unusually most and so flavorful with the pineapple and coconut. He commented that he thought the shredded carrots could maybe have cooked a little more and I pointed out that wasn’t carrots, it was the coconut he was noticing.
I made the cake recipe myself a few weeks later in the 9×13 pan the recipe calls for and again it was amazing. Three months later we were again dreaming of that cake and decided we needed to make it for Valentine’s Day. No chocolate for us; we wanted cream cheese and carrots! I made the cake yesterday and my P.S. was sniffing the air all afternoon in anticipation.
I would usually have all of the ingredients for this carrot cake recipe on hand. It simply starts with a yellow cake mix, add a small box of instant vanilla pudding, two cups of shredded carrots, and 1/2 cup of coconut. I’m not a huge fan of cakes from mixes for the most part. I’d rather throw together a carrot cake or a gingerbread cake from scratch. But this carrot cake will have to be one of my few exceptions because it is SO flavorful and moist.
Even the cream cheese frosting recipe is super easy. With just four ingredients, super fast as well. As long as you remember to take your butter and cream cheese out of the fridge and let them get to room temperature, the frosting will be ready when the cake has cooled.
1 yellow cake mix
1 cup water
1/3 cup oil
1 small box instant vanilla pudding
2 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup coconut
14 ounces crushed pineapple and juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice
In a small bowl mix together carrots, raisins, walnuts, and coconut. Add to these ingredients 2 tablespoons of dry cake mix. In a separate bowl, add cake mix, pudding, oil, eggs, water, pineapple, and spices. When thoroughly mixed, add carrot mixture.
Pour into a 9×13 inch pan.
Bake at 350°F for 45-50 minutes. This is a very moist cake.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/2 cup butter; room temp
8 ounces cream cheese; room temp
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
With an electric mixer, mix the butter and cream cheese together, about 3 minutes on medium speed until very smooth. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing.
Add the vanilla extract and mix. Slowly add the powdered sugar. Keep adding until you get to desired sweetness and thickness. I use 2 cups of powdered sugar.
Either spread on with a blunt knife or spatula, or spoon into a piping bag to decorate your cake or cupcake.