Carrot cake is moist, tender, and bursting with sweet and spicy flavors. Here we offer our favorite classic carrot cake recipe, plus 17 ways to put a fresh spin on the popular easter dessert.
4 - eggs
3/4 - cup butter
2 1/2 - cups all-purpose flour
1 - tablespoon baking powder
1 - tablespoon finely shredded lemon peel
1/2 - teaspoon salt
1 - pound carrots, cut up
1 - cup pecans, toasted
1 1/2- cups sugar
1/2 - 8 ounce pkg. cream cheese
1 - 8 ounce can crushed pineapple (juice pack), drained
1 - Recipe Cream Cheese Frosting
Fresh pineapple slices, drained
Allow eggs, butter, and cream cheese to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease the bottoms and 1 inch up the sides of two 8x4x2-inch loaf pans. Set pans aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In large bowl stir together flour, baking powder, lemon peel, and salt; set aside.
In a food processor bowl* process carrots with on-off turns until finely chopped. Add pecans and 12 cup of sugar; process until pecans are finely chopped.
In extra-large mixing bowl beat butter and cream cheese for 30 seconds; beat in remaining 1 cup sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until combined. Stir carrot mixture and drained crushed pineapple into sugar-butter mixture until combined. Stir in flour mixture. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans.
Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool loaves in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely.
Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting. Serve immediately or cover and store in refrigerator up to 3 days. Just before serving top with pineapple rings. Makes 2 loaves (20 1-slice servings).
FROM THE TEST KITCHEN
If you do not have a food processor, finely shred the carrots and finely chop the pecans. Prepare as directed above, except add the sugar all at once, stir in the shredded carrot with the pineapple, and stir in the pecans with the flour mixture.
Cream Cheese Frosting
4 - ounces softened cream cheese
1/4 - cup softened butter
1 - teaspoon vanilla
2 3/4 - 3 - cups powdered sugar
In a large mixing bowl combine the cream cheese, softened butter, and vanilla; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar to reach spreading consistency.
NUTRITION FACTS (Best-Ever Carrot Cake)
Per serving: 470 kcal , 23 g fat (11 g sat. fat , 2 g polyunsaturated fat , 8 g monounsaturated fat ), 99 mg chol. , 340 mg sodium , 63 g carb. , 2 g fiber , 45 g sugar , 6 g pro.