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Recipe: Absolutely Perfect Carrot Cake


By all accounts of those who tried it, this cake lives up to its superlative name. It's dense and moist, but with a light crumb. It's sweet, with a strong but not overpowering spice flavor. It gets a lot of good old-fashioned rustic texture from raisins, nuts and medium-coarse carrots and uses a little honey for a rich flavor. Perfect for Easter time, but this cake works beautifully for a variety of occasions.

 

 

Hands on time: 30 minutes  Total time: 1 hour and 10 minutes  Serves: 16

    2 cups all-purpose flour 
    2 teaspoons baking powder 
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
    1/2 teaspoon allspice 
    1 teaspoon salt 
    4 eggs 
    1 1/4 cups vegetable oil 
    1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 
    1/2 cup honey 
    2 cups grated carrots 
    3/4 cup baking raisins 
    3/4 cup chopped pecans 
    Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows) 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour (or use Baker's Joy) two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans. 
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice and salt. Set aside. 
Combine with a whisk the eggs, oil, granulated sugar and honey and mix until well-blended. Fold in the flour mixture, carrots, raisins and pecans. 
Bake for 40 minutes, or until the center of the cakes spring back when touched lightly. Cool in pans for 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks and cool completely. 
Ice with Cream Cheese Frosting: Using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, mix together 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter and 1/2 cup vegetable shortening until creamy. Add 1 (1-pound) box confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon lemon oil (or extract) and mix until smooth and light. 

Per serving, with Cream Cheese Frosting: 663 calories (percent of calories from fat, 52), 5 grams protein, 76 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 34 grams fat (12 grams saturated), 78 milligrams cholesterol, 298 milligrams sodium


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