Einstein in the Kitchen or Let Them Eat (Carrot) Cake

In this world, there is carrot cake and then there is scrumptious absolutely to-die-for carrot cake—the kind of cake you’ve only experienced with a $200-per-person meal at a fancy hotel (you do that all the time, right?).

It’s the kind of carrot cake that would surely be named the Grand Champion in a competition at a fine culinary school like Le Cordon Bleu Baking and Pastry Arts Program if I’d ever had such an opportunity to compete.

This is the cake that’s going to make your friends and family think you’re a genius! And don’t be surprised when it becomes your signature cake—the one they request for their birthdays. Imagine how beautiful this cake might look on your Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter buffet table.

2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup golden raisins, (optional)
2 cups white granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil Note 1
2 cups finely grated raw carrot
1 (8.5 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained Note 2
1/2 cup softened salted butter
1 (8 oz.) pkg softened cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 (1-lb.) box powdered sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Prepare three (3) cake pans by greasing them well and dusting with flour.
Sift flour again with baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.  See Note 3.
In another large bowl, beat eggs lightly and stir in oil. Add sugar. Stir until very well incorporated. Stir in carrots, drained pineapple, nuts, and raisins.
Pour wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients. Stir until all are well incorporated.
Divide evenly between the three (3) prepared 8-inch cake pans. Bake in 350 F oven for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out just barely clean. Do not over bake.
Remove from oven; allow to cool 10 minutes and remove cakes from the pans to cool. Make certain cakes are completely cooled to room temperature or cooler before frosting.
To make the frosting: In a medium-size bowl, combine butter, cream cheese and vanilla. Beat until smooth with an electric beater. Add sugar gradually, beating well between each addition. Continue beating until smooth and glossy.
Assemble cake with frosting between layers and on top. Garnish as desired with a sprinkling of chopped walnuts.

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