carrot cake

Spring is in the air! Or so I'm going to keep telling myself despite the fact that we get suspended for yet one more day in February this year.

I can't think of a better way to celebrate the impending arrival of warmer, longer days than with a bite of carrot cake.  Better still, one with some very tropical notes. This is a super easy cake to make, no real details to fret over.  It's a naturally rustic looking cake and I think it's even better the next day.  Or for breakfast as someone likes to rock it in this house.

I used fresh pineapple because I am that kind of a girl.  You can successfully substitute canned, just make sure you drain it.

carrot cake

3 c flour

2 t baking soda

1 t baking powder

1 t salt

1 1/2 t cinnamon

1/2 t ground ginger

1 3/4 c sugar

1 1/2 c olive oil

4 eggs

2 t vanilla

2 c shredded carrots

1 c unsweetened shredded coconut

1 c walnuts, chopped

1 c pineapple, finely chopped

for the icing:

12 oz cream cheese

1/3 c butter, softened

2 c confectioners' sugar

1 t vanilla

1 t lemon zest

to finish:

1 c walnuts, toasted and chopped

Preheat oven to 350º

Butter two 9" cake pans.  I also used rounds of parchment paper to line the pans but totally your call.

Sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl.  Beat the eggs and sugar together well.  Add the oil and vanilla until incorporated.  Combine the dry and wet mixes and fold in the coconut, carrots, pineapple and nuts.

Pour the batter into the cake rounds and bake for about 45 minutes.

To make the icing, combine all of the ingredients until smooth using an electric mixer.

While the cakes are cooling, leave the oven on and toast the remaining walnuts until fragrant.

Let cool slightly before chopping.

When the cakes have cooled completely, ice the cake and press the chopped nuts all around to finish.