Carrot Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Icing

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2 C flour

2 t cinnamon

2 t baking soda

1 ½ t salt

2 C sugar

1 1/3 C vegetable oil

3 eggs

2 t vanilla

1 pound carrots, peeled and grated

1 C golden raisins

1 c walnuts, toasted and broken into pieces

1/3 C candied ginger, diced small

1 – 8 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained

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In a mixing bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, soda and salt. Whisk to combine.

Add carrots, raisins, walnuts, ginger and pineapple to the dry mix. Mix well. Use your hands to break apart any clumps.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add sugar and vegetable oil. Using a paddle attachment, beat until smooth.

In a pourable container, combine eggs and vanilla.

Drop eggs into oil/sugar mix one at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour egg mix on top of flour mix. Using a spoonula, mix ingredients completely.

For a double layer cake: Use two 9” X 1.5” cake pans. Spray each pan with non-stick baking spray. Fold over a piece of parchment paper and trace the bottom of the pan onto the paper. Cut to the inside of your tracing mark and place a parchment circle into each cake pan. Pour batter evenly into each pan and place into a 325 degree preheated oven. Bake for 25 minutes, rotate pans and bake for an additional 25 minutes or until the cake is pulling away from the sides of the pan and it feels firm to the touch. It will be sticky. No worries. Remove pan and allow cooling for about 30 minutes or more. I baked the cake one day and iced it the next.

For icing: I like to use the bottom of a tart pan as the “bottom of the cake.” Place the tart bottom on top of the cake and invert the cake out of the baking pan on to a “pedestal” that has a folded piece of parchment on top (see photos). Place a layer of orange cream cheese icing. Invert the second layer on top of the first layer. Spread an even coating of icing on the sides of the cake. For the top, feel free to decorate with swirls and swishes…or a piping bag. Press toasted coconut onto the sides of the cake. This will make a bit of a mess. Be patient and use a gentle touch. Coconut will fall off, reuse it patching where necessary. Scrape away loose coconut. Lift the cake off the pedestal using the parchment and place it into a Tupperware container for refrigeration. The cake will slice better once it has chilled. The cake holds beautifully for several days in the refrigerator.

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