2 2/3 Cups All Purpose Flour
4 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Pound Carrots, Grated Fine (7 cups)
1 Cup Plus 2/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
½ Pound (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter
1 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1-1/2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
Option: Raisins and Walnuts
3/4 Cup Chopped Toasted Walnuts
3/4 Cup Raisins (golden)
Option: Pineapple and Pecans
1 20 ounce can crushed pineapple packed in its own juice, strained and pressing pineapple against strainer with wooden spoon to drain thoroughly; 3/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted .
Option: Equal measures of grated unpeeled zucchini, peeled Granny Smith
apples or sweet potatoes may be used. All are drained 20 to 30 minutes and
each yields varying amounts of liquid.
Tangy Cream Cheese Frosting
1 Pound Cream Cheese, Softened
10 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Softened
2-1/2 Cups Confectioner’s Sugar
2-1/2 Tablespoons Sour Cream
If using walnuts or pecans put chopped nuts in a medium skillet set over medium heat, shaking pan occasionally to move nuts, until fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes.
To make the cake: adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 350F. Generously grease & flour bottom and sides of 2 9″ round cake pans. Invert pans and rap sharply to remove excess flour.
Whisk dry ingredients, flour through salt, in large bowl. set aside. Toss grated carrots with 1 cup granulated sugar in colander set over large bowl; drain until 1 cup liquid has collected, 20 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt butter in large skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently; cook until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to large bowl; cool for 10 minutes, then whisk in remaining granulated sugar and brown sugar. Add eggs one at a time, whisking thoroughly before adding the next; add vanilla. Add flour mixture, stirring until almost combined, then mix in carrots. (If using either option add raisins & nuts or pineapple & nuts along with carrots.)
Divide batter evenly between pans; smooth surfaces with rubber spatula. Bake until cake feels firm in center when pressed lightly and toothpick inserted into center comes out perfectly clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer pans to wire racks; cool for 10 minutes. Run knife around the perimeter of each pan, invert cakes onto racks. Re-invert onto additional racks; cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting; beat cream cheese and butter in medium bowl with hand-held mixer on low speed until homogeneous, 3 to 4 minutes. Add confectioner’s sugar & sour cream; beat until well blended, 1 to 2 minutes longer.