The cover of the Food & Wine section Dec. 4 will feature bringing holiday cheer with craft beer. Inside you'll find more recipes plus buying, cooking and health tips on a variety of food-related subjects. For past food stories and recipes go to www.tri-cityherald.com/food-wine.
Yield: 16 to 20 servings
Time: 1 1/2 to 2 hours, partially unattended
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Oil or butter for greasing the pan
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup canola or grapeseed oil
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 ounces grated or shredded carrots (about 3 loosely packed cups)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9- by 13-inch pan. Put the flour, coconut, walnuts (if desired), baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice in a large bowl and stir to combine. Beat 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, the oil, and the brown sugar with the paddle attachment of a stand mixer (or with a handheld mixer) until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and beat for 2 minutes. Gently stir in the flour mixture, then fold in the carrots. Transfer the batter to the greased pan and bake until a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool the cake.
2. Meanwhile, beat the remaining 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter and the cream cheese with the paddle attachment of a stand mixer (or with a handheld mixer) until well combined. Add the powdered sugar and beat on low speed to combine, then add the remaining 1 tablespoon vanilla. Beat for at least 10 minutes.
3. Spread the frosting on the cake and serve. (Store leftover cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a few days.)