Perfect Spring Dessert: Classic Carrot Cake

Our version of the always-popular carrot cake is a potluck and bakesale favorite; the addition of crushed pineapple helps to keep it sweet and moist.

RECIPE: CLASSIC CARROT CAKE
SERVES 12 to 14

INGREDIENTS
¾ cup canola oil, plus more for pan
2 cups flour, plus more for pan
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. kosher salt
1½ cups sugar
½ cup buttermilk
3 tsp. vanilla extract
4 eggs
2 cups finely grated carrots
1 cup canned crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
½ cup raisins
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
Marzipan carrots for garnish (see Making Marzipan Carrots)

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INSTRUCTIONS
1. Heat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9" x 13" baking dish; set aside. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; set aside.

2. In a bowl, whisk together oil, sugar, buttermilk, 2 tsp. vanilla, and eggs; whisk into flour. Stir in carrots, pineapple, nuts, coconut, and raisins. Pour batter into prepared dish; smooth. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Let cool.

3. In a bowl, beat cream cheese and butter with a hand mixer until smooth. Add remaining vanilla and confectioners' sugar; beat until fluffy. Spread icing over cake; refrigerate. Garnish with marzipan carrots, if using.

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