Just Spoil Them Premium Carrot Cake

I love a good slice of carrot cake -- I like my carrot cake moist, perfectly spiced, accompanied by delectable nuts and raisins and dressed in the classic tangy cream cheese frosting. I always thought carrot cakes are one of those things that are too difficult to make, until my friend Abi learned a recipe from the Miriam Adult Education (MAE) bakeshop and shared it with me. Whenever I make this carrot cake, the kids request to have a slice of this for breakfast, and my husband thinks they're spoiled. The cake is wonderful by itself but if you have time to make the frosting, do so. I've had guests use their fingers to get the last bit of frosting.

Cake ingredients:
2 cups flour 
1¾ cups sugar
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1 t salt
½ t ground cloves
1 t ground cinnamon
4 eggs
1 cup oil  (I used olive oil)
1 t vanilla
½ cup cold orange juice (If Abi were going for super premium, she would squeeze out the juice of an orange)
2 cups grated carrots
½ cup nuts (I often use almonds as they are the nuts that get left behind in mixed nuts but for this batch, I used cashews)
½ cup raisins (dried cranberries upgrades the carrot cake by several levels)

Beat all ingredients (except last three) for about 10 minutes. Fold in carrots, nuts and raisins. Bake for 40 minutes at 190°C or  375°F or until done. Allow to cool. Sometimes when I'm feeling lazy, I omit the icing and the cake is still a scrumptious treat as is. But if you're feeling decadent, the icing is worth the extra work. 

Icing ingredients:
1 packet cream cheese
½  cup butter
½  cup icing sugar
1 small can crushed pineapples

Cream butter and cream cheese. Add icing sugar. Fold in crushed pineapples. Spread over cooled cake, or just serve the cake with a dollop of icing.

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