Best Ever Carrot Cake

What you need:

For the cake:

  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder 
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans or pecan halves

For the cream cheese frosting: 

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • Green food coloring, yellow food coloring, red food coloring (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix together eggs, vegetable oil, applesauce, granulated sugar, and vanilla.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
  3. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until well combined, but do not overmix.
  4. Stir in the grated carrots.
  5. Divide the batter into two greased (and parchment paper lined) 9-inch round cake pans.
  6. Bake at 350* for 35 to 39 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool in cake pans for 5 minutes before removing and letting them cool on a wire rack completely.
  8. For the frosting: whip cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth and fluffy. Add powdered sugar little by little until you reach the desired consistency.
  9. Frost cake in desired method. I frosted the middle layer and a crumb coating around on the sides before dividing my frosting up to use the food coloring. I loved how the slices looked like carrots with the orange basket weave in the center and the "grass" around the edges.
  10. Decorate with pecans. I used whole pecans around the sides.

Recipe from Cooking Classy