Carrot and Pineapple Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
4 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups peeled and grated raw carrots (4 to 6 medium carrots)
1 cup raisins
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts
Cream Cheese Frosting (see recipe below)
1 cup shredded or flaked sweetened coconut
Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter three 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper and then butter and flour the cake pans. NOTE: You can also make this into a 2-layer cake.
In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice; set aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, add eggs and beat on medium-high speed until light yellow or approximately 2 minutes. Slowly add the sugar to the eggs until well mixed and fully incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and beat an additional 1 minute.
Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add the vegetable oil. Once all the oil is added, beat the mixture for another 1 minute.
Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low and blend in the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated.
Using a rubber spatula, fold in the grated carrots, raisins, drained pineapple, and pecans or walnuts.
Divide the batter equally between the prepared cake pans. Bake approximately 40 to 50 minutes or until a long toothpick or wooden skewer, inserted in the center of the cake, comes out clean. Cake is done when the internal temperature registers approximately 205 to 209 degrees F. on your cooking thermometer. Remove from oven and let cool on wire cooling rack for approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Remove cake from pans and place on the wire racks to finish cooling.
While cake is cooling, prepare the Cream Cheese Frosting.
To frost the cake, place one (1) cake layer (flat-side up) on a large cake plate. Using a knife or spatula, spread the top of the cake layer with some of the Cream Cheese Frosting. Place the second cake layer on top (flat-side up) on top of the first layer and spread frosting over the top. Place the third cake layer (rounded side up) on top of the 2nd cake layer and spread the remaining Cream Cheese Frosting on the top and sides of the cake. Using your hands, gently press the coconut on the sides of the cake.
The cake can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 4 days. Let it cool in the refrigerator about 1 hour before covering, to ensure ensure the frosting has hardened and will not stick to the plastic wrap.
Makes 1 (3-layer) cake.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract*
2 1/2 to 3 cups powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
* For additional pineapple flavor, substitute some of the pineapple juice, that was drained off, for the vanilla extract.
In a bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth and creamy!