April is my second favorite month of the year, after Christmas season of course. This month has a lot of meaning in my life. It was the month I became a mother to a beautiful baby boy, Ezi, and it is the month we celebrate Lent; two things that lead my life. It’s a time to be thankful for what God has done for me and his blessings over my life.
Also, April is a month full of Easter and Lent recipes! A whole full month of baking fun! Here in the States is not Easter without a classic Carrot Cake. It’s the classic cake for Easter Sunday at Churches, and for the famous egg hunt.
I love this recipe because this carrot cake is so moist and full of flavor. Carrots, crushed pineapple, cinnamon, nutmeg, and dates. Yes, Dates! It’s the secret ingredient that makes this carrot cake a winner. Usually, southern cakes include raisins, but the sweetness of the dates will give a caramelized taste that takes this cake to the next level. You will thank me later!
Bonus: This is a sheet cake, which means no intimidating frosting job! Which is perfect for me because I have no cake decorating skills. It’s also great for Easter family reunions since yields up to 16 people. So, I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 3 cups grated carrots
- 1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup of chopped dates (optional)
- Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9×13″ cake pan with baking spray and parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl beat the eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, white sugar, brown sugar, carrots, and crush pineapple until light in color.
- In another bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg; gradually beat into carrot mixture. Folds in walnuts and dates.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely.
- Cream Cheese Frosting:
- Combine the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl and mix until fully combined and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth and creamy.
- Frost cooled cake with frosting and sprinkle the top with extra walnuts if desired. Enjoy!
Note: I like to refrigerate this cake and then make the frosting the next day. Carrots cakes have the particularity of having a better flavor after two days in the refrigerator.
Recipe adapted from Taste of home