So many people have their own versions of carrot cake. This is the best I’ve tasted; it is very moist and has the right touch of spice.

SERVES 16

2 cups unbleached white flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups sugar

1Вј cups oil

3 eggs

3 cups grated carrot (about 7 medium carrots)

8-ounce can crushed pineapple, undrained

1 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans

ICING

ВЅ cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

2ВЅ cups powdered sugar

1 cup ground walnuts or pecans for garnish (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350В°F. Oil and flour a 9ВЅ-inch tube pan and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl beat together the sugar, oil, and eggs until well blended. Add the carrot, pineapple, and walnuts.
  4. Beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until well blended. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 70 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the cake comes out clean.
  5. Cool the cake on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan by inverting it onto a plate. Invert it again onto another plate and cool completely.
  6. To make the icing: With an electric beater cream together the butter, vanilla, and cream cheese until well blended. Slowly add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
  7. Carefully place strips of wax paper partially underneath the bottom rim of the cake to keep the plate clean while icing the cake. Spread the icing all over the cake. Decorate the sides with ground nuts, if desired, by pressing them all around the cake. Remove the wax paper strips.