Laurie, my grandmother made the best cakes. This is my favorite rich Southern recipe. My family loves it.
Ingredients for carrot cake and frosting:
Butter, for pans (or use baker's joy powder non stick spray)
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans (again, or baker's joy for pans)
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup raisins
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, optional
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick salted butter, room temperature
1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans for frosting if desired
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) round pans (or use baker's joy); In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add eggs and vegetable oil. Using a hand mixer, blend until combined. Add carrots, raisins and pecans, if using. Pour into pans. Bake for approximately 40 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Remove from pans, place on waxed paper and allow to cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting: Add all remaining ingredients, except nuts, into a medium bowl and beat until fluffy using a hand mixer. Stir in the nuts if using. Spread frosting on top of each cake layer. Stack the cakes on a serving plate and serve.