Carrot Cake

This carrot cake is a rich mass of texture and flavor. The moist dense crumb melts in the mouth, as chunks of pineapple, raisins, walnuts and carrots mix in fruitcake delight. Top if off with a decadent cream cheese frosting or the classic carrot cake is not complete.

I inherited this recipe from my aunt Besse Evola Pera.

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup raisins
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup oil (olive)
1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups grated carrots
1 cup pineapple, fresh, frozen or canned

Preheat oven to 350° F. Place rack in the middle of the oven.
Prepare a 9 x 13 x 2-inch glass baking dish with oil and a dusting of flour.

Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices, raisins and walnuts
in a large mixing bowl. Separate the raisins.

Blend brown and white sugars, eggs, oil and vanilla in a food processor.
Add the pineapple and grated carrots. Blend to a smooth liquid.
Fold into flour mixture.

Bake in 3-cup rectangular glass baking dish at 350° F. for about 60 minutes. The cake is done when the sides of the cake pull away from the cake pan and a knife inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 stick butter
8-ounces cream cheese
1 box confectioners’ sugar
1/4 to 1/2 cup lemon juice

Cream the butter, cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar. Add the lemon juice gradually until it forms the right consistency to spread easily over the cake.


The original recipe called for canned pineapple, including the juice. Today, fresh or frozen pineapple is easily available.