Now, my Hubbers would be happy if I baked a pumpkin pie every few days. Not gonna happen. But I do use pumpkin a lot in my fall baking. Pumpkin bars and pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies are a few of the treats I make each year. When I found this carrot cake recipe, with pumpkin in it, I knew I would have to try it. The girls in my book club became my guinea pigs. They devoured the cake, took pieces home to their husbands, so I'm pretty sure this cake is a winner!
Pumpkin Carrot Cake
(adapted from Gold Medal Flour Blog)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated fresh carrots
1 cup crushed pineapple
1 cup pure pumpkin
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups flaked coconut
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour two 8-inch round cake pans. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon.
In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture. The dough will be very thick at this point.
Fold in the pineapple and pumpkin until well combined. Fold in the carrots and then the nuts and coconut until just combined.
Pour batter into the prepared cake pans and bake for 50-60 minutes until the cakes are browned on top and a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean.
Let the cakes cool in their pans on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Turn them out onto the wire rack and let cool completely before frosting.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter, cream cheese and vanilla until smooth. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar until light and fluffy. ***
To frost the cake, place one cake layer on a cake stand or serving platter. Use a spatula to cover with a thick layer of frosting. Stack the other cake layer on top of the frosted layer. Cover the top and sides with the remaining frosting. Garnish with additional walnuts, if desired.
Keep leftover cake refrigerated.
*** The original recipe called for adding 1 cup flaked coconut and 3/4 chopped walnuts to the frosting, folding in after beating in the powdered sugar. I omitted this step.