Not a fan of pineapple and coconut? That's ok! You can leave them out and the cake will turn out just fine.
For the cake:
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups olive oil
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups shelled walnuts, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
- 2 cups finely grated carrots
- 1 cup drained crushed pineapple
For the frosting:
- 12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- Extra whole or chopped walnuts, for topping
1 Preheat oven and prepare cake pans: Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two 9-inch cake pans. Cut out rounds of parchment paper and place at bottoms of cake pans. Butter the top of the wax paper rounds.
2 Make carrot cake batter: Sift dry ingredients into a bowl. Add oil, eggs, and vanilla. Beat well. Fold in chopped walnuts, coconut, carrots and pineapple.
3 Bake: Pour batter into pans. Set on the middle rack of oven and bake at 350°F for 45-50 minutes (shift positions of cakes front-to-back if necessary about halfway through), until edges have pulled away from sides and a toothpick or sharp knife tip inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
4 Cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
5 Make cream cheese frosting: In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or using hand mixers, beat together the cream cheese and butter. Slowly sift in the powdered sugar and beat until mixture is free of lumps. Stir in vanilla and lemon juice.
5 Frost and decorate the cake: Once cakes have cooled, remove from the pans and frost. Sprinkle top with chopped walnuts or arrange walnut halves in a crown around the top.