Friday, September 23, 2011


pillsbury carrot cake (8)

Here is yet another carrot cake recipe, this time from old reliable Pillsbury.  Instead of cinnamon, Pillsbury uses vanilla for the flavoring.  Their frosting is combined with coconut and chopped nuts.  I had my doubts, but because it was Pillsbury, I gave it a try, and I was not disappointed.  The cake is moist, sweet and flavorful, and has a lighter texture than some of the very dense carrot cakes I've tasted.  I've rated this cake as highly as my previous top pick, Cook's Illustrated 2003 Simple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.

I reduced the sugars in both the cake and the frosting.  Trust me, it’s plenty sweet without the extra sugar, and everyone who tasted it agreed.  The only other change I made was to substitute buttermilk for half the oil, as I do with all carrot cake recipes.  Surprisingly, this is one really good carrot cake, one that I would make again.

pillsbury carrot cake 
Carrot Cake with Creamy Supreme Frosting
Adapted from “Lovin’ from the Oven,” The Pillsbury Company, 1987
Rating:  9.5 out of 10

2-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, lightly spooned and leveled
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk (or 1/2 cup milk + 1-1/2 tsp. cider vinegar or lemon juice)
2 tsp. good-quality pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups carrots, grated on large holes of box grater
8-1/4 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup raisins, plumped in heated drained pineapple juice and drained
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts or pecans

Heat oven to 350F.  Grease and flour a 13x9” pan.  In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.  In large bowl, combine sugar, oil, buttermilk, vanilla and eggs; beat on medium-high speed of electric mixer till smooth, about 2-3 minutes.  Stir in flour mixture on lowest speed and just barely mix.  Add carrots, pineapple, drained raisins and nuts.  Pour into pan.  Bake about 45 minutes, or till cake springs back when touched lightly in center.  Cool completely.  (Directions were not clear, but I removed cake from pan and pulled parchment off cake, then cooled cake on wire rack.)

8 oz. cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp. high-quality pure vanilla extract
1 cup Baker’s sweetened dried coconut
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts or pecans

In large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, butter and vanilla.  Beat at medium-high speed of electric mixer until smooth.  Stir in coconut and nuts.  Spread over cooled cake.

pillsbury carrot cake (11)


Jay said...

love them, yours looks absolutely amazing..:)
happy following u..
do stop by mine sometime..
Tasty Appetite

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

I can't remember the last time I had carrot cake. Love the idea of the vanilla and substituting buttermilk for some of the oil.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I must make a carrot cake have not made one for ages and this icing sounds wonderful. Diane

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

I love carrot cake and I like the idea of cutting the oil and using buttermilk! I'm sure it drops the calories tremendously! I'll also bet it's moist and delicious!

Rosita Vargas said...

Deluxe carrot cake, love, looks absolutely beautiful, abrazos.rosita of Chile.

Rita said...

The recipe I have been looking for.