My Favorite Simple Carrot Cake is just that - a super flavorful, simple carrot cake that turns out perfectly every time. It's filled with lots of freshly grated carrots, walnuts, crushed pineapple, raisins, and coconut! It's perfectly spiced, just sweet enough, and the cream cheese frosting is the absolute best!
Preheat oven to 350℉. Butter and flour two 9'' cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate, large mixing bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Add the vegetable oil and milk and whisk again until smooth. Fold in the grated carrots, pineapple, and coconut until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing until just combined. Lastly, fold in the raisins and walnuts until just combined.
Pour batter evenly into each pan, and smooth out the tops. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until set in the middle and light golden on the edges. Let cakes cool for 20 minutes in the pans, then gently invert onto a cooking rack to cool the rest of the way.
To assemble the cake, place one layer on a plate or the cooling rack (just so you don't mess up the plate you are serving on, or the cake stand!), and spread the top with a thick layer of the frosting. Top with another layer and spread top with another thick layer of frosting, leaving a little bit left for the sides of the cake. Use the leftover frosting to "half" frost the sides, to create a "semi-naked" effect. Use an offset spatula or bench scraper to smooth out the sides and top of the cake. Slice and serve!
Add the butter and cream cheese to the bowl of a stand mixer and whip on medium high for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar until combined. Add the heavy cream and increase speed to medium-high and whip for 1-2 minutes. Add the vanilla and salt and whip for another 2-3 minutes or until smooth and creamy.