Carrot Cake

Yield: 16 to 20 servings
Time: 1½ to 2 hours, partially unattended
Oil or butter for greasing the pan
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup canola or grapeseed oil
1½ cups brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 ounces grated or shredded carrots (about 3 loosely packed cups)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar

1. Heat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9- by 13-inch pan. Put the flour, coconut, walnuts (if desired), baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice in a large bowl and stir to combine. Beat ¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter, the oil, and the brown sugar with the paddle attachment of a stand mixer (or with a handheld mixer) until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and beat for 2 minutes. Gently stir in the flour mixture, then fold in the carrots. Transfer the batter to the greased pan and bake until a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool the cake.

2. Meanwhile, beat the remaining ¼ cup (½ stick) butter and the cream cheese with the paddle attachment of a stand mixer (or with a handheld mixer) until well combined. Add the powdered sugar and beat on low speed to combine, then add the remaining 1 tablespoon vanilla. Beat for at least 10 minutes.

3. Spread the frosting on the cake and serve. (Store leftover cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a few days.)

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