1/4cup(1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
Pinch of salt
Extra grated carrots and/or chopped walnuts or pecans, for decoration(optional)
For the Carrot Cake:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan. I also like to line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, to give extra insurance that the cake will come out cleanly. Just trace the bottom of the pan on a sheet of parchment paper and cut it out, then place inside the pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
In a large microwave-safe bowl (I use a large glass bowl), or on the stove, melt the butter. Let it sit for a couple minutes to cool, then whisk in the brown sugar, followed by the eggs one at a time, until combined and smooth.
Dump the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients and stir together until well-combined and no lumps remain.
Fold in the carrots and shredded coconut until evenly distributed.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth out the surface, and bake for 35 minutes, or until cake springs back when touched and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cake cool in pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then invert the pan onto the rack to release the cake, remove the parchment from the bottom, and flip back right side up onto a cake plate. Let cake cool while you prepare the frosting.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
In a large bowl using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, or a hand mixer, beat cream cheese and butter at high speed until pale and very fluffy - this should take 2-3 minutes. You want to incorporate as much air as possible into the mixture to make it light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt, and beat at medium to high speed until fully combined and light.
Spread cooled cake with cream cheese frosting. It should make a thick layer, and can be swirled in pretty patterns with an offset spatula (I like this one).
Decorate the outer edges of cake with additional grated carrots and chopped walnuts or pecans if desired. Serve!
Cake will keep, well-wrapped in the fridge, for up to 4 days. I like to microwave leftover pieces of cake on 50% power for 20 seconds to reheat.*I grated the carrots by hand using a box grater, which sounds like a lot of work but doesn't actually take all that long, since you only need 2-3 large carrots to get 2 cups worth of grated carrots. You can also grate them in a food processor, but make sure they are very finely grated or they may not soften enough as the cake bakes.
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