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To this traditional carrot cake recipe we have added crystallized ginger and orange slices candies to the batter. It makes a deliciously different dessert!

makes one 9 inch 2 layer cake

cake

1 cup canola (or other light) oil
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups shredded carrots (6 - 8 carrots)
1/2 cup unsweetened dried coconut flakes
1/4 cup chopped orange slices candies
1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger
1/2 cup chopped walnuts)

cream cheese icing

1 cup (8 ounces) cream cheese at room temperature
3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks) at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup unsweetened dried coconut, toasted (see below))

cake

Preheat oven to 350°.

Prepare two 9 inch cake pans by placing them on parchment paper and tracing around the bottom with a pencil. Cut out the parchment rounds. Butter the cake pans, sides and bottoms. Place the rounds in the bottom of the pans. Butter the paper, and dust the inside of the pans with flour.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend the oil, eggs, vanilla, and sugar. Add the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon and mix well. Stir in the carrots, coconut, ginger, orange slices, and walnuts and mix until blended.

Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake for 35 - 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center come out clean.

Let the cakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning onto wire racks. Let cool completely before icing.

cream cheese icing

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until light fluffy. Add the butter and beat again until fluffy. Continue beating while adding the sugar and vanilla.

Place one cake layer on a platter. Spread the top with icing. Place the top layer over the iced layer, ice the top and sides.

Take the toasted coconut in your hands and press it into the sides of the cake.

Chill before slicing.

To toast coconut, spread the coconut in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Place in a preheated 325 degree oven for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.