The BEST Carrot Cake
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until combined and smooth. Add in the eggs and vanilla, and whisk until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining dry ingredients until combined. Gradually add the dry ingredient mixture into the egg mixture, and stir until smooth. Fold in the grated carrots and stir until combined. If you would like to add nuts and/or raisins, stir them in at this time as well. Portion the batter evenly into the prepared baking pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Transfer the baking pans to a wire cooling rack and let the cakes cool until they reach room temperature. Meanwhile, to make the cream cheese frosting, combine the cream cheese, butter and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and stir until combined and smooth. Gradually stir in the powdered sugar and mix until it is completely combined. You want the frosting to be pretty firm for a 3-layer cake, so add more/less powdered sugar as needed to reach the correct consistency. Once the cakes reach room temperature,* use a cake leveler or a bread knife to slice off the rounded tops of the cakes so that they are completely flat on top. Place the first cake on your serving platter, add a large scoop of frosting on top of it, and spread the frosting so that it covers the cake evenly and extends a bit over the edges. Repeat with the second and third layers of the cake. Then use the remainder of the frosting to frost all around the side edges of the cake. Once you’re ready to serve the cake, slice it up and enjoy! Or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days.