My grandmother made spice cake regularly and I still remember the smell of it baking. My mom made homemade cakes all the time as well and it was from her that I learned the art. This cake recipe is one for which I will break my rule.
1 (18 ounce) box spice cake mix (I use Betty Crocker’s Super Moist)
1/2 cup butter – melted and cooled
1 cup water
2 cups shredded carrots (freshly shredded)
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained (8 ounce can)
1 cup chopped pecans, divided (3/4 for cake & 1/4 for the top)
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
Cream Cheese Frosting
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 (8 ounce) containers Cool Whip Topping, thawed
Preheat oven to 350° F
Grease two cake pans
In a mixing bowl, beat on high until well combined the spice cake mix, melted and cooled butter, eggs, and water.
Fold in the shredded carrots, crushed pineapple, 3/4 cup chopped pecans, and shredded coconut until combined.
Divide batter between the two cake pans. Tap pans lightly on countertop to release any air bubbles.
Bake for 25-30 minutes – Test the center with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, the cakes are done.
Let cool in pan for 10 minutes and then transfer to cooling rack. You want to wait until you can hold your hand on the bottom of the pan before you turn the cake out onto the cooling rack.
Making the Frosting
In a mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar and beat until smooth and creamy.
Gently fold the Cool Whip into the cream cheese mixture.
Assemble and Frost
Once cakes have completely cooled, place one of the layers onto a tray or cake plate.
Top the first layer of cake with a layer of frosting. Put the second layer of cake on top of the first and cover the top and sides of the cake.
Sprinkle the remaining pecans on top of the cake before serving.