Pecans add a lovely crunch to this delicious carrot cake but feel free to leave them out if you don't like nuts.
After reading through 4-5 pages of the reviews, I consolidated the most referred alterations to this recipe to: 1) using 1 cup brown sugar and 1 cup white sugar 2) adding an extra teaspoon of vanilla extract 3) adding 1 8oz. can of crushed pineapple (I squeezed out most of the juice before adding it, I didn't want any extra fluids in the cake) 4) Added 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg 5) added 1 extra teaspoon of cinnamon 6) used 3/4 cup canola oil and 1/2 cup applesauce. The result came out incredibly delicious - the cake was very flavorful and moist. For the frosting, I only used 3.5 cups of powdered sugar, and it was more than sweet enough, with a nicely balanced cream cheese vs. sweet flavor. If I would change anything again, I would use less pecans - it's a bit too nutty for my personal tastes. Also, I followed another reviewer's suggestion of grating the carrots with the large grater side (the one you use for cheese) so that you don't end up with a bunch of carrot mush and juice that can't be used. Will definitely make again! This is probably the best carrot cake I've ever had. - 08 Dec 2006 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
I chose this recipe specifically because it did not contain pineapple. It was wonderful just as written. (stepping on my soapbox)I think that a recipe should be reviewed for it's own merits with minimal changes. Rating a recipe that you have made many changes to messes up the rating system. You are not rating the listed recipe...you are rating your own! Go ahead and submit it!(stepping down now..thanks lol) That said, I forgot to pick up pecans, but added some finely chopped hazelnuts I had on hand. : ) - 18 Mar 2008 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
This is a great recipe. Some other reviewers had problems with the center falling-these tips may help. Cakes will sink or fall because of the following 1.Overbeating-too much air is incorporated 2.Underbaking- oven temp is too low or too short a baking time 3.Over or under measurement of ingredients 4.Using too small/large of baking pan 5. Make sure your oven temp is correct-preheat for at least 30 min. and check to make sure your oven is heating properly by using an oven thermometer for accuracy and finally, only open your oven door if you have to and then make sure 3/4 of the cooking time is up. Happy baking everyone! - 30 Mar 2007 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)