First, by reading this, you swear never to reveal this post to my wife, the current custodian of my family's "secret family recipes." Second, Merry Christmas! Now that we've gotten the inconsequential life & death stuff out of the way... This is a secret recipe. Well, it used to be secret. Now it will be on the internet, and we all know what that means. People are gonna eat real good and claim their granny was given this recipe by a dying Frenchman in Normandy or some such rubbish. Call it "Le Grande Imperiale Carrot Cake" or something. The truth is far more pedestrian... My mother clipped the original recipe out of a newspaper, the Silverton Tribune, I think, back in 1981. She tweaked the recipe slightly over the years, but quickly perfected it and jealously guarded the recipe for the next 40 years. Moist. Rich. Decadent. The world's finest Carrot Cake. This is the best of the best, my Christmas gift to you all. Company Carrot Chiffon Cake (Yes, that's really what it's called. It probably sounds way more impressive in French or Spanish). If you repost it elsewhere, throw me a bone and call it the "Foster's Carrot Cake." Sift together and set aside: 2 cups of flour (general purpose is fine) 2 teaspoons baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons cinnamon 2 teaspoons baking powder Beat together: 1-1/2 cups of vegetable oil 2 cups sugar Add: 4 eggs, one at at time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the dry ingredients at low speed. Last of all, fold in: 2 cups carrots, grated very fine 1 cup crushed pineapple, well drained 3/4 (to 1) cup of chopped raisins Note: well drained means "well drained." Dump it in a mesh strainer and let it sit. Don't press it, wrap it in paper towels or anything like that. Chopped raisins means mince the suckers. Chop them until you hate yourself. They will stick to the knife, the board, your fingers... I mix the chopped raisins, pineapple, and carrots together before folding into the cake batter. It helps to keep the raisin bits from clumping together. (Pro Tip: Dusting the raisins with a touch of flour keeps them from sinking to the bottom of the cake). This might be a good time to note that the pineapple and raisins are not very noticeable in the final cake, unless you forget to add one or the other. The original recipe called for "1 cup of nuts" instead of raisins. Absolute madness. Adding nuts is a fantastic way to ruin a great cake. YMMV. Bake in an ungreased 8" x 12" x 2" baking pan or dish (or any pyrex 2 qt. rectangular casserole dish) at 350° F (177° C) for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. This is a self-lubricating cake. Greasing the pan will add a lovely scorched flavor to the outside and underside of the cake. Don't do it. A light spray of PAM or equivalent on the bottom of the pan or dish is fine. The cake itself will be dark brown, a far cry from most ginger colored, cake-in-a-box carrot cakes. Let cool completely before frosting the cake. Overnight is best. It needs frosting. Lots of frosting. A great carrot cake needs an equally great cream cheese frosting. This is the world's best recipe for that too... It's called: Cream Cheese Frosting (What? You thought the names would suddenly get fancy now?) Mix together: 1 - 8 oz package cream cheese, room temp 1/2 cup butter, room temp 1 lb. of powdered sugar, sifted 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract Dump ingredients in your kitchenaid or equivalent. Mix. Dump into gallon sized ziploc bag. Cut off the corner, squeeze and spread evenly on the top of the cake. Use a spatula to smooth it out. This frosting recipe is the one that originally came with the carrot cake recipe, save for two omissions. The original frosting recipe called for 1/8 teaspoon rum flavoring and 1 cup of shredded coconut in addition to the above ingredients. (I've never tried it that way... don't plan on it either). While basic, and the best things usually are, this is one of those happy coincidences of a perfectly proportioned recipe. Doubling the recipe eliminates almost any need for measuring. One box of butter, two packages of cream cheese, one 2lb bag of powdered sugar, and two tablespoons of vanilla extract. You'll never go back to a Duncan Hines can of cream cheese frosting again. Our family also uses this frosting recipe (doubled) for The Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls. Those are fantastic as well. I recommend using softened butter rather than melted butter if you do try that recipe. Much less messy. The final result is an epic Cinn-a-bon level cinnamon roll. Add pre-cooked bacon bits to take it to the next level.