Shortcut Carrot Cake

Sometimes I don’t have the time or energy to make a cake from scratch, but I still want to feel like I did something. That’s when I pull out this recipe, inspired by a recipe found on a cake mix box.

By adding a few ingredients to a store-bought mix, we get improved texture and flavor, plus the satisfaction of creating a yummy treat.

It may not be quite as good as Great-grandma’s, but I didn’t have to spend half an hour grating carrots, either.

1 boxed carrot cake mix
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 small can crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 eggs
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup raisins
1 can cream cheese frosting

Heat oven to 350°F . Grease and flour two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans. In large bowl, beat cake mix, orange juice, oil, pineapple, vanilla and eggs on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Stir in pecans, coconut and raisins. Pour into pans.

Bake at 350°F for 30 – 35 minutes, or until a piece of uncooked spaghetti inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes, then remove from pans and cool on a wire rack. Cool completely (about 1 hour). Frost with cream cheese frosting.

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