BLESS THIS MESS
This is the BEST carrot cake recipe, and so simple to make for any easy spring time (or anytime!) dessert. It's moist and rich with the warm spiced flavor you love in carrot cake.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper, and spray the paper and the sides of the pans well with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, add the oil and eggs and whisk together well. Add the sugar, applesauce, and vanilla, and stir well until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes.
Sprinkle the flour over the top of the egg mixture. Sprinkle the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt over the top of the flour. Stir to combine.
Fold in the carrots and the raisins and/or nuts, if using. Pour the batter into the two prepared pans, and smooth the tops with a spatula. Bake in the hot oven until the cake is cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes.
Remove from the oven and place on wire racks to cool. Allow to cool in the pans for 30 minutes, and then run a knife around the outside and invert onto the wire rack. Remove the cake from the pan and then peel the parchment paper from the bottom of the cake. Repeat with remaining cake.
Let the cake cool fully, about an hour, before frosting. To assemble the cake, place one of the cakes, top side down, on a serving platter. Spread ⅓ cup-or-so of the frosting on top of the cake, spreading it evenly to cover the whole top of the cake.
Place the second cake on top of the first with the flat bottom facing up. Spread the rest of the frosting evenly over the top and sides of the cake. Serve the day you make it or store in the fridge for up to 24 hours.