I have separated this recipe into parts at the request of some family because it makes it easier to follow.
For the Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 large eggs
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated carrot
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
1 (3 1/2-ounce) can flaked coconut
Chopped pecans or walnuts
Line 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with wax paper; lightly grease and flour wax paper. Set pans aside.
Stir together first 4 ingredients. – set aside
In a separate bowl – beat eggs and next 4 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.
Add flour mixture, beating at low speed until blended.
Fold in carrot, pineapple, and coconut. You can also choose to add nuts now or reserve them for use as a cake garnish.
Divide batter evenly between your 3 prepared cake pans.
Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool in pans on wire racks for a minimum of 15 minutes.
Remove from pans, take parchment paper off, and cool completely on wire racks.
Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake.
If you reserved your nuts for garnish sprinkle them on top or sides of cake.
Cream Cheese Frosting
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.
Add powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth.