18-ounce package brick style cream cheese, room temperature
1/2cupunsalted butterroom temperature
1teaspoonpure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9x13 baking pan by spraying with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt until well combined. Set aside.
In another large bowl, whisk together the applesauce, eggs, brown sugar, granulated sugar, crushed pineapple, and vanilla extract until fully combined. Add the grated carrots and chopped walnuts and raisins if using to the wet ingredients. Stir until well combined.
With a whisk or rubber spatula add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. If the top begins to brown too much, cover with aluminum foil.
Remove from the oven and let cool on a cooling rack.
Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, or using a hand-held mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth.
Add the butter and mix until well combined.
Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and continue mixing until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Using an offset spatula, spread the frosting on the completely cooled carrot cake.