My husband and I went to Texas de Brazil for our first anniversary. My friend suggested we share a piece of their decadent carrot cake. That piece of cake was so good, we've been talking about it ever since! I searched and searched to try and find a cake similar to the one they serve. It is full of nuts and fruit and packed with deliciousness. I was unable to find an already tested "copy cat" recipe of the one we had at Texas de Brazil but this is a close second. We loved it! Serves 12 to 18 slices
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat bottoms of three 8 x 2-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Line bottom of pans with wax paper; coat with spray.
In a medium-size bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and salt. In a large bowl, beat sugar, oil, eggs and the vanilla until blended. On low speed, gradually beat in flour mixture until smooth. Stir in carrots, pineapple with its juice, nuts and raisins. Divide batter among prepared pans, about 2 generous cups in each. Spread evenly.
Place two of the pans on the middle rack of the oven and the third pan in the middle of the top rack. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centers of cake layers comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks, removing pans and wax paper. Cool completely.
With a serrated knife, trim tops of layers to make level. Place one layer on serving plate. Spread 3/4 cup frosting over top. Repeat with second layer. Place third layer on top and spread with 1 cup frosting; spread remaining frosting around side of cake. Garnish with chopped nuts around top edge of cake, if desired. Refrigerate cake for at least 1 hour, or until frosting is set.