I always loved carrot cake, tried many times, and could never get it fluffy. It always tasted good, but turned into a solid mass/mess. Not until much later I figured out that the sequence in which the ingredients are mixed is crucial.
Anyway, I started doing zucchini cake instead, and that one worked well. After a few years of zucchini cake I tried carrot cake again and found that the Z-cake actually tasted better.
So here is my Z-cake recipe:
* 1 cup vegetable oil
* 1.5 cups sugar
* 3 eggs
* 2 tsp. vanilla (I always use pure vanilla extract)
* 2 cups flour
* 1 tsp. baking soda
* 1/2 tsp. baking powder
* 2 tsp. cinnamon
* 2 cups grated zucchini (leave skins on)
* 1 cup walnuts
* 1 cup raisins
Mix oil and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition; blend in vanilla. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and baking soda, and raisins. Add sifted dry ingredients to first mixture; alternating with grated zucchini. Fold in chopped nuts.
Pour into greased and floured 13x9x2-inch pan, or multiple smaller ones. Bake at 350° for 55 minutes.