Heaven sent gluten free carrot and pineapple cake

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Oh Barefoot Contessa, I am head over heels in love, and smitten with your Carrot and Pineapple cake.
The first droplet of the heavenly cream cheese frosting sent my tongue into shock waves of delight. The smooth texture of the cream cheese enveloped in a marriage of unsalted butter and vanilla danced upon my senses almost bringing me to Heaven’s throne room. If you could taste heaven—this would be it. That blend is enough on its own, but no, tidbits of fresh pineapple adorn the top of the cake to give it an extra burst of tart, but tantalizing flavor.
Bedded beneath the canopy of the off white icing is the rich, but light blend of cinnamon, freshly grated carrots, walnuts, raisins and again, fresh pineapple. Nearly meaty with the number of ingredients, the cake is still light and decadent. This hefty dessert is sufficient for a trip to the confession booth, but perhaps we will all receive dispensation since the recipient is none other than our parish priest—a celebration of his 65 years on this earth.
**I doubled the recipe and used a half-sheet pan and adapted to the recipe to make it gluten free—of course, I wanted to partake in the festivities as well. 
Enjoy–and as my late mother would say, “Ungowa”
The ingredients are sinfully delicious:
For the cake:
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
  • 3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all purpose gluten free flour, divided
  • 4 teaspoons Xanthan gum
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 pound carrots, grated
  • 1/2 cup diced fresh pineapple
For the frosting:
  • 3/4 pounds cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pound confectioners’ sugar, sifted
For the decoration
  • 1/2 cup diced fresh pineapple
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.
I doubled the recipe and used a half-sheet pan
For the cake:
Beat the sugar, oil, and eggs together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light yellow. Add the vanilla. In another bowl, sift together 2 1/2 cups flour, the cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Toss the raisins and walnuts with 1 tablespoon flour. Fold in the carrots and pineapple. Add to the batter and mix well.
Divide the batter equally between the 2 pans. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool completely in the pans set over a wire rack.
For the frosting
Mix the cream cheese, butter and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until just combined. Add the sugar and mix until smooth.
Place 1 layer, flat-side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with diced pineapple.

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