Grease 2 (10-inch) cake pans and set aside. Mix together in a large bowl the oil, sugar, eggs, carrots, nuts, pineapple, coconut and raisins. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add the carrot mixture and blend. Pour the batter into the cake pans and bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until done. Remove from oven and cool for 30 minutes. Release the cakes from the pans and cool completely before cutting and frosting. Cut cakes in 3 equal layers (a total of 6 layers). Assemble the carrot cake one layer at a time. Finish the carrot cake with a layer of cream cheese frosting on top. Do not frost the side of the cake. This gives the cake that special homemade country-style look. Garnish with toasted walnuts and coconuts.
For the frosting: Beat together the cream cheese, butter, and vegetable shortening for 15 minutes. Mixture must be very smooth and light. Add the confectioners' sugar and the vanilla and mix until smooth (about 3 minutes).
Recipe courtesy of John McLean, Levy Restaurants Sports and Entertainment Group, Chicago, IL