Recipe by evelyn/athens
Absolutely the best carrot cake I've ever made - and I've made a lot! If carrot cake could be considered 'sophisticated', I think this one would qualify.
- 1 3⁄4 cups sugar
- 1 1⁄4 cups vegetable oil
- 1⁄4 cup orange juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3 cups finely grated peeled carrots
- 3⁄4 cup chopped pecans
- 1⁄2 cup raisins (optional - I never seem to use them) (optional)
- 2 1⁄2 cups powdered sugar
- 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1⁄2 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1⁄3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
Directions See How It's Made
- For cake: Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Lightly grease two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides.
- Line bottom of pans with waxed paper or parchment.
- Lightly grease waxed paper.
- Using electric mixer, beat sugar, vegetable oil, juice, vanilla extract and zest in bowl until combined.
- Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg into sugar and oil mixture.
- Stir in carrots, chopped pecans and raisins.
- Pour batter into prepared pans, dividing equally.
- Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean and cakes begin to pull away from sides of pans, about 45 minutes.
- Cool in pans on racks 15 minutes.
- Turn out cakes onto racks and cool completely.
- (Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap tightly in plastic and store at room temperature.) For frosting: Using electric mixer, beat all ingredients in medium bowl until smooth and creamy.
- Place 1 cake layer on platter.
- Spread with a bit less than 1/2 the frosting.
- Top with the remaining cake layer.
- Using icing spatula, spread remaining frosting in decorative swirls over sides and top of cake.
- Serve cake cold or at room temperature.