This cake wasn’t as billowingly beautiful as I had hoped it was going to be, but it turned out to be extra delicious. The cake is moist and hearty, while the frosting gives it a delicate boost. The orange zest is a decadent option, but it gives the cake a little something special. Have a cup of hot cider and say, “Ah, so this is fall.”
2 c. AP flour
1 tbls. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
4 large eggs
3/4 c. vegetable oil
2 c. sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
about 1 pound carrots, grated finely
1/2 c. pecans, lightly toasted
12 oz. cream cheese
3 c. confectioners’ sugar
zest of half of an orange
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Set cream cheese and butter out to soften to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 35oF and butter and flour two 8-inch cake pans.
- Mix flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and baking powder in a bowl and set aside.
- With an electric mixer fitted with whisk, beat eggs at high until they are frothy. Decrease speed to low and add oil, sugar, salt and mix until combined. Mix in flour mixture. Fold in carrots until dispersed evenly. Fold in nuts.
- Pour batter evenly into pans. Bake for 45 minutes. Cool for 20 minutes and remove from pans onto rack.
- When cake is cool, make frosting. With a paddle attachment or regular beaters, whip cream cheese, sugar, and zest about 2 minutes until smooth. Add butter and mix on medium until fluffy. Add vanilla and mix briefly.
- If your ingredients are not at room temperature, you will not be happy with the consistency of the frosting. It may be unpleasantly lumpy.
- There is enough frosting to ice and use as a filling.
- Keep cake refrigerated.
- This is adapted from the wonderful Sweet Melissa Baking Book.