A three-layer cake worthy of displaying in a bakery window! Moist carrot cake and cream cheese frosting with a hint of orange that brightens a classic dessert.
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4 cups packed ground carrots
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large Land O Lakes® Eggs
1/2 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, melted
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
1 pound (4 cups) powdered sugar
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom of 3 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line each pan with parchment paper cut to fit bottom. Grease and flour parchment paper; set aside.
Place ground carrots into bowl; set aside.
Place raisins into food processor bowl fitted with metal blade; pulse until raisins resemble small pieces. Add walnuts, pulsing until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Place mixture into bowl with ground carrots; mix well.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in another bowl; set aside.
Beat granulated sugar and eggs together in bowl at medium speed until thick. Gradually add melted butter and oil, beating until well combined. Stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla. Add flour mixture to egg mixture; stir until just combined. Gently stir in carrot mixture. (Batter will be thick).
Divide batter (about 2 1/2 cups per pan) evenly between prepared pans. Bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and center springs back when lightly touched. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Run knife around edges of pan to loosen; turn out cake layers onto cooling rack. Cool completely. (The cake layers are very tender; be careful when removing from pan.)
Combine cream cheese, butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla and orange zest in bowl. Beat at medium speed until creamy and well combined. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating after each addition until well blended, smooth and fluffy in texture.
Place 1 cake layer onto serving plate. Spread 3/4 cup frosting over top; top with second cake layer. Spread 3/4 cup frosting over second layer; top with third layer. Frost sides with 1/2 cup frosting and top of cake with remaining frosting. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight before serving.
It will take about 1 1/2 pounds of carrots to yield 4 cups of packed ground carrots. Peel and cut carrots in large chunks and grind in food processor.
Desserts to not only eat but use as centerpieces during your Easter dinner.