Just a regular old carrot cake for Laura's birthday. First birthday cake I haven't screwed up in ages though! Maybe I did learn something about cakes this summer after all. This cake is very moist and tender, which means it also sticks to pans and cooling racks, so you'll be happier if you actually use parchment and/or cupcake liners. Also pictured: maple creme fraiche ice cream.
3 c grated carrots
1.5 c pecan halves
2 c granulated sugar
1 c canola oil
2 c flour
2 t baking powder
2 t baking soda
2 t cinnamon
1 t cloves
1 t nutmeg
1/2 t allspice
1/2 t cardamom
3/4 t salt
1/2 c raisins
Preheat the oven to 325F, and prepare 2 8" cake pans (parchment and butter) and a 12-cupcake pan (cupcake liners).
Grate a crapton of carrots in the food processor, and transfer to a 4-c pyrex. Put the pecans in the food processor and pulse a few times to chop, and dump them into the pyrex too.
In a large bowl, beat together the sugar and oil until smooth, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the dry ingredients and mix to just combine. Fold in the carrots, nuts, and raisins.
Fill the cupcakes 3/4 full, then divide the remaining batter between the two cake pans. Bake the cupcakes for 25 min and the cakes for 40-45 min until a toothpick comes out clean.
8 oz pack cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick butter, at room temperature
2 t vanilla
2.5 c powdered sugar (or to taste)
Beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth, then beat in the vanilla. Beat in the powdered sugar one cup at a time, tasting before each addition (it's ok to add at least another cup of powdered sugar if you want). This is enough to generously frost the layer cake.