Your favorite carrot cake, with a hint of orange and smothered in a luscious, orange flavored cream cheese frosting. The perfect springtime cake!
- 2 cups pecans, chopped
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp nutmeg
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cups grapeseed oil (or vegetable oil)
- 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 orange (zest and juice (about 1/3 cup))
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups finely shredded carrots (about 3–4 large)
Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 – 250g packages cream cheese, room temperature*
- 2 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- zest of 1 orange
- Preheat oven to 375 F and spread the chopped pecans onto a baking sheet. Toast pecans for 5 minutes or until fragrant. Set aside to cool.
- Grease and flour 3 9-inch round cake pans; set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and salt until combined.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, or another large bowl, combine the oil, brown sugar, eggs, orange juice and zest, and vanilla extract until no sugar lumps remain. Slowly add in the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in the toasted pecans and carrots by hand.
- Pour the prepared batter into the 3 cake pans, and place in the oven for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in the pan for only 10 minutes, and then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
- Prepare the frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla extract on low until the sugar is mixed into the butter, then turn the mixer to medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes or until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Add the cream cheese into cubes and add in stages to the frosting, beating for about 1 minute. You may need to scrape the sides of the bowl by hand every so often. Once the frosting is nice and smooth, add in the orange zest and stir to combine. Refrigerate prepared frosting until ready to decorate.
- Frost and decorate your cake with any remaining toasted pecans or orange slices for garnish. Serve.
- Extra cake stores at room temperature, covered tightly, for up to 3 days or up to 7 days in the refrigerator. Cake freezes well for up to 2 months; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
- Use full-fat cream cheese if you plan to pipe with the frosting, as light cream cheese has too much water content. Be sure to use the brick style cream cheese, not the spread.