Layered Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

¾ cup light brown sugar, packed

¾ cup granulated sugar

3 large eggs

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups grated carrots, by hand on the coarse blade of a box grater

8 ounces canned crushed pineapple, drained well; optional but highly recommended

1 cup chopped walnuts, optional and divided

½ cup raisins, optional

16 ounces brick-style cream cheese (frosting)

1 cup unsalted butter, softened (frosting)

5 cups confectioners' sugar (frosting)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract (frosting)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (frosting)

Directions:

1. Cake - Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with baking spray. Using your fingers or a pastry brush, make sure the spray covers all inside surfaces of the pans and that they are evenly coated. Add a circle of parchment paper to the bottom of the pans; do not extend it up the sides of the pans. Spray with baking spray, set aside.

2. To a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, allspice, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cloves set aside.

3. To a large microwave-safe bowl, add the butter and heat to melt, about 1 minute.

4. Add the sugars and whisk well to combine, or beat with a handheld electric mixer.

5. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking or beating after each addition

6. Add the vanilla and whisk or beat to combine.

7. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just combined, scraping down the sides as necessary to incorporate everything well; don't overmix.

8. Add the carrots, optional but recommended drained pineapple, half of the walnuts (optional), and the raisins (optional) and stir until everything is incorporated.

9. Divide the batter between the two cake pans, lightly smoothing the top with a spatula and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean, or a few moist crumbs hanging on is okay but no wet batter.

10. Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes in the pans. Invert the pans and let cool completely on a wire rack. While the cakes cool, make the frosting.

11. Frosting - To the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or large mixing bowl and handheld electric mixer, add the cream cheese, butter, and beat on medium until smooth.

12. Add the vanilla, confectioners' sugar, cinnamon, and beat to combine staring on low speed at first, and scraping down the sides as necessary. Turn the mixer to medium-high and whip until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

13. Once the cakes are cool, take the parchment paper off the bottoms. Place one of the cakes bottom side down onto your serving platter. There should be very little doming but if there is you can trim off a bit to make it more even.

14. Add 1½ cups of the frosting on top of the cake and smooth it out to the edge.

15. Invert the second cake and place it bottom side up on top of the frosting.

16. Add a crumb coat to the entire cake- meaning add a thin layer of frosting around all the exposed surfaces of the cake to seal in the crumbs.

17. Place the cake in the fridge for at least 2 hours to set.

18. After chilling, frost with the remaining cream cheese frosting.

19. Optionally add the remaining 1/2 cup walnuts along the bottom edge of the cake before slicing and serving. Cake will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days (although you could stretch it to 7 days since this is a large cake and you may not consume if all quickly unless you're making it for a larger group or event). Due to the cream cheese frosting, you'll need to refrigerate this cake.

Bon Appetit!

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