Everyone loves a moist loaded carrot cake with nuts, spice and all the cream cheese frosting that it can hold. This is our favorite carrot cake recipe. It is slathered with a generous amount of lemon cream cheese frosting and has a hint of orange zest to give it a complex and unique flavor.
Texas Tall 3 Layer Loaded Carrot Cake
2 cups Texas Pure Organic All-Purpose Flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 T ground cinnamon
¾ tsp. salt
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup raisins or dried cranberries
1 cup shredded coconut
1 tsp. orange zest
1 Tbsp. vanilla
2 cups brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 lbs powdered sugar, sifted to remove lumps
1 tsp lemon zest, micro grated or 6 drops lemon oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup toasted finely chopped nuts and/or toasted coconut, for garnish
Directions: Preheat oven to 350° and prepare 3 9-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment circles and grease sides or butter and flour. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Set aside. In another bowl, stir together the carrots, chopped nuts, coconut, raisins, orange zest and vanilla. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the sugar and eggs. Add the oil in a steady stream until thick. Reduce the speed to low and gently stir in the flour mixture, mixing just until moist. Add the bowl of remaining ingredients and fold in, being careful to not over-mix. Divide the batter evenly between the 3 pans and transfer into the oven. Bake for 40-50 minutes. Test the baked cakes with a knife inserted into the centers of the cakes, it should come out clean. the Transfer the pans to cooling racks, cool for 5 minutes, then turn out onto racks to cool to room temperature.
For the frosting: Working in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and extracts. Continue to beat until velvety smooth.
To frost the cake: Remove parchment from the bottom of the cooled cakes and place one layer on a cake plate. Use the frosting to generously cover the first layer. Use an offset spatula and smooth the frosting all the way to the edges of the layer.
Top with the second layer. Frost with frosting. Top with the last layer, frosting to cover the top and the sides of the cake.
Garnish with toasted coconut or nuts.
Finish the top layer with swirls of frosting or pipe designs on the top. Transfer the cake into the refrigerator to set the frosting. Yield: 1 9 inch, 3 layer cake, about 16 servings.