With its distinct spicy flavor, ultra-moisty crumb, and velvety cream cheese frosting, it truly is the best carrot cake. Use brown sugar and toasted walnuts for a deeper flavor.

I don't call it carrot cake.

I call it a "birthday cake".

Carrot cake is my #1 favorite. Growing up, my mom made my birthday every year and the only thing that competed was a bunch of carrot cake on the side. I have adopted this tradition and make my own carrot birthday cake every year. And of course, we never limit it to just once a year. This cake decorates the Easter table and I love making it for spring brunch, baby showers, and new bake sales in our community.

* Ingredients :

° 2 cups chopped pecans (1 cup cake, 1 cup garnish. .)*
° 1 and 1/2 cups (300 g) light or dark brown sugar
° 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
° 1 cup (240 ml) vegetable oil or canola oil (or melted coconut oil)*
° 4 large eggs
° 3/4 cup (133 g) unsweetened smooth apple juice
° 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
° 2 and 1/2 cups (312 grams) all-purpose flour (spooned and flat)
° 2 teaspoons baking powder
° 1 teaspoon baking soda
° 1/2 teaspoon salt
° 1 and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
° 1 teaspoon ground ginger
° 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
° 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
° 2 cups (260 grams) shredded carrots (about 4 large)
cream cheese frosting
° 450gm full fat cream cheese, soft, at room temperature
° 1/2 cup (115 g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
° 4 and 1/2 cups (540 g) confectioners' sugar
° 1 tablespoon (15 ml) heavy cream or milk
° 1 and 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
° pinch of salt to taste

* Instructions :

Prepare the cake: Preheat the oven to 149°C. Streak a big baking tray with paarchment paper . Spread the chopped pecans on the sheet and leave for 7-8 minutes. Removing from oven and leave to cold for 10-15 min .

Turn oven up to 350°F (177°C). Grease two or three 9-inch cake pans, spray them with parchment paper, then grease them with parchment paper. The parchment paper helps cakes release smoothly from pans.
Beat brown sugar/ granulated sugar / oil, eggs /  applesauce,& vanilla jointly in a large bowl until blended also no brown sugar lumps remain. In other large bowl, beat together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, also cloves. Cast wet ingredients To  dried  ingredients &, using a rubber spatula , fold the ingredients jointly To totally blended . Adding  carrots & a cup of toasted pecans. 

Spoon mixture evenly into cake moulds. If using three cake pans, bake for 20-24 minutes. If using two cake pans, bake for 30-35 minutes.  If not, continue baking until fully cooked. Don't overcook the bread. Let cakes cooled totally in pans set . Cakes must be completely cool before they are frozen and assembled.
Making the garnishes: In a large bowl using a hand or standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and butter together on medium-high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add confectioners' sugar, cream/milk, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Beat on low for 30 seconds, then raise to high speed and beat for 3 minutes until completely blended and creamy. Add more confectioners' sugar if the icing is too thin, more milk if the icing is too thick, or an extra pinch of salt if the icing is too sweet. The frosting should be soft but not runny.

Assemble and Frost: First, using a large serrated knife or cake leveler, layer on top of cakes to create a flat surface. Placing 1 layer of cake on a cake stand . Covering top equally with frosting. Apply second layer, more frosting, then put the third layer on top of it. Spread the remaining decorating cream on the face and sides. Decorate the sides and top of the cake with the remaining toasted pecans. Put the cake in the fridge for at least 15-20 minutes before cutting it into slices. This helps the cake keep its shape when slicing.
Cover frozen cake leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Enjoy !