INGREDIENTS FOR CAKE MIX

  • 2 cups chopped pecans (1 cup for cake, 1 cup for garnish)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup smooth unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups grated carrots

 INGREDIENTS FOR CREAM CHEESE

  • 450g full-fat block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 and 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon heavy cream or milk
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt, to taste

CAKE:

Preheat oven 150°C. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Spread the chopped pecans on the sheet and toast for 7-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes. Turn the oven up to 180°C. Grease the cake mold, line with parchment paper, then grease the parchment paper.Whisk the brown sugar, granulated sugar, oil, eggs, applesauce, and vanilla together in a large bowl until combined and no brown sugar lumps remain. In another large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and, using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, fold the ingredients together until just combined. Fold in the carrots, the raisins and 1 cup of the toasted pecans. (The rest of the pecans are for garnish.)Pour/spoon the mix evenly into two cake pans. And bake for 30-35 minutes. Test the center with a knife. If it comes out clean and dry, the cakes are done. If not, continue to bake until cooked through. Allow the cakes to cool completely in the pans set on a wire rack. The cakes must be completely cool before frosting and assembling.

 FROSTING:

In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium-high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar, cream/milk, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes until completely combined and creamy. Frosting should be soft, but not runny.

 ASSEMBLEMENT:

Place 1 cake layer on your cake stand or serving plate. Evenly cover the top with frosting. Top with 2nd layer and more frosting. Spread remaining frosting all over the top and sides. Decorate the sides and top of the cake with the remaining toasted pecans. Refrigerate cake for at least 15-20 minutes before slicing. This helps the cake hold its shape when cutting. Cover leftover frosted cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.