photograph by Matt Hulsman

Yield: 16 slices.

For the cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cardamom
1¼ cups vegetable oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
3 cups carrots, peeled and grated (5 to 6 medium carrots)
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
½ cup golden raisins

For the frosting:
16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
⅓ cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

For the cake: Preheat oven to 350˚. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Lightly grease the top of the paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom until well blended.

In a separate bowl, whisk the oil, sugars, and vanilla. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, until combined.

Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Gradually add the dry ingredients and gently stir. Do not overmix. Fold in the carrots, nuts, and raisins.

Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans. Place pans on the middle oven rack and bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until the tops of the cake layers are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Remove cake pans from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Flip pans onto a cooling rack; cake should release from pan easily. Peel off parchment paper and allow cake to cool completely.

For the frosting: In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with a handheld mixer on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Beat in the powdered sugar, about ¼ cup at a time, until fluffy. Pour in cream, vanilla, and salt. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Cover and chill until ready to frost cake.

When the cake layers are completely cool, frost the top of one cake layer. Place the other cake layer on top. Frost the top and sides of the cake using an offset metal spatula.

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Lynn Wells is a personal chef with more than 20 years of experience in the food and hospitality industry and a degree in Nutrition Management from UNCG.

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