CARROT-ORANGE CAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

This version has a hint of orange from the juice and peel and lots of the rich cream cheese frosting that everyone expects (and loves).

CARROT-ORANGE CAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Ingredients

  • Cake
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups finely grated peeled carrots
  • 1 cup raisins or 1 cup walnuts

  • Frosting:

  • 2 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 5 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Instructions

    For cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly butter 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Using electric mixer, beat oil and both sugars in large bowl until well blended. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in orange juice and peel. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger (optional), nutmeg and salt into large bowl; add to sugar mixture and beat to blend. Stir in carrots and raisins.
  2. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Transfer pan to rack. Cool cake 15 minutes. Turn cake out onto rack and cool. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Wrap tightly in plastic and store at room temperature.)
  3. For Frosting:
  4. Beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until light. Beat in orange juice and orange peel. Add sugar; beat until smooth. If not thick enough to spread, refrigerate until it firms up a little, about 20-30 minutes. ***If you want to make it a “crusting frosting” you can add 1/2 cup crisco to recipe. It’s basically the Crusting Cream Cheese Icing but with an orange flair. Please note that it is good idea to omit the grated orange peel if you are planning on doing a frozen transfer, etc.
  5. Using serrated knife, cut cake horizontally into 2 equal layers. Place 1 cake layer on platter. Spread with 1 1/2 cups frosting. Top with remaining cake layer. Using icing spatula, spread remaining frosting in thick decorative swirls over top and side of cake. (Carrot cake can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover with cake dome and refrigerate.) Serve cake cold or at room temperature.
  6. At least a serving of vegetables ;) from the carrots.

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