Spiced Carrot Layer Cake

  • Serves

    serves 16-20


Orange juice and zest, cinnamon, and ginger add verve and depth to this sumptuous cake.


For the Carrot Cake

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, plus more for pans
  • 1 14 cups flour, plus more for pans
  • 1 14 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. baking soda
  • 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 12 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 12 cup finely ground almonds
  • 3 cups finely grated carrots
  • 1 12 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 12 cup plain yogurt
  • 14 cup orange juice
  • 1 tbsp. orange zest
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the Buttermilk Glaze and Cream Cheese Icing

  • 12 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 12 cup sugar
  • 14 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 34 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 12 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 12 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 3 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp. dark or spiced rum
  • 1 tbsp. orange zest
  • 1 (1-lb.) box confectioners' sugar
  • 2 cups finely chopped walnuts


Step 1

Make cake: Heat oven to 350°. Butter and flour three 9" round baking pans; set aside. Heat butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until it browns. Chill until solid.

Step 2

In a bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and allspice. Finely grind coconut and almonds in a food processor. Combine nut mixture, carrots, and flour mixture; mix.

Step 3

In a bowl, beat together browned butter and brown sugar until fluffy, 1–2 minutes; beat in yolks one at a time. Add yogurt, juice, zest, and vanilla; beat. Add flour mixture; beat. Whisk egg whites to stiff peaks; fold into batter. Divide batter between pans; smooth tops with a spatula. Bake for 30–35 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Step 4

Meanwhile, make glaze and icing: In a 4-qt. pan, combine 4 tbsp. butter, sugar, buttermilk, syrup, and baking soda; boil. Cook until dark, 3–4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in 1⁄2 tsp. vanilla. Spread glaze over each warm cake. Remove cakes from pans; transfer, glazed side up, to racks. Let cool.

Step 5

In a bowl, beat remaining butter, mascarpone, and cream cheese with a mixer until smooth. Add remaining vanilla, rum, zest, and sugar; beat. Chill. Spread 1 1⁄4 cups icing evenly over 2 cake layers; stack, top with remaining layer. Frost top and sides; press nuts onto sides. Chill before serving.

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