Spiced Carrot Layer Cake
Orange juice and zest, cinnamon, and ginger add verve and depth to this sumptuous cake. Get the recipe for Spiced Carrot Layer Cake ». Todd Coleman

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

How to make marzipan carrots »

Yield: serves 16-20


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


  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.