2 cups all-purpose flour, *measured correctly 1 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar 2 tsp baking soda 1 tsp baking powder 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg 1/2 tsp ground allspice 1/4 tsp ground cloves, optional 1/2 tsp fine sea salt 1 cup extra light olive oil, or vegetable or canola oil 4 large eggs, room temperature 3/4 cup applesauce, or drained crushed pineapple 3 cups finely grated carrots, 14 oz or 6 medium carrots 1 cup pecans, chopped, plus more to garnish, optional 3/4 cup golden raisins, or regular raisins, optional 1 recipe Cream Cheese Frosting
Preheat the oven to 350˚F with a rack in the center of the oven. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with a ring of parchment paper and lightly butter the parchment. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, add flour, both sugars, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves and salt. Whisk to combine and break up any brown sugar clumps.
In a second mixing bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: oil, eggs and applesauce just until well combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and use a spatula to fold until combined.
Use a spatula to fold in the carrot, nuts and raisins if using and fold until well incorporated. Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans and bake in a fully preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let the cake rest in the pans for 15-20 minutes then transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature before applying frosting and decorating.
To Frost The Carrot Cake: Set the first cake layer on a cake platter and spread on a generous amount of Cream Cheese frosting (about 1/4 of the batch). Set the second layer over the frosting with the top-side-down to create an even frosting surface.
Lightly crumb coat the cake with frosting then apply more frosting to the top and sides of the cake.
Use a piping bag fitted with a large open star tip to pipe puffs of the remaining frosting around the top of the cake and sprinkle remaining pecans around the edges. ENJOY