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Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
2 cups sugar
1 ½ cups vegetable oil
4 large eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. The Spice Hunter Highland Harvested Saigon Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. The Spice Hunter East/West Indies Nutmeg
3 cups finely grated peeled carrots (about 1 pound)
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup raisins
2 Tbsp. The Spice Hunter Crystallized Ginger , chopped (optional)
4 cups powdered sugar
1 (8oz) package cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1 tsp. The Spice Hunter Vanilla Extract , plus more to taste
Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly grease two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 ½-inch-high sides. Line bottom of pans with wax paper and lightly grease. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and vegetable oil in bowl until combined. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg into sugar and oil mixture. Stir in carrots, chopped walnuts, raisins and ginger. Pour batter into prepared pans, dividing equally. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean and cakes begin to pull away from sides of pans, about 45 minutes. Cool in pans on racks 15 minutes. Turn out cakes onto racks and cool completely.
Using electric mixer, beat all ingredients in medium bowl until smooth and creamy. Place one cake layer on platter. Spread with frosting. Top with other cake layer. Using icing spatula, spread remaining frosting in decorative swirls over sides and top of cake.
Garnish suggestions: walnuts, mint leaves and/or crystallized ginger.