This recipe is a mix of inspiration from watching the Great British Baking Show and my favorite carrot cake recipe to make. I was inspired by the addition of fresh orange segments and some fresh-squeezed orange juice to the cake mixture. I love the mixture of the spice with the brightness of the orange, it is the balance this Carrot Cake has been looking for its whole life and its beautifully delicious.
I love watching the Great British Baking Show over and over again, it always brings me new inspiration. Recently I was watching Collection 3 on Netflix and baker Ian was making a giant carrot cake during the finale. The addition of orange to his cake very interesting, so I thought I would give it a try.
Preparing the cake ingredients…
I pulled out my carrot cake recipe and tossed one together. Now I do have to say I am not one to like raisins much, but the golden raisins and the pineapple in this cake are one of my favorite parts about it. With those fruits already existing in the cake, the orange was a welcome addition.
A nice spice-filled carrot cake is my favorite, and this one is no different. And I have to say, the orange was SOOOO GOOOD! My family really loved it and I don’t think there is any turning back now.
One key note on this cake is to be sure to soak the raisins in the juice from the fruit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients for the cake. This helps to plump the raisins and to ensure that they don’t draw too much moisture from the cake making it dry.
That said, if you soak the raisins and with the addition of the orange and orange juice, it results in a perfectly well-balanced cake. It really is just right, I didn’t know what I was missing all my life. Give it a go and be sure to let me know how it turns out!
For the cake:
- 1/2 C Orange segments, diced
- 1/2 of an Orange Juiced
- 1/2 C Crushed Pineapple, drained
- 1/2 C Golden Raisins
- 2 3/4 C AP Flour
- 2 t Baking Powder
- 1 t Baking Soda
- 3/4 t Kosher Salt
- 1 T Cinnamon, ground
- 1 1/4 t Nutmeg, freshly grated
- 1 t Ginger, ground
- 1/2 t Allspice, ground
- 1/4 t Cloves, ground
- 1 1/2 sticks Unsalted Butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 C Light Brown Sugar, tightly packed
- 3 large Eggs, room temp
- 1 1/2 t Vanilla Extract
- 1 1/2 C Sour Cream
- 3/4 C Walnuts, coarsely chopped and toasted
- 2 C Carrots, grated
For the cream cheese frosting:
- 2 sticks Unsalted Butter, room temp
- 2 8-ounce packages Cream Cheese, room temp
- 2 C Powdered Sugar
- 2 t Vanilla Bean Paste
For the cake:
- Position your oven rack in the middle and preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare three 6 inch cake pans by lining the bottoms with parchment paper and coating with pan spray.
- Peel and segment 1/2 of an orange and juice the other half into a bowl. Add the pineapple and raisins to the bowl and stir to combine, let sit while you assemble the cake batter.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices into a large bowl and set aside.
- Beat together the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Beat in eggs 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition, then beat in the vanilla.
- Reduce the speed to low and add flour mixture and sour cream alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture and mixing until batter is almost smooth but small clumps of flour remain. Mix in walnuts, orange, pineapple, raisins, and carrots until just combined. Remove from the mixer and fold with a spatula to evenly spread all the additions.
- Spoon batter evenly into pans, smoothing tops, then tap the pans once or twice on the counter to expel any air bubbles. Bake until pale golden and a cake tester inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.
- Cool 10 minutes in pans on racks. Run a thin knife around edge of pans if necessary, then tip the cakes out of their tins onto racks and turn right side up to cool completely.
For the cream cheese frosting:
- Cream together the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat at medium-high speed until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the bowl 2-3 times. Sift in the powdered sugar and mix on low until just combined. Blend at medium-high speed until frosting is smooth. Finish with the vanilla and refrigerate until ready to use.
Assembly and frosting the cake:
- Remove the top of each cake layer with a long serrated knife using a gentle sawing motion. Put 1 layer, cut side up, on a cake stand or large plate and spread with about 3/4 cup of cream cheese frosting on top. Stack remaining cake layers, spreading about 3/4 cup frosting on each layer and ending with top cake layer cut side down. Spread top and sides of the cake with remaining frosting and coat side of cake with toasted walnuts if desired, gently pressing to help them adhere. To make carrots, mix about 1/2 cup of frosting and dye it green with 4-6 drops of food coloring, and about 1 cup orange with 4 drops of yellow and 3 drops of red food coloring. Place in a pastry bag fitted with a number 2 tip for green and a number 8 tip for orange. Pipe carrots onto the sides or top of the cake using a sweeping motion to create elongated triangles finishing with a long tale. Top with green piping in an up and down motion to create a grassy top for each carrot.
Cake layers (not split) can be kept, wrapped individually in plastic wrap and placed in large sealed plastic bags, chilled 1 day or frozen 1 week. If frozen, thaw in bags at room temperature, about 2 hours.
Frosting can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature, then stir until smooth before using.
Cake can be assembled and frosted 8 hours ahead, then kept, loosely covered with plastic wrap, at room temperature.
Nutrition Information:Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g
If you make this recipe, please let me know by leaving a review at the bottom of this page!
MY LATEST RECIPES!
MY FAVORITE KITCHEN TOOLS!
Here are a few links to some of my favorite kitchen tools! You get a car, YOu get a car, YOU ALL GET A CAR…in my best Oprah voice
These Rösle Silicone Tongs are a little pricey but they will last you the rest of your life and are the softest in your hand. This is important for someone like m that cooks so much. It reduces strain, I have 4 sets in my kitchen!
These are my FAVE Nordic Ware Sheet Pans, every kitchen should have at least 2 sets of these! I think I have at least 4 of each of these.
This is my favorite pressure cooker, the Fagor is the same concept as the “Instant Pot” but easier to use in my opinion, if you don’t have one you NEED one, it will be your best friend in the kitchen!
A sharp knife is the most important tool in the kitchen, these Japanese steel “Shun” knives are my favorite! And this is a great starter set to build on. Once you try them you will be in love so use this as a foundation you can build on for years to come.
This Scanpan 11″ skillet is just the right size for almost anything you will need to cook and my best friend and a real workhorse in my kitchen, it’s also a great deal at $99. Scanpan is the best in the world for healthy cooking. It is coated with a proprietary ceramic-titanium coating that is durable while allowing you to use fewer fats and oils when cooking. It is a coating only they use. I could talk all day about my love for these pans, message me if you want more info. Here are some other sizes that are available if you are looking to outfit your kitchen with some new goodies. 8″ & 10″ Skillet set or 8″ Skillet, I still need this one for my kitchen Also, I don’t really know how to cook small so the 12.5″ is my other fave!
This giant vat of olive oil is my favorite, I decant it into a smaller bottle for my counter. Or put this spigot on top of a wine bottle!
My favorite baking dish that is so easy to clean even burnt on cheese slides right off!
This Tovolo jar scraper has to be my single favorite kitchen tool, it is definitely the most used tool in my kitchen. If you are NOT a gadget person, this is the only necessity I say is a MUST beyond the wooden spoon.
A great wood spoon is essential, this Olive Wood one is my favorite, I have more than I can count. But can you really ever have too many?
A food scale can be a very important tool in your kitchen, this one is the one I use every day!
If you love Joanna Gaines as much as I do then the ‘Magnolia Table Cookbook’ is a must in your kitchen, get a copy HERE!