Fine Cooking offers a classic carrot layer cake recipe with vanilla cream cheese frosting. The cake is made with walnuts, carrots and raisins as well as ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon.
Make traditional carrot cake by combining 2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour, 1 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda, 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon of nutmeg and 3/4 teaspoon of ground ginger. Add 3/4 teaspoon of salt to the flour mixture before combining the wet ingredients into a separate bowl. Beat together 4 large eggs, 1 cup of canola oil, 1 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract and 2 cups of brown sugar. Fold 3/4 cup of toasted chopped walnuts, 1/2 cup of raisins and 2 1/2 cups of finely grated carrots into the sugar and egg mixture. On low speed, stir in the flour mixture.
Pour the carrot cake batter into two round cake pans whose sides are lightly oiled and dusted with flour and that have parchment paper lining the bottoms. Bake the cakes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 28 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, combine 1 pound of softened cream cheese, 12 ounces of softened unsalted butter, 1 pound of confectioners' sugar, 4 teaspoons of vanilla and 3/4 teaspoon of salt to make the icing. Frost the cake once it cools.