Emily made this cake for the Williamson County Youth Fair and won Reserve Grand Champion with it. There was some tough competition but it was mighty tasty!
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon coarse salt
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ cup water
1 pound carrots (8 to 10 medium carrots), peeled and shredded on a box grater or in a food processor (about 2 ¾ cups)
2 cups pecans (1 cup finely chopped for batter, 1 cup coarsely chopped for decorating sides of cake)
White butter icing (recipe follows)
1. Preheat over to 350°. Butter 3 9-inch cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper and butter parchment. Dust with flour, tapping out excess. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and nutmeg.
2. Beat butter and sugars with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat 3 minutes. Add vanilla, water and carrots. Beat until well combined, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and add flour mixture, then finely chopped pecans.
3. Scrape batter into prepared pans, dividing evenly. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool in pans on wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around edges of cake to loosen, and turn out cakes onto rack. Turn right side up and let cool completely.
4. Using a serrated knife, trim rounded top of 2 cakes. Place one trimmed cake, cut side up, on a serving platter. Spread 1 cup frosting over cake. Top with second trimmed cake, cut side down. Spread 1 cup frosting over cake. Top with remaining cake. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides. Gently press coarsely chopped pecans onto sides of cake. Refrigerate 1 hour (or up to 1 day, covered) before serving.
White Butter Icing:
1/3 cup soft butter
3 cups sifted confectioners sugar.
About 3 tablespoon water
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
Blend butter and sugar thoroughly. Stir in water and vanilla until smooth.