Apple-Pecan Carrot Cake
Top a showstopping crown of Mascarpone Frosting with swirls of Apple Cider Caramel Sauce and a scattering of salty-sweet Spiced Pecans (minus the ground red pepper). Caramel sauce, rather than frosting, sandwiches together the moist cake layers.
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Total: 3 Hours, 30 Minutes
- 2 1/3 cups finely chopped lightly toasted pecans, divided
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons apple pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups peeled and grated Granny Smith apples
- 1 1/2 cups grated carrots
- 2/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp. Apple Cider Caramel Sauce
- Mascarpone Frosting
- 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Sprinkle 1 1/3 cups toasted pecans into 2 well-buttered shiny 9-inch round cake pans; shake to coat bottom and sides of pans.
- 2. Stir together flour and next 3 ingredients.
- 3. Stir together eggs and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl until blended. Add flour mixture, stirring just until blended. Fold in apples, carrots, and remaining 1 cup pecans. Pour batter into prepared pans.
- 4. Bake at 350° for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely (about 1 hour).
- 5. Place 1 cake layer, pecan side down, on a serving plate. Spread top of cake layer with 2/3 cup Apple Cider Caramel Sauce; top with remaining cake layer, pecan side down. Spread Mascarpone Frosting over top of cake. Drizzle 2 Tbsp. Apple Cider Caramel Sauce over frosting, and swirl sauce into frosting. Serve immediately.
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