- 2 cups pecans, chopped
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- Zest of 1 orange (1 tablespoon)
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups finely grated carrot (about 6 carrots)
- Cream Cheese Frosting
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 375°. Spread chopped pecans on a sheet pan, and toast at 375° for 5 minutes; set aside to cool. Line 2 greased 9-inch round cake pans with wax paper, and set aside.
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Sift together flour and next 4 ingredients. Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed. Reduce speed to medium-low, and add eggs 1 at a time, blending well after each addition. Add milk and half of flour mixture; blend well. Add remaining flour mixture gradually for a smoother batter.
Stir in orange zest and juice, vanilla, grated carrot, and toasted nuts. Divide batter evenly into prepared cake pans, and bake at 375° for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted into center of cake comes out clean. (Layers may sink a bit in the middle.)
Let layers cool in pans 10 minutes; transfer to a cooling rack. Let cool completely. Top 1 layer with Cream Cheese Frosting; add second layer; frost top and sides of cake.
Store the finished cake in the refrigerator to keep the frosting from getting too soft.