This impressive carrot cake is loaded with sultanas and crunchy pecans, and laced with warming spices. The nutmeg cream cheese icing, which is generously slathered between the layers as well as on top, is sweet and comforting. —Jordan Rondel, The Caker
roasted chopped pecans for decoration (optional)
Preheat oven to 180C fan bake. Line 2 x 22cm tins with baking paper.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat eggs, oil, yoghurt, vanilla and orange zest until smooth. Gradually add flour, ground almonds, sugar, coconut, spices and raising agents. Stop your mixer once just combined – do not over-mix. Fold through grated carrots, pecans and sultanas. Divide batter evenly between the 2 cake tins.
Bake for about 40 minutes. The cakes are ready when golden in colour, springy to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool for around 10 minutes before turning out onto a rack.
Meanwhile, make the icing. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and vanilla until smooth and then gradually add icing sugar. Add cream cheese a little at a time and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Finally, fold through nutmeg.
Once cakes are cool, spread a layer of icing onto one cake and place the other directly on top. Apply a neat coating of icing to the top of the cake and decorate with chopped roasted pecans. Serve at room temperature. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.