Source: Smitten Kitchen (https://smittenkitchen.com/2015/03/carrot-graham-layer-cake/)
Servings: 1 9-inch 3-layer cake
For the cake:
- 1 cup flour
- 3/4 cup finely ground graham cracker crumbs, plus extra for decoration if you wish
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking power
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg or a bunch of gratings of fresh
- 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 dark brown sugar
- 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons neutral oil or melted butter (i.e. 1 tablespoon short of 1 cup)
- 3 large eggs
- 3 cups peeled and grated carrots (about 12 3/4 ounces or 360 grams; 2 cups = 8.5 ounces peeled/grated)
For the filling:
- 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted if lumpy
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line three 9 -inch pans with a fitted round of parchment paper and coach with a nonstick cooking spray. Don’t have three matching cake pans? Me neither. As soon as you finish baking and unmolding the first layer cake, wipe out the baking pan, put down a new round of parchment and coat the pan with spray before using it again (I only had one pan but was able to use the same parchment round for all 3).
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, graham crumbs, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk (yes you can use the same one) together the sugars, oil and eggs until smooth. Stir in grated carrots. Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir until flour just disappears.
- Pour batter evenly between three prepared baking pans. Bake each layer for 15 to 18 minutes until a tester comes out clean. Cake will seem soft and likely still sticky on top. Let rest in the cake pans for 5 minutes on a cooling rack, then run a knife around the edges of the first cake layer to ensure no parts are sticking to the sides, flip cake out onto cooling rack, remove parchment paper and flip back right-side-up on another cooling rack. Repeat with remaining layers and let the layers cool completely before filling. To hurry the cooling process along, and to make this soft cake easier to handle, you can place cake layers in your freezer until cool and slightly firm.
- With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth and fluffy. Beat in powdered sugar, a little at a time. Beat in vanilla until combined.
- Arrange first cake layer on a cake plate or stand. Spread top with frosting; repeat twice with remaining layers. If desired, sprinkle top decoratively with extra graham crumbs – I used a cookie cutter to make a loose outline of a flower shape on mine. Let cake chill until serving.