Carrot Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180
degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter or spray two - 9 x 2
inch (23 x 5 cm) cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with a circle
or walnuts for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and
then chop coarsely.
Peel and finely grate
In a separate bowl whisk
together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon.
In bowl of electric mixer
(or with a hand mixer), beat the eggs until frothy (about 1 minute). Gradually
add the sugar and beat until the batter is thick and light colored (about 3 - 4
minutes). Add the oil in a steady stream and then beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat
incorporated. With a large rubber spatula
fold in the grated carrots and chopped
nuts. Evenly divide the batter between the two prepared pans and bake 25
to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. After about 5 -10
minutes invert the cakes onto the wire rack, remove the pans and parchment
paper, and then cool completely before frosting.
To assemble: place one cake
layer onto your serving plate. Spread
with about half the frosting. Gently place the other cake onto
the frosting and spread the rest of the frosting over the top of the
cake. If desired, garnish with toasted nuts on the top of the cake. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.
Serves 10 - 12.
In bowl of electric
mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the cream cheese and butter, on low
speed, just until blended with no lumps. Gradually add the sifted powdered
sugar and beat, on low speed, until fully incorporated and smooth. Beat in
the vanilla extract, and lemon zest.