This is a cake I have baked for the retirement party of a colleague; after many years in FAO she’s returning to Madagascar.

  • 2 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 & 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 4 extra large free range eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sunflower seed oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2/3 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup crushed canned pineapple, drained
  • 430gr finely grated carrots
  • 1 cup toasted pecans (chopped )
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • Cream Cheese Frosting

Preheat oven at 180’C

Prepare two 9″ cake pans (lined with wet parchment paper)

Whisk the dried ingredients (except sugars) together in a bowl.  Set aside.

Mix the eggs, sugar, oil, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, and pineapple together in a large bowl.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until fully incorporated.

Stir in the carrots, pecans and raisins just until evenly distributed throughout the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared tins and bake on the center rack for about 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.

Cool cakes in their pans for at least 30 minutes before attempting to remove them.  Then, remove from the tins and peel off the parchment paper.  Continue to cool, on a cooling rack,  the cakes completely before frosting (overnight better).

To assemble the cake, place the bottom layer on a cardboard round or other flat surface and put on a cake turntable.

Scoop about 1 & 1/2 cups of the cream cheese icing onto the top of the bottom cake layer.  Using an offset spatula, spread the frosting evenly over the surface.

Sprinkle the toasted pecans.

Carefully place the second layer on top.  Scoop another 1 & 1/2 cups or so of the frosting on the top of the cake and spread evenly, easing the frosting down the sides.

Spread the icing around the sides of the cake, adding more as needed. Sprinkle the remaining  pecans.

Lift the cake off the turn table and place on a cake stand or platter and chill a bit to firm up the frosting before slicing.