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Honey Butter Carrot Cake with Toasted
Pecans and Citrus Cream Cheese Icing

Ingredients

Cake

  • Butter or nonstick spray
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground clove or allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups finely grated carrot
  • 1 apple, peeled and grated
  • 1 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

Icing

  • 8 ounces regular cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated orange, lemon or lime zest (or a mixture of all three)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 4 to 5 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9-inch layer pans or coat with nonstick spray; line bottom with circle of parchment or wax paper.
  2. Stir flour with baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt.
  3. In another bowl, using an electric mixer, cream butter until lighter in color and slightly fluffy.
  4. Slowly beat in honey, then eggs, one at a time.
  5. Beat in sugar and vanilla extract.
  6. Add flour mixture to butter mixture in thirds, stirring until just absorbed.
  7. Stir in carrots, apple and pecans. Divide batter between pans; smooth tops.
  8. Bake in center of oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into cake center comes out clean.
  9. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes; then turn out to finish cooling on rack.
  10. To make icing, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth.
  11. Gradually beat in butter, then honey, zest and lemon juice.
  12. Gradually add confectioners' sugar until thick enough for spreading.
  13. Spread between stacked layers, then over sides and top.
  14. Sprinkle with any extra zest or chopped pecans.

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