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Towering Praline Carrot Cake

Ingredients

Cake

  • 3 cups sliced carrots
  • 2 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  • 2 recipes Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1 recipe Praline Sauce

Praline Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 (16 ounce) box confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Cake: Grease and lightly flour three 9 x 1 1/2-inch round baking pans; set aside.
  2. In a covered medium saucepan cook carrots in a moderate amount of boiling water about 20 minutes or until very tender. Drain. Cool carrots slightly; coarsely mash with a potato masher.
  3. In a very large bowl stir together flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make a well in center of flour mixture. Add vegetable oil, eggs, pineapple and vanilla extract. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until all ingredients are combined. Fold in mashed carrots, pecans and coconut. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.
  4. Bake in a 350 degree F oven 35 to 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean.
  5. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from pans; cool completely on racks. While layers are cooling, prepare Cream Cheese Frosting.
  7. To assemble, place one cake layer, top side up, on a cake plate. Using about 1 cup of the frosting, pipe or spoon a rim about 1 inch wide and 1/2 inch high around outer edge of layer. Spoon about 2 tablespoons frosting into center, leaving an unfrosted ring. Spread about half of the Praline Sauce into the unfrosted ring (sauce will not fill ring). Add second cake, top side up; repeat frosting and filling steps using another 1 cup of the frosting and remaining Praline Sauce.
  8. Add third cake layer, top side up. Frost top and side with remaining frosting. If desired, garnish with additional chopped pecans. Cover; store in refrigerator.
  9. To serve: Let refrigerated cake stand, covered, at room temperature for 30 minutes. (Or thaw frozen cake, covered, in refrigerator overnight. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.) If desired, garnish with additional chopped pecans.
  10. Praline Sauce: In small saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and whipping cream. Bring to full boil, stirring constantly; reduce heat. Boil gently 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in vanilla extract. Cool.
  11. Frosting: Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add cream cheese and vanilla extract. Beat until fluffy. Stir in chopped pecans. Use pecan halves for garnish if desired.

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