2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
4 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup golden raisins, (optional)
1 cup chopped walnuts
16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extra
1 cup whole walnuts
1/2 cup roughly chopped crystalized ginger
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Line two 8 or 9-inch round pans with parchment paper and grease the pans with cooking spray.
Using a stand mixer on high speed, beat the sugar, oil until well combined. Adding one egg at a time, beat the mixture until light and pale, about 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, carrots, raisins, and walnuts. Reduce speed to low and add the flour mixture. Mix until flour disappears.
Divide the batter between two pans and place on the middle oven rack. Bake until cakes are golden brown and toothpick inserted into the middle of cakes comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes.
Run a knife around the sides of the pan. Allow cakes to cool in the pan on a wire rack overnight. Flip cakes onto the wire rack; remove parchment paper.
Using a stand mixer on a high speed, cream the softened cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the butter and whip until well-combined and fluffy, about 2 more minutes. Shut off mixer and add sugar and vanilla. Mix on low speed until well-combined, about 1 minute.
Using a serrated knife, divide each cake in half, horizontally, making four even rounds. Place one round, cut side up, on a cake platter or cake stand. Fill center with 1/4 of frosting and spread into an even layer, working from the center out; leave a 1/4-inch border around the edges. Place other half of cake on top, cut side down; fill with 1/4 more frosting. Add the third layer of cake, cut side up and frost with 1/4 more frosting. Place the final layer on top, cut side down, and fill top with remaining frosting.
Top cakes with walnuts and crystalized ginger. Slice and serve.
Bake with soul. Eat with pleasure!
Alternative Frosting Method
Place one cake, domed side down, on a platter or cake stand. Fill the center with 1/3 of the frosting, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges. Place remaining cake, domed side up and cover the top with remaining frosting. Working from the center, frost the top and sides of the cake completely. Sprinkle the sides with chopped walnuts.
Slice and serve.