For the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350°, and grease two 9-inch round baking tins with shortening.
- If using older or drier raisins, heat rum over medium low in a saucepan and soak raisins. If you prefer not to use alcohol, a tablespoon of molasses and a cup of water may be substituted. In a small dish, soak carrots in buttermilk while you continue on with the cake.
- Whisk together dry ingredients in a medium bowl, set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, blend together eggs, molasses and brown sugar. Slowly pour in vegetable oil, emulsifying the mixture.
- Mix in dry ingredients in 2 portions, alternating with carrots in buttermilk.
- Drain raisins and fold in.
- Split batter evenly between two pans.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool 5-10 minutes before turning onto a cooling rack.
- Let cool completely before frosting.
For the Frosting:
- In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, combine cream cheese and sugar, blending until smooth.
- Stir in vanilla extract.
- Once cooled, select the bottom layer and place on your serving plate of choice. Lightly crumb coat the bottom layer by thinly spreading a few tablespoons of frosting with an offset spatula or long butter knife just to contain the crumbs. This will help the outside layer to be smooth.
- Next spread a few more tablespoons of frosting on the top of the bottom layer, to serve as the middle cushion between layers, as thick or as thin as you like, but 1/2 inch is probably your max to have enough frosting for the whole cake.*
- Place the second layer carefully on top.
- Crumb coat the second layer.
- Frost the entire cake by placing the remaining frosting on top and slowly turning the cake while carefully spreading the frosting down and around.
- Garnish with more shredded carrot or raisins.
Spice Cake, Carrots, raisins oh my!
*If you’d like to stretch your frosting a bit, or want to temper the tart flavor of the cream cheese, you can add a stick (1/4 lb) of room temperature butter and an additional 1/4 cup of confectioner’s sugar.