- Solid vegetable shortening for greasing the pans
- Flour for dusting the pans
- 1 (18.25-oz) box plain yellow cake mix
- 1 (3.4-oz) box vanilla instant pudding mix
- 2/3 cup fresh orange juice
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 cups grated carrots (5 medium carrots)
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
- Fresh Orange Cream Cheese Frosting (see recipe link above)
1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously grease two 9-inch round cake pans with solid vegetable shortening. Dust with flour, then shake out the excess flour. Set the pans aside.
2. Place the cake mix, pudding mix, orange juice, oil, eggs, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping the sides down again if needed. The batter should look thick and well blended. Gently fold in the carrots, raisins, and nuts with a rubber spatula. Divide the batter between the prepared pans, smoothing it out with the rubber spatula. Place the pans in the oven side by side.
3. Bake the cakes until they are golden brown and spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for 10 minutes. Run a dinner knife around the edges of each layer and invert each onto a rack, then invert each again onto another rack so that the cakes are right side up. Allow them to cool completely, 30 minutes more.
4. Meanwhile, prepare the Fresh Orange Cream Cheese Frosting.
5. Place one cake layer, right side up, on a serving platter. Spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer, right side up, on top of the first layer and frost the top and sides of the cake with clean, smooth strokes.
* Place this cake, uncovered, in the refrigerator until the frosting sets, 20 minutes. Cover the cake with waxed paper and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Or freeze it, wrapped in aluminum foil, for up to 6 months. Thaw the cake in the refrigerator before serving.