This triple-layer carrot cake is one of the five most popular recipes of all time on Epicurious, with 800 reviews and a 4-fork rating. The secret ingredients: raisins and pecans, which add a bit of extra texture and crunch to the creamy cake and frosting.
The cake can be made a day or two in advance: Keep it covered in the refrigerator and then serve it cold or at room temperature. Be sure to add the eggs slowly: If you beat them in all at once, the cake won't turn out as smooth. Using lots of vegetable oil will ensure it's nice and moist. And don't be afraid of the carrots! Yes, a whole pound of them sounds like a lot, but they add tons of flavor.
Preheat oven to 325° F. Lightly grease three 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Line bottom of pans with waxed paper. Lightly grease waxed paper. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and vegetable oil in bowl until combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg into sugar and oil mixture. Stir in carrots, chopped pecans and raisins.
Pour batter into prepared pans, dividing equally. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean and cakes begin to pull away from sides of pans, about 45 minutes. Cool in pans on racks 15 minutes. Turn out cakes onto racks and cool completely. (Can be made one day ahead. Wrap tightly in plastic and store at room temperature.)
Using electric mixer, beat all ingredients in medium bowl until smooth and creamy.
Place one cake layer on platter. Spread with 3/4 cup frosting. Top with another cake layer. Spread with 3/4 cup frosting. Top with remaining cake layer. Using icing spatula, spread remaining frosting in decorative swirls over sides and top of cake. (Can be prepared two days ahead; cover with cake dome and refrigerate.)