1/2 cup vegetable oil (canola, safflower, sunflower)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cream Cheese Icing:
8 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup soft butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 tablespoons orange juice, if needed
For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour (or line with parchment) two 9″ round cake pans or one 13″ x 9″ pan.
Combine carrots, water, sugar, oil, eggs in a large mixing bowl and combine well.
Whisk dry ingredients together and add to wet mixture.
Pour into pan(s). Bake 25 minutes for 9″ pans and 45 minutes for 13 x 9″ pan, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow to cool in pans on wire racks then invert to remove from pans.
Make icing while cake bakes: Cream cold cream cheese and soft butter together on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy. Add vanilla, zest, maple syrup and combine. Sift in powdered sugar a little at a time until it’s all combined and smooth. Add a teaspoon of orange juice if necessary to make it come together. If the icing seems a little soft, just let it sit for a few minutes and it will thicken up. Refrigerate until ready to ice.