1. Butter or Pam, for pans
2. 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
3. Parchment paper rounds for 9 in round pans
4. 2 cups sugar
5. 2 teaspoons baking soda
6. 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
7. 1 teaspoon salt
8. 4 eggs
9. 1 1/3 cups vegetable oil (Emeril uses 3 sticks unsalted butter instead)
10. 1 t vanilla
11. 3 cups grated carrots
12. 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, optional
1. 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
2. 1 stick salted butter, room temperature
3. 1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
4. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5. 1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) round pans. Line bottom of the pans with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add eggs and vegetable oil. Using a hand or stand mixer, blend until combined. Add carrots and pecans, if using. (To grate carrots, I used a Cuisinart and grated first. Then I returned the grated carrots to the bowl and cut them again with the regular blade. This made a very fine grated carrot. I used almost an entire bag of carrots to make 3 cups.)
Pour batter evenly into the 3 pans. Bake for approximately 30-35 minutes, check for doneness with a toothpick. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Remove from pans, place on waxed paper and allow to cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting:
Add all ingredients, except nuts, into a medium bowl and beat until fluffy using a hand or stand mixer. Stir in the nuts, if using. Spread frosting on top of each cake layer. Stack the cakes on a serving plate, frost the sides and serve.