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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare three 8" cake pans. Add a parchment round to the bottom of each pan using a dob of butter to hold in place then butter and flour the sides.
Beat the sugar, oil, eggs, sour cream, apple sauce, and vanilla together in a large bowl.
In another bowl, sift together dry ingredients and whisk together.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix together until just combined and scrape the bowl down.
Toss the toasted pecans with 1 tablespoon of the dry mixture.
Fold the carrots and pecans into the batter.
Divide the batter evenly into a three buttered 8" pans lined with parchment paper.
Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow the layers to cool completely in the pan. Set over a wire rack.
Cream the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix in the vanilla until well combined, scrape the bowl down then add the confectioners sugar and mix until smooth.
Use a spatula to fold in the powdered sugar into the butter a cup at a time until it forms a thick pipable paste. Divide into two batches, a larger one will be colored orange the smaller will be green.
Pipe a thick layer of the cream cheese frosting onto the first cooled layer, add the second then repeat the process until the cake is built. Because cream cheese frosting tends to be soft it's best to chill the cake for a bit so it stabilizes.
Cover the cake in cream cheese frosting then smooth the side and top.
Press the chopped toasted pecans onto the lower part of the side.
Us a 1a (large round) tip to pipe the carrots on top then use a grass tip to pipe the green tops.