The entire cake can be made and assembled a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator. If making ahead and storing, let the cake sit out at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving.
Recipe inspired by "Orange-Glazed Carrot Cake," Southern Sideboards
*My family enjoys a prominent pecan flavor in carrot cakes, so I generally use 3/4 cup chopped nuts. For a lighter density of nuts, use 1/2 cup.
**This recipe makes enough cream cheese frosting to decoratively pipe the top of the cake, as I've done here. To make rosettes, use a Wilton 1M tip, piping swirls in a circular pattern from the center of the cake, outward.