Rich and dense, but not heavy, this twist on a traditional carrot cake introduces a bright pop of flavor with a layer of sweet-tart orange curd.
Recipe inspired by "Orange-Glazed Carrot Cake," Southern Sideboards
In a small saucepan, whisk together all ingredients except for butter, until combined. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until curd is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 8-9 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter, until melted and smooth.
Transfer curd to a non-reactive bowl, place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming, and refrigerate until well-chilled, at least 3 hours, or overnight.
*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.
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.