Carrot Raisin Cake with Irish Cream Frosting

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
4 large eggs
2 1/2 cups finely grated carrot
1/2 cup raisins
2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
1/4 cup fresh orange juice

For the frosting
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup Irish cream liqueur or heavy cream

confectioners' sugar for sifting over the cake

In a bowl combine well the flour, the baking powder, the salt, the cinnamon, the nutmeg, and the allspice. In another bowl with an electric mixer cream the butter with the brown sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, and beat the mixture until it is smooth. Add the carrot, the raisins, and the zest and combine the mixture well. Stir in the flour mixture alternately with the orange juice in 2 batches and stir the batter until it is combined well. Divide the batter between 2 buttered and floured 8-inch round cake pans, spreading it evenly, and bake the layers in the middle of a preheated 350°F. oven for 40 to 45 minutes or less, or until a tester comes out clean and the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pans. Let the layers cool in the pans for 20 minutes, invert them onto racks, and let them cool completely. The cake layers may be made 1 day in advance and kept, wrapped well, at room temperature.

Invert one of the cake layers onto a plate, spread one third of the frosting on top, and top it with the second layer. Spread three fourths of the remaining frosting on the side of the cake decoratively and reserve the remaining frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Put a paper doily on top of the cake, sift the confectioners' sugar over it, and remove the doily carefully. Pipe the reserved frosting decoratively around the edge of the cake.

Make the frosting:
In a bowl with an electric mixer cream the butter until it is smooth, beat in the confectioners' sugar gradually, and beat in the salt and the Irish cream. Beat the frosting until it is light and fluffy.

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