First make the filling: In a saucepan, blend sugar, flour and salt. Gradually stir in cream; add butter. Cook and stir over low heat until butter is melted. Simmer 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown; stir occasionally. Cool down until lukewarm. Stir in nuts and vanilla extract. Let cool completely. Refrigerate overnight. If too thick to spread, bring to room temperature before using.
Preheat oven to 350°. To make cake, grease and flour a 10-inch tube cake pan. In a large bowl, whisk together corn oil and sugar. Sift together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Sift half the dry ingredient mixture into oil mixture, blend. Alternately sift in rest of the dry ingredients, while adding eggs, one at a time. Combine well. Add carrots, raisins and pecans. Pour into prepared tube pan. Bake 70 minutes. Cool upright in pan, or on a cooling rack. If not using cake that day, remove from pan, wrap well in plastic wrap and store at room temperature. To make frosting, cream butter well. Add cream cheese, beat until blended. Sift in sugar and add vanilla extract. If too soft to spread, chill a while. If not using immediately, refrigerate and bring to a spreadable temperature before using. Preheat oven to 300°. To assemble, spread coconut on a baking sheet; bake for 10-15 minutes, until colors slightly. Toss coconut occasionally so it browns evenly. Cool completely. Have filling and frosting ready at spreadable consistency. Loosen cake from its pan and invert onto serving plate. With a long serrated knife, carefully split cake into 3 horizontal layers. Spread filling between layers. Restack layers. Spread frosting over top and sides. Pat toasted coconut onto sides of cake. If desired, reserve 1/2 cup frosting. Color 1/4 cup with orange food coloring and 1/4 cup with green. Decorate top of cake with frosting to resemble little carrots; use 1/16-inch wide pastry tube to pipe frosting. Serve cake at room temperature.
Patsy Schmuki of Navarre, Ohio, sent Pecan-Filled Carrot Cake. Thanks for sharing Patsy! It looks delicious!