1½cupschopped dried fruit (apricots and cherries or any other dried fruits you may have)
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
38-ounce blocks (678 g)cream cheese, softened
2sticks (½ lb or 226 g)butter, softened
4cups (about 1 lb or 453 g)powdered sugar, sifted
1tbsp (about half of a medium orange)freshly squeezed orange juice
¼ to ½package eachgreen and orange colored white chocolate flavored melting wafers (Melt N Mold is the brand I used, but any brand without gluten will work fine--Wilton is processed in a facility that processes wheat).
FOR THE CAKE:
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease and flour 3 8-inch round cake pans and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients (flour blend, baking powder, baking soda, and spices). Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugars, oil, and vanilla until smooth. Gently stir in the flour mixture.
Add the carrots, dried fruits, and coconut and stir until well combined.
Divide the batter between the 3 cake pans and bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched or a toothpick comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and place cakes in the pans on wire racks to cool for about 15 minutes before removing from the pans to cool completely.
FOR THE FROSTING:
In the bowl of a stand mixer using the whisk attachment, whisk the cream cheese until very smooth. Add the butter and whisk until the two are well combined and smooth.
With the mixer on low, slowly add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and orange juice. Increase the speed to medium high and whisk for about 5 minutes or until completely smooth and there are no lumps.
Leave the whisk in the bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Allow the frosting to chill for at least one hour or up to one day (to stiffen it up to make it easier to spread).
When ready to frost the cake, remove the bowl of frosting from the refrigerator and place it back on the stand mixer. Whisk it again until smooth, but stiff. Fill layers with about one cup each of frosting and frost the top and outsides of the cake with the remaining frosting.
FOR THE BRUSH STROKES:
Melt colored white chocolate as directed on package. Place dollops about the size of silver dollars 3 inches apart on waxed paper or parchment paper-lined baking sheets. With the back of a spoon, drag the spoon through the white chocolate to elongate and create a brush stoke effect.
Allow the brush strokes to fully dry before removing and decorating cake as desired.
Serve cake cold or at room temperature, but store cake in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.