Adjust the oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 325°F. Spread walnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Prepare 12 mini-loaf pans by brushing them with melted butter.
Turn oven up to 350°F. In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, ground ginger, allspice and cloves together.
In bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat sugar and eggs on medium-high for 10 minutes, until lightened in color. Add vanilla extract and grated gingerroot and mix on medium to combine. Add dry ingredients and oil alternately in 3 batches, mixing on low until just combined.
Fold in carrots, pineapple, walnuts and California golden raisins. Fill a pastry bag with batter (I use a 20-inch pastry bag, but you can use whatever is comfortable for you). Pipe the batter into the prepared mini-loaf pans.
Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes, until lightly browned and springy to the touch. Remove from oven. Allow cooling for about 10 minutes, and then turn cakes out of mini-loaf pans to finish cooling.
In bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar on high speed for about 3 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down sides of the bowl and mix another 2 minutes, until frosting is light and fluffy. (The frosting can be made up to 2 days in advance.) Using a piping bag fitted with a No. 2 star tip, pipe the frosting in a horizontal serpentine design.
To Serve: Divide each cake into 4 servings.
Notes: If you are not assembling the cakes that day, cover the unfrosted cakes tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Bring up to room temperature before frosting.
If the cakes have risen unevenly, carefully slice off higher areas with a serrated knife. Cover cakes with a damp towel to keep from drying out.
- 1/2 Cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted for brushing the pan
- 21/2 Cups unbleached pastry flour or unbleached all purpose flour
- 13/4 Teaspoons baking powder
- 11/4 Teaspoons baking soda
- 13/4 Teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 Teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 Teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 Teaspoon ground allspice
- Pinch of ground cloves
- 11/2 Cups light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 3 extra large eggs
- 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 21/4 Teaspoons grated fresh gingerroot
- 3/4 Cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 21/2 Cups grated peeled carrots
- 1/4 Cup crushed pineapple, well drained
- 1/2 Cup California golden raisins
- 7 Ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 stick (2 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 Cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/4 Cup crème fraiche or sour cream