Heat oven to 350°. Coat two
13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pans with nonstick
cooking spray. Line pan bottoms with
parchment or wax paper; coat paper with spray.
Prepare cake mix according to package
directions with oil, eggs and 1 1/3 cups
water. Fold in grated carrot. Divide
evenly between prepared pans and spread
level. Bake at 350° for 18 minutes or until
dry to the touch and cakes have pulled
slightly away from edges of pans. Cool in
pans for 10 minutes, then invert onto wire
racks and remove paper.
In a medium bowl, beat
Neufchâtel, 3/4 cup of the cream and
1/4 cup of the sugar until smooth and
fluffy. Beat in vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl, beat remaining
1/4 cup cream and remaining 1 tsp sugar
to medium-stiff peaks.
Cut 16 rounds of cake with a 21/2-inch
cookie cutter. Cut 8 rounds with a 23/4-inch
cutter (keep cuts close together in order
to fit). Place one 21/2-inch round into
bottom of a jar, compressing with fingers
to fit. Spread with 2 tbsp of the cream
cheese filling and 2 tsp of the coarsely
chopped nuts. Repeat layering with a
second 21/2-inch cake layer, 2 tbsp of the
cream cheese and 2 tsp of the nuts. Top
with one 23/4-inch cake layer. Repeat
process in other jars with remaining cake
rounds and most of the remaining cream
cheese filling and nuts. Fold remaining
cream cheese filling (about 1/3 cup) into
whipped cream. Top each jar with 2 tbsp
of the whipped cream mixture and
sprinkle with a few nuts to garnish.