Carrot cake has been on my to-bake list for quite a long time, but I think what’s put me off making it until now is the absolutely insane amount of recipes and variations there are for it – how on earth are you meant to know what’s right?!
Eventually, I decided I couldn’t put it off any longer, and picked this recipe to base mine on.
I left out the nuts as the pony isn’t really a fan, used gluten free flour and a little extra liquid, baked it in two tins as I didn’t have one with high enough sides to fit it all in and used a different icing (so as per usual, not doing a brilliant job of following the recipe…)
I’m still not really sure what a definitive carrot cake should be, but this one was pretty damn delicious, and I think of all the cakes I’ve taken in to work this one disappeared the fastest!
I wouldn’t hesitate to make it again – maybe with walnuts of pecans if I can sneak them past the pony, and maybe a plain cream cheese icing so my orange-alergic next door neighbour can try a slice too…
For any other carrot cake virgins out there, trust me – this recipe is the place to start!
Carrot cake with orange cream cheese icing (recipe adapted from Breakfast By The Sea)
- 300g sugar
- 300ml sunflower oil
- 3 eggs
- 1tbsp milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 300g carrots, finely grated
- 300g plain flour (GF or normal)
- 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1tsp baking powder (check to make sure it’s GF)
- 1tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg,
- pinch of salt
- handful of sultanas (I didn’t bother weighing)
For the icing:
- 100g butter
- 200g cream cheese
- 350g icing sugar
- zest of an orange
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the sugar, oil, eggs, milk and vanilla until well mixed and no lumps remain, then mix in the grated carrots. Sift in all the remaining dry ingredients, and fold in with the sultanas until there are no more streaks of flour. Pour into 2 greased and lined 8″ cake tins (it will be very liquid, that’s ok) and bake at 170 degrees for about an hour, or until risen, browned, and pulling away from the sides.
While the cake is cooling, make the icing. Beat the butter to soften, then add in half the cream cheese, orange zest and the icing sugar. Beat with an electric mixer until no lumps remain, which will take a few minutes. Finally, quickly beat in the rest of the cream cheese, then leave in the fridge to chill. Note – this made way too much icing, so in future I’d probably make 2/3 this amount.
Level the cakes if necessary, then spread half the icing on top of one layer of the cake. Top with the second cake, the spread the rest of the icing on top. Cut into slices and serve!