Welcome, with cake.
Hello & Welcome! Please be kind to this baker, technology is not my forte but, like baking, I will learn.
Over time I hope you will find tasty & inspirational recipes, like many a blog has done for me.
Playing it safe for my first recipe post I bring you *drumroll my favourite carrot cake.
Always a crowd pleaser this one. Moist but light, with a texture that simply crumbles softly at the touch a fork.
One of the very first cakes I attempted to make, sounding simple enough at the time, being an all-in-one method. My method however did not pay off. I attempted to bake my cake instead of in two sandwich tins, in one large, deep tin. After an hour in the oven I ended up with some sort of carrot goo. Leaving it in the oven for most of what became a disappointing Sunday afternoon, until it resembled something a bit more cake like. What I had made was some form of carrot pancake. Sure, it tasted like carrot cake but it was dense & very hard to bring myself to swallow if it not for my tears of denial streaming down my face.
Luckily, those days are far behind me. I have since tried, tasted & tweaked many a recipe to bring my carrot cake up to scratch. Personally, I find that sultanas have no place in a carrot cake & are much better reserved for a good old fruit cake. Walnuts & cream cheese frosting however, simply make a carrot cake what it is, something special (that you can just about convince yourself is somewhat healthy). So please, if this your first carrot cake, use sandwich tins to avoid the heartache of carrot goo.
(makes one 20cm cake)
- 225g self-raising flour
- 200g grated carrot (about 4-5)
- 1 tsb baking powder
- 175g light muscovado sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3 tsp mixed spice
- zest of 1 orange
- 170ml rapeseed oil
- 50g walnuts, roughly chopped or halved
For the filling & frosting:
- 175g butter
- 200g cream cheese
- 400g icing sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Using a fine grater, grate carrots & squeeze out excess juices with your hands or wrap the carrot in an old tea towel & use this to squeeze out all of the juice
- Add all of the ingredients except the walnuts to a large bowl
- Mix with a hand mixer until thoroughly combined
- Add the walnuts to the mixture & fold these through until evenly distributed
- Divide the mixture between x3 20cm sandwich tins, greased & lined with baking parchment
- Bake at 180°C for 25 minutes until cake springs back when pressed & skewer poked into the middle of the cakes comes out clean
- Leave the cakes to cool in their tins for 10 minutes before removing & allowing to cool fully on a cooling rack
- To make the frosting, beat together the butter & cream cheese until smooth
- Stir through the vanilla & cinnamon
- Add 200g of the icing sugar & slowly beat the frosting
- Add the remaining 200g of icing sugar & beat until smooth & thick
- Chill the frosting in the freezer until needed
- Use a spatula to sandwich together the cakes with half of the frosting
- Use the remaining half of frosting to cover the cakes before decorating
I urge you to try this cake as I am rather fond of this recipe, having made it for many friends & family.
If you would prefer to make this as a traybake then simply put it in the oven for 1 hour – 1 hour, 10 minutes & top generously with frosting!
Personally, I’m not one for fancy decoration on cakes unless one is requested. I believe that when you look at a cake, you should want to eat it, not be in awe of it decorative flair, too afraid to disturb it’s beauty by slicing into it. For a carrot cake, I simply like to chop up some walnuts & sprinkle them around the edge of the cake, it’s simple but effective decoration. By all means though, go crazy, sculpting your cream cheese frosting, adding little fondant carrots, colour your frosting a neon orange, whatever tickles your fancy.