Hello, shwmae & welcome to The Marmalade Teapot! I suppose I should introduce myself… well, I’m Katie. Baker, technophobe & first time blogger. I make way too many a cake & bread so I thought I’d share my passion & ever growing collection of recipes with whoever wants them, starting with my favourite, carrot cake. Disclaimer – Technology is not my forte, but like baking, I’m hoping to learn & get to grips with this. My photo’s may be terrible to start with, my language & grammar appalling, but the cake… the cake is good at least.
I’m playing it somewhat safe for this first post as I bring you my favourite & most baked cake in my collection, carrot cake. This was one of the very first cake I ever attempted to bake, it did not go well however (put it down to being impatient & inexperienced at this point). I’d attempted to bake my cake in one large tin instead of two sandwich tins & failed to take out the excess liquid from my carrots.
After about an hour, my sad orange mixture was still a type of carrot goo, so I ended up leaving this in the oven for most of what became a rather disappointing Sunday afternoon until it resembled something a bit more cake like.What I had actually made was some form of carrot pancake. It was dense, rubbery, difficult to swallow & evoked streams of tears (denial had well & truly set in). Luckily, those days are now far behind me & I’ve baked far too many different recipes & versions for carrot cake than I care to think about. My own recipe has been tried, tasted & tweaked to death in my mission to perfect my favourite cake (looking back, perhaps it was more the sheer determination to overcome the pancake incident).
This recipe is definitely a crowd pleaser, it’s my go to cake whenever I need to quickly knock something up for someone or bring a cake along to anything. It’s well balanced in flavour, spiced without being overpowering & sweet but still retaining a savoury edge. The texture is light & moist, one that crumbles softly at the touch of a fork. Walnuts add a nice little contrasting crunch (I deny wholeheartedly that sultanas have any place in carrot cake but throw some in if you prefer). A smooth, sweetened & spiced, cream cheese frosting helps to meld everything together to sheer carrot cake perfection. But I’ll let you be the judge of that, just be sure to use the right size tins to avoid the heartache of carrot goo.
(makes one 18cm layer cake)
- 225g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 tsp mixed spice
- 175g light muscovado sugar
- 200g grated carrot (about 4-5 carrots)
- Zest of 1 orange
- 2 eggs
- 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
- Begin by peeling the carrots & then use a fine grater to grate them
- Remove the excess juices from the carrots by squeezing handfulls of the grated carrot with your hands to remove the juices or you can wrap the grated carrot in a tea towel & squeeze them out through the towel
- In large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, mixed spice & sugar
- Next, add the carrots to the bowl & toss them through the dry ingredients to coat them & break up any clumps
- Make a small well in the middle of the bowl & add in the eggs & oil
- Use a spoon or a hand mixer to mix everything together until there are no more pockets of dry flour anywhere in the bowl
- Add the walnuts to the bowl & fold these through until evenly distributed throughout the mix
- Divide the mixture between three 18cm sandwich tins, greased & lined with baking parchment
- Bake the cakes at 180°C for 20-25 minutes until they have turned golden in colour & skewer poked into the middle of the cakes comes out cleanly with no mix attached
- Leave the cakes to cool in their tins for 10 minutes before removing & placing on a cooling rack to fully cool
- To make the frosting, add the butter to a large bowl & beat to soften
- Add the cream cheese to the bowl & beat together until smooth
- Next, add the vanilla & cinnamon & stir these through
- Add 200g (half) of the icing sugar & slowly beat together using a spoon or handheld mixer
- Add the remaining 200g of icing sugar & beat again until the frosting is smooth & thick
- Chill the frosting in the fridge until needed
- Once the cakes are cool, use a spatula to spread two thirds of the frosting on top of each cake layer before sandwiching them on top of each other
- Use the remaining frosting to cover the sides of the cake, using a palette knife to smooth the sides & top of the cake before decorating (I like to pop any leftover frosting into a piping bag & use this to decorate on top)
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!