CARROT CAKE

I’ve always wanted to try baking a carrot cake and thought, since the weather’s starting to turn a bit autumnal, that now would be the perfect time. I love the depth of flavours in this cake; it’s fruity, nutty and spicy, and the cream cheese frosting is to die for. I was expecting a few mishaps along the way considering this was my first attempt, but it was surprisingly straight forward and everyone said how much they enjoyed it. Consider this a tried and tested recipe for carrot cake!

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Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 200g plain flour
  • 3 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 3 medium-sized carrots, grated
  • 225g demerara sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 225ml oil (I used rapeseed oil)
  • 100g sultanas
  • 125g chopped pecans
  • Zest of 1 orange

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 200g cream cheese
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tbsp pistachios, chopped (to decorate)

Makes approximately 15 cakes

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Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 170°C / 150°C fan / Gas mark 3
  2. Grease and line a traybake tin (approximately 6″ x 10″, with a depth of at least 1″)
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg
  4. Stir in the grated carrot
  5. In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar and eggs until smooth
  6. Gradually whisk in the oil until evenly blended
  7. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until combined
  8. Add in the sultanas, pecans and orange zest
  9. Pour into the baking tray and cook for approximately 40 mins, until it just starts to brown and is springy to touch
  10. Once the cake has cooled slightly, lift it out of the tray onto a wire cooling rack and leave to cool completely
  11. To make the cream cheese frosting, mix together the cream cheese, icing sugar, vanilla extract and orange juice in a bowl (you only need a subtle hint of vanilla and orange, so add tiny drops to start with and keep tasting the mixture until it’s perfect!)
  12. Spread the frosting onto the cake using the back of a spoon or a palette knife
  13. Finish by sprinkling over the chopped pistachios!

Note: As the frosting contains cream cheese, the cake will need to be stored in the fridge. It can be kept for up to 10 days.

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