You can’t beat a good moist carrot cake. I like to tell myself that a slice counts as “one of my five a day”, but whether that’s true or not, one thing’s for sure, and that is that a LOT of carrot goes into one. By the time I’d finished preparations for this cake, the kitchen looked as though an orange bomb had exploded – there was grated carrot everywhere! I clearly haven’t perfected the art of carrot grating, but nevertheless this delicious cake turned out really well.
The recipe I’m using comes from The Great British Bake Off Everyday cookbook, which my in-laws gave me for Christmas. The recipes are described on the cover as “foolproof”, which I think they must be – I managed it, after all!
I decided to make a simplified version of this cake, leaving off the drizzle syrup and candied peel and going for a plain icing rather than one flavoured with homemade orange curd (who actually has time for that?). There’s a big list of ingredients even for the main cake:
– 4 large free-range eggs, at room temperature
– 175ml light olive oil
– 115g light muscovado sugar
– 115g dark muscovado sugar
– 225g plain flour
– 2.5 teaspoons baking powder
– 1/2 teaspoons grated nutmeg
– 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
– 375g carrots, coarsely grated
– 75g walnut pieces (I omitted these)
– 75g dessicated coconut
– 100g raisins (I also omitted these)
– Finely grated zest of a large navel orange (I forgot this)
For the icing
– 135g unsalted butter
– 200g full-fat cream cheese
– 115g icing sugar
– 4 tablespoons orange curd (I omitted this)
Here are most of my ingredients laid out in advance (always my first step when making any recipe!).
Let’s just take a moment to appreciate my new nutmeg grater. It was a birthday present from my grandparents and Grandad described it as “the Rolls-Royce of nutmeg graters”!
Once you’ve got all your ingredients ready, start by lining the tins. I greased them with Flora first and then lined the base with baking paper. You can also preheat the oven at this stage, to 180 degrees.
Put the eggs, sugars and olive oil into a bowl and mix together until frothy.
Sift in the flour, baking powder and spices and gently fold them into the mixture.
Add the carrot and dessicated coconut and fold that in. (Add walnuts, raisins and zest at this stage too, if you’re including them).
Spoon the mixture equally into two tins, smooth the surface and put them in the oven for 30-35 minutes.
A skewer inserted into the centre of each cake should come out clean when the cake is done. Cool on a wire rack. Your kitchen will be smelling incredible by this stage!
While the cake is in the oven, make the icing by mixing the butter, cream cheese and icing sugar (and optional orange curd) together. Put it in the fridge so that the mixture becomes a bit firmer. Once the cake has cooled and the icing set a bit, assemble the cake with a layer of icing in the middle and plenty on top.