I ended up with a lot of carrots that needed using up. As usual, I look for a recipe to use them up. I don’t usually make carrot cake, as prefer making butternut squash cake (of which i will have to put the recipe up). I fancied a change and the challenge. I haven’t really had good carrot cake before. I usually find them underwhelming and disappointing. Either insipidly dry or horribly dense and wet.
I decided on Angela Nilson’s recipe for Carrot Cake as wanted one that used a lot of carrots and didn’t include nuts. This recipe uses almost 300g of carrots and is nut-free. I do like nuts (such as walnuts commonly used in carrot cake) but have never really enjoyed them in carrot cakes.
For this recipe, I didn’t have any wholemeal flour so used plain flour. The carrot cake turned out fine with this substitution. I also didn’t have any quark for the accompanying topping, so used this Cream cheese frosting recipe instead. The frosting is best made on the day the cake will be eaten as it doesn’t keep well at room temperature. It’s fine however kept in the fridge. You could make the cake the day before and then the frosting on the day. I’m no expert to cream cheese frosting. So am open to any recommended recipes, as I think this recipe, although decent, could be improved.
Anyways, Leigh thinks this could be (possibly) the best cake that I have made so far! I am undecided between this carrot cake and my courgette cake as to which one is top. It probably depends on my mood, like Leigh, he rates the carrot cake for its’ dark flavour. I also do love my courgette cake for its’ light flavour.
I love how moist and light this carrot cake is. For me the texture and taste is spot on. Carrot cakes should be more like this.
For the cake
Zest of an orange
3 tbsp of the juice of an orange
125ml rapeseed oil
115g plain flour
115g self-raising flour
1 tsp plus a pinch of baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 heaped tsp ground cinnamon
140g dark muscovado sugar
280g finely grated carrots
For the frosting
115g (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
115g (4 ounces) cream cheese, softened
250g (2 cups) icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Heat oven to 160°C/fan 140°C.Grease and line a deep 20cm square cake tin.
2. Finely grate the zest from the orange and juice the orange.
Pour the juice over the raisins in a bowl, stir in zest, then leave to soak while you make the cake.
3. Sieve and mix the flours with baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon.
3. Separate one of the eggs.
Put the white in a small bowl and the yolk in a large one.
Break the remaining whole egg in with the yolk, then tip in the sugar.
Whisk together for 1-2 mins until thick and foamy.
Slowly pour in the oil and continue to whisk on a low speed until well mixed.
4. Tip in the flour mix, half at a time, and gently stir it into the egg mixture.
The mix will be quite stiff.
Put the extra pinch of baking powder in with the egg white and whisk to soft peaks.
5. Fold the carrot, raisins (and any liquid) into the flour mixture.
Gently fold in the whisked egg white, then pour into the tin.
Jiggle the tin to level the mixture.
6. Bake for 1 hr until risen and firm
or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
7. Leave to cool in the tin 5 mins, turn out onto a wire rack, peel off the paper, then leave until cold.
8. To make the frosting, beat together the butter and cream cheese.
Add the icing sugar a cup at a time or half the amount at a time.
Beat until smooth and creamy.
Beat in the vanilla extract
9. Swirl the frosting over the cake and cut into 16 squares.
This cake is even better if left well wrapped for a day or two before icing and eating.
Will keep up to 5 days un-iced in an airtight tin, or in the fridge if iced.