Someone once asked me what my favourite cake flavour was. Appalled, I shot them a look of reproach before declaring that choosing between cakes would be like choosing between children. But if I really did have to chose a favourite cake this recipe would definitely be up there in my top five.
I’ve tried a lot of different carrot cakes. Some were pleasant but uninspiring, maybe they had a weird texture or were too dry, a couple contained strange lumps of unidentifiable fruit and one even lacked icing!!! This one is adapted from ‘The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook’ and is by far the best recipe I have tried. (The cheesecake and brownies in this book are also dreamy; I would really recommend checking it out.) If you still need persuasion, know that my boyfriend ate his own slice of carrot cake and half of mine before I’d even returned from the kitchen with the cups of tea. Yes, it really is that good.
Use two 20cm cake tins for a layer cake or if you’d prefer cup cakes halve the recipe and use a muffin tray to make 12 cakes. Raisins and walnuts can also be added to the batter if wanted.
Ingredients for the cake:
300g soft light brown sugar
300ml sunflower oil
300g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra to decorate
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
300g carrots, grated
Ingredients for the cream cheese butter icing:
450g icing sugar
75g butter, at room temperature
185g cream cheese
Method for the cake:
-Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius.
-With an electronic mixer, combine the sugar, eggs and oil well.
-Slowly sieve the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt and vanilla extract into the mix.
-Then stir in the grated carrots and combine well.
-Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tins then bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the sponge has browned. Don’t overcook, the best carrot cake is super moist.
-Wait until the cake is cool then ice with the cream cheese butter icing.
Method for the icing:
-Beat the icing sugar and butter with an electric mixer. At first use a spoon or cover with a tea towel to prevent the sugar covering everything.
-Add the cream cheese and combine, then mix on a high speed until the icing is light and fluffy.
-Use half the icing for one layer of the cake and then the other for the top. Sprinkle with cinnamon or walnuts as you wish.
This week the photos were taken by my friend, Alex, who has started a website called UniGrub. Go over and have a look!