Carrots are naturally sweet and crunchy and there are enough people who won’t go near them, let alone want them in a cake. But centuries ago, they have been used in desserts and cakes due to this sweet quality especially when sugar was not as accessible. Fast forward a few hundred years and carrot cakes were booming in the 1970s because they were seen as a healthy alternative cake, somehow.
When I decided to try and make my first carrot cake, I looked for recipes which were simple enough, used ingredients that were readily available and had good reviews. There was one that caught my eye.
I used a recipe from “Joy of Baking” (link at the end of post) which had an attached video which made the process so much easier. I haven’t used any recipes from this site before but if they all turn out this well then I’ll be having a go at a lot more!
Approximately 25 mins preparation time, 30 minutes baking time and 30 minutes cooling time
- 100g pecans or walnuts
- 340g raw carrots, grated
- 260g all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 0.5 tsp salt
- 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
- 4 large eggs
- 300g granulated white sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 240 ml vegetable oil
- 226g crushed pineapple (drained)
- Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 100g unsalted butter
- 180g icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 340g full fat cream cheese
Step 1: Preheat the oven at 180C or 356F or Gas Mark 4.
Step 2: Beat 4 large eggs until light and thick. To this, add 300g granulated sugar and 2 tsp Vanilla and beat once again.
Step 3: Then add 240ml veg oil gradually and incorporate well.
Step 4: This is an optional step and may sound weird but it really does work well – Add 226g crushed drained pineapple pieces and stir.
Step 5: Now for the dry ingredients: sift together 260 plain flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1.5 tsp baking powder, 0.5 tsp salt and 1.5 tsp cinnamon.
Step 6: Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well.
Step 7: Grate 340g carrots, chop 100g nuts and add this all to the mix, giving it a good stir again. Make sure you leave some of the chopped nuts to decorate the cake at the end
Step 8: Place into 2 separate lined baking tins (about 20 cm in diameter) and bake for 30 mins.
Step 9: Leave to rest for at 30 mins or until cool. While waiting, you can make the cream cheese frosting by combining together the butter (which should be soft), icing sugar, vanilla extract, lemon juice and full fat cheese – until you get a smooth uniform consistency.
Step 10: Once the cake is cooled, apply a layer of icing on top of one of the cakes, then place the other cake on top. Now apply the remaining icing to the top of the this cake. You can decorate the top with some of the chopped nuts left over.
Notes: For simple icing mixture: add 200g icing sugar to 100g butter and mix instead of the cream cheese frosting if you don’t have the ingredients available.
I added 2 crushed chocolate digestive biscuits and sprinkled on top to finish which gave it a lovely look as well as a nice texture.
As I’ve mentioned before, you can leave the pineapple of the recipe but it does really add to the taste and texture of the cake; there isn’t a strong pineapple taste at the end, surprisingly.
Hope it goes well!
https://www.joyofbaking.com/CarrotCake.html – Joy of Baking (Recipe source)