I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the best kind of baking is baking cakes I don’t like. You get all the pleasure of producing something beautiful without any of the associated calories! This is one of my favourite recipes, I’ve made it a few times and the feedback I get on it is always phenomenal – it’s a pretty easy bake too so if you need a good cake last minute this carrot cake recipe is the one for you!
I’m afraid I didn’t take any pictures during the baking process but the instructions are fairly simple and I’ve included a couple of notes on things to look out for. If you find anything tricky just send me a comment and I’ll do my best to help!
300g light brown soft sugar
300ml vegetable oil
300g plain flours
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp anilla essence
3 large or 4 medium carrots (peeled)
For the cream cheese frosting:
75g unsalted butter
190g cream cheese
425g icing sugar
3 x 20cm sandwich tins
1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C. Grease the sandwich tins and line with a circle of greaseproof paper at the bottom and grease this too. (I use Wilton Cake Release – I love that stuff!).
2. Beat the eggs and add them into a large bowl with the sugar and oil, by hand or with an electric mixer and paddle attachment beat until thoroughly combined.
3. Combine the dry ingredients in another bowl and add in thirds to the wet mixture, mixing slowly to fully combine between each addition.
4. Grate the carrots (I use a food processor to do this) and add to the cake mixture – give it a few seconds of mixing with the paddle until it looks reasonably well dispersed.
5. Evenly spoon the mixture between the three sandwich tins.
6. Cook for 25 minutes – check the cakes after 15 minutes and then at 5 minute intervals as every oven is different (mine is really rubbish so always takes longer to cook things). They’re done once a skewer comes out clean from the centre of the cake.
7. Stand for a couple of minutes in the tins and then turn out onto wire racks to cool.
At this point you can either decorate once they’ve cooled down or wrap them in cling film and put them in the fridge for a day or two.
8. In the mixer bowl beat the butter until it’s pale and creamy with a wooden spoon.
9. Add a third of the cream cheese to the butter and, by hand, beat together thoroughly.
10. Now add the rest of the cheese and beat with the paddle mixer until thoroughly combined.
11. Add a third of the icing sugar and mix slowly until combined. At this point the mix goes quite runny, this isn’t anything to worry about as it will firm up once all the sugar has been added.
12. Add half of the remaining icing sugar and mix in and then add the rest and mix again. The cream cheese frosting should now be pale and smooth.
Just realised that I didn’t take any pictures of the inside of the cake! I made two carrot cakes on the same day though from this recipe so here’s a shot of the other one! I pushed holes into the top of the cake with the end of a wooden spoon on this one and inserted the carrots into the holes, leaving one next to an empty hole as if it had just been freshly pulled!
Add a smear of the cream cheese frosting to the cake board and place the first sandwich onto it – this will stop the cake from slipping. Now layer up the cake with a sandwich of frosting in between each layer, use the remainining icing to cover the outside of the cake. You can smear this on or pipe it if you’d prefer.
I made some orange sugarpaste carrots (I coloured white sugarpaste with Wilton Golden Yellow and Rose Red paste for the colours) for the top of the cake by rolling fat cones and then using a cocktail stick to press in three evenly spaced horizontal lines across the body of the carrot.
I pierced the top of the carrot with a cocktail stick and rolled some green sugarpaste into thin tendrils and inserted these into the hole for stalks. You could also use crushed walnuts to create the effect of soil on the top of the cake, or sprinkle some cinnamon but I quite like it as it is.
Like I say, this one’s always a winner and I’ve had special requests to make it for friends’ birthdays. One of the latest comments was “one of the best cakes I’ve ever had!” – I can live with that 😉