We went out for a coffee yesterday, just to a local chain for a quick refreshment before heading to the cinema (The King’s Speech, highly recommended). N had a piece of the establishment’s carrot cake, and while it was perfectly serviceable, we knew that a cake that we had made last year had been much better. So, with the incentive of having visitors over for tea today, I got the scales out. Besides, carrot cake counts as one of your five a day doesn’t it?
The recipe originally came from a magazine a number of years ago, but as with anything that I make, recipes get adapted based on the contents of my cupboards.
- 100g Demerara sugar
- 75g dark muscovado sugar
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 175ml sunflower oil (or rapeseed oil)
- 150g grated carrot
- 100g dried fruit (raisins, peel etc)
- Grated zest of two oranges
- 180g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 180oc/Gas mark 4.
Mix the sugars, eggs and oil in a bowl. Add the grated carrot, dried fruit, and orange peel and give it a good mix. Sieve in the flour, bicarbonate, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix all together. It’s quite a runny mixture (makes for nice moist cake!). Pour into a greased tin (9″/23cm diameter), and bung it into the oven for 45-50 minutes.
When it comes out, leave it to cool down and while it is, make some icing. This is another reason why I prefer homemade to shop-bought, as I’m not a huge fan of the mounds of buttercream icing that they usually pile onto carrot cake. This version is much simpler (and in my opinion tastier): take the juice of the two oranges that you grated earlier and mix with enough icing sugar to give you a thick but still runny consistency, and then pour it all over the cake.
I then decorated the whole thing with walnuts… I initially planned to add them to the cake mix itself, but forget about them in my rush to get it in the oven on time.
And that’s it, done. Possibly one of the simplest cakes to make, and very very tasty.