Having spent a small fortune on carrot cake from a well-known store, I figured that it would be much more economical (and rewarding) to make my own. This is not a cake to be baking if you're counting calories though, the ingredients will certainly echo this as you read on! But, it is, without a doubt, one of the nicest cakes that I have had the pleasure of baking and wasn't in our cake tin for very long at all - testament to just how tasty it was! Even my eldest son (who isn't a huge fan of vegetables, so 'carrot' and 'cake' for him just do sit comfortably together) loved it and said that it was delicious - reeeeezulllllltttttttt! I found the recipe on www.allrecipes.co.uk and after reading some of the reviews, I adapted it slightly. The original recipe called for a heeeeuuge amount of sugar and as the icing is incredibly sweet, I decided that it really didn't need that much in the cake. I also added sultanas to my recipe as I like a 'fruity cake' ;) and they add a little sweetness too and I changed the spices a little. Enough now of talking about it, I shall tell you how to make it!
250g self-raising flour
1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spice
200g caster sugar
100g demerara sugar
350ml vegetable oil
350g grated carrots (a tiresome activity!)
120g chopped walnuts
Cream cheese icing:
225g cream cheese (I just used a tub of Philadephia)
450g icing sugar
60g chopped walnuts
1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
See, I told you it wasn't fit for a slimmers' supper…
1) Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4, Grease two 23cm round cake tins.
2) In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cinnamon and sugar. Add the oil and the eggs, mix together until week blended. Stir in the carrots and nuts (remembering to keep 60g for the icing!).
3) Divide the mixture evenly between the two greased tins.
4) Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the middle of the preheated oven. If a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean, then it's cooked! Let cakes cool before removing from the tins.
5) To make the icing, cream together the butter/margarine and cream cheese, then add the sugar and mix well. Add the vanilla extract and stir until it thickens slightly - or cheat and use an electric mixer like I did!
6) Spread just under half of the icing on top of the first cake, then put the second cake on top and add the rest of the icing. Put the remaining walnuts on top to decorate. I'm sure you could spend longer putting the icing on in a fancy way, but I didn't feel this was necessary, and it doesn't make it taste any better!
7) Make a nice cup of tea/coffee and enjoy a slice of your carrot cake!
I hope that you enjoy making this recipe and that your family are as big a fan as mine. Please add a comment to let me know how yours turned out! Soon I'll share my Nana's amazing recipe for Lemon Drizzle cake - it's THE best! Until next time… x