Best Carrot Cake Recipe
Did you know that every day is a National Day for something? From World Ukulele day to International Dot Day (which happens to fall on my birthday and explains a lot) there’s a special day to cover most “weird, wonderful and silly goings on” around the planet according to the team at daysoftheyear.com. I’m not sure who thought up National Carrot Cake day or how the 3rd February became its special day, but I’d like to heartily thank that person. Added to that, the 4th April is International Carrot Day, as if we needed two more excuses to bake a cake, look no further. To celebrate a day dedicated to vegetable cakes, I’m sharing my favourite carrot cake recipe with you below.
Great British Bake Off
I adapted the recipe slightly from the original Spiced and Iced Carrot Cake found in the Great British Bake Up Everyday cookbook. I treated myself to this particular baking book having become a fan during the Christmas re-runs of the entire series and tentatively dipped my fingertips into it this week. This carrot cake recipe is the tastiest version I’ve come across and mine only differs from the original in the frosting. Although I was following the recipe carefully, I managed to burn the juice of the only three oranges I had when I was attempting to make the orange curd so instead, I added some orange zest to the cream cheese topping which worked very well in terms of orangy flavouring.
If you’re a fan of carrot cake or are just looking for an excuse to bake, perhaps today is the day. Don’t be put off by the long ingredients list, it’s worth adding them all if you can as it’s the difference between an okay carrot cake and a really sumptuous one.
Carrot Cake Recipe
4 large free range eggs, room temperature
175ml olive oil
115g light muscavado sugar
115g dark muscovado sugar
225g plain flour
2½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
6-7 medium organic carrots, grated (375g)
75g chopped walnuts
75g desiccated coconut
finely grated zest of an orange
For the frosting
135g unsalted butter at room temperature
200g full-fat cream cheese at room temperature
115g icing sugar
Finely chopped zest of a large orange
Walnuts or pecans to decorate
1. Heat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Grease and line two 20.5cm sandwich tins.
2. Whisk the eggs, sugars and olive oil in a food mixer for about four minutes then add the sieved flour, spices and baking powder and gently fold in. Add the coconut, raisins, the grated zest, carrots and walnut and gradually fork in until combined.
3. Spoon the mixture into the cake tins and bake in the middle of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven when the cakes are baked through, tip out of the tins and allow to cool upside down on a wire rack.
4. While the cakes are baking, make the frosting. Put the butter into a mixer and beat thoroughly then add the cream cheese and fully combine. Finally add the icing sugar and orange zest and mix until combined.
5. When the cakes have cooled, place one cake upside down on a serving plate, spread the frosting onto the top then pop the other cake on top. Add another layer of icing to the top of the new cake then decorate with the nuts.
If you want to get more from your cake, I’d recommend cutting it the same way as I cut the gingerbread cake with a glass in the middle. It’s the best method I’ve come across for cutting round cakes.
Are you a fan of cakes with vegetables and spices in them? Another one of our favourites is the courgette cake with lime curd and pistachio that we make every year when there’s a courgette glut in the garden.
Sounds delicious, Dee. I’m just sitting down to my afternoon coffee and I’d love a slice of that cake with it! Might just have to get myself some cream cheese and give this a go.
I’m wondering if you made it June? I might have to make another today… Maybe buying a new food mixer in the sales after Christmas wasn’t such a bright idea 😉
Not yet, Dee. I need to wait until I have a bit of an audience as much as I’d love a sliver, I’d never get through a full cake myself. Always wanted one of those mixers, although I can see how they might be dangerous! Carrots are good for you though, right? 😉
When I made the courgette cake I tried them as buns so I could freeze them and only grab a couple out as we wanted them which worked well. I’d have to agree though, I’d never bake cakes if it weren’t for the fact I have three hungry teens! We treated ourselves to a Kenwood Kmix in the sales after Christmas with cash we’d been given and I’m loving it as have never owned a full size stand mixer. It has pride of place on the countertop and I even use it for mashing potatoes now. It’s also helping me in my pledge that if we want something sweet to eat, we have to make it and not buy something loaded with extra chemicals.
I actually do that with my zucchini buns, too! So handy to just pull out 4 at a time. They defrost in no time if someone calls, too. I love the idea of only eating sweet treats you make. I think when you see the rich ingredients that go into a cake you’re more inclined to eat a modest portion. Plus you have to actually do the work and, most importantly, you avoid all the crap and adulterated sugars in the packaged varieties. A stand mixer is on my “someday” list. I spent a large amount on a MagiMix food processor a few years back and I have never regretted it. Very jealous of your Kmix! Happy cooking! J.