Carrot cake: A slice of seasonless happiness

By Corrie Heale

Come rain or shine (and I think it’s fair to say we’ve had a lot of both recently) there is always a good time for carrot cake.

Although bursting with vitamins, antioxidants and fibre we all know the healthiest thing about a carrot cake is its name and the minuscule amount of cardio that goes with grating carrots – which frankly is the worst part about making carrot cake.

But there is a reason this sweet vegetable deserves its place in the cake hall of fame and that’s because it’s utterly delicious and worth grating your finger nails for. So why not whip up this seasonless classic and enjoy slice after slice with numerous cups of tea because that is how carrot cake should be gobbled up – by the wedge load. Although I’m pretty sure Bugs Bunny would have a few words to say about that and not all of them so savoury.

Carrot cake loaf

Make 1 loaf / Hands on time 35 mins / Total time 1 hr 45 mins / V

You’ll need: 2 lb loaf tin, electric hand whisk

For the cake:

Juice of 1 orange

45g sultanas

150g carrots, peeled and grated

150g soft brown sugar

80g self-raising flour

80g wholemeal flour

1 tsp bicarbonate soda

1 tsp baking powder

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground mixed spice

1 tsp ground ginger

50g pecans, roughly chopped

Pinch of salt

150ml rapeseed oil

2 eggs

For the icing:

130g cream cheese

30g soft unsalted butter

65g icing sugar

Method

1. In a small saucepan, heat the juice of an orange over a low to medium heat and add the sultanas. Warm through for 10 minutes before putting to one side to cool.

2. Meanwhile, grease the base and sides of a loaf tin with a bit of extra rapeseed oil and line the bottom with baking paper. Put to one side and preheat an oven to 180°C/160°C fan/ 350°F/gas mark 4.

3. Peel and grate the carrot before weighing out the sugar, self-raising flour, wholemeal flour, cinnamon, ginger, mixed spice, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the roughly chopped pecans and give it a good mix before incorporating in the grated carrots using a wooden spoon.

4. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the rapeseed oil and the eggs until combined. Pour into the carrot mixture and mix thoroughly. Spoon into the loaf tin and bake on the middle shelf for 1 hr or until a skewer comes out clean.

5. While the cake is baking, make the cream cheese icing by whisking the butter and the cream cheese together in a bowl with an electric whisk. Fold in the icing sugar with a spoon before whisking again for a couple of minutes. Cover loosely with cling film and refrigerate.

6. Allow the carrot cake to cool completely in the tin before turning out and topping with lashings of cream cheese icing.

7. To store, keep the cake refrigerated for up to 3 days in an airtight container or wrapped in cling film. Ideally, allow the cake to come up to room temperature before serving.

Corrie Heale

Freelance food writer / vegetarian food blogger and recipe writer. corriesrabbitfood.com @corrieheale

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