I spent most of this weekend relaxing in the flat. I had a big spring clean and then decided to mess up the kitchen with some baking. I love carrot cake and after trying a particularly yummy one on holiday last week decided to try my hand at baking my own. I also had bought an unnecessarily huge bag of carrots so it was a nice way of using them up!
The recipe I used is below, along with some pointers. This is a good one if you don’t have an electric mixer as it all the ingredients are simply whisked/stirred together. Also I’ve called it a carrot cake but I’ve made mine in a loaf tin…sorry about that. It is easier though as there aren’t two sections to sandwich together.
300g grated carrots (weigh after grating)
140ml vegetable oil
200g soft light brown sugar
2 medium eggs
180g self-raising flour
1/2tsp baking powder
1.tsp mixed spice
For Icing: 50g cream cheese, 100g icing sugar
Big mixing bowl (pourable an advantage)
Whisk (fork would do)
Spoon (metal or wooden)
Sieve (probably optional, I didn’t use one and nothing bad happened)
Wooden skewer to test
I get everything out and prepared first. I lined my loaf tin with baking paper leaving some to come up over the edges so the cake could be easily removed. Pre-heat the oven to 150c or a little lower at 130c if you have a fan oven. For baking I normally prefer to use a traditional oven rather than fan assisted but you will probably know what works best for you.
Crack the eggs into the bowl and whisk to separate them. Whisk in the oil, sugar, carrots and walnuts. I went in that order but it didn’t really matter.
Add in the flour (sieving if you have one), mixed spice, cinnamon and baking powder. Use the spoon to mix well, ensuring all ingredients are combined.
Pour the mixture into your loaf tin. It’s quite a heavy mixture so mine settled well but I gave the tin a little bang on the counter to ensure there were no trapped air bubbles.
Pop into the oven. I baked mine on a middle shelf. It should take between 1hr and 1hr 20minutes depending on the mixture, your oven and your tin. Test by piercing with your wooden skewer, if it comes out clean then it is baked all the way through.
Remove from oven and leave to cool for around 5-10 minutes. Remove from tin and peel off the baking paper. Place on a wire rack to completely cool.
Icing is optional but definitely tastes amazing. I made a cream cheese icing with 50g cream cheese and 100g icing sugar beaten together. This was ok and really quick to make, but definitely not the best I’ve tasted. After having a scout about most cream cheese recipes have a little butter in them too. Once I’ve tested one I’ll post it and let you know, or if you have a fail-safe recipe let me know in the comments.
Tips & Suggestions
When you are grating the carrots if possible wear (clean) rubber or disposable gloves. If you don’t then you, like me, will end up with orange stained fingers. This was my mum’s top tip and I really should have listened to her!
If you don’t like walnuts or have an allergy you can leave them out or switch for something else. I think raisins or pecan nuts would work well.
You can add more cinnamon or mixed spice according to taste. The second time I made this I added 1.5tsps of each which gave it a little more of a kick.
Store in an air tight container. Mine was gone after 4 days but on day 4 it still tasted really fresh and hadn’t dried out at all.