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To me carrot cake has always brought back images of 19th century England or early 20th century USA. It evokes images of Jane Austen’s or Henry James society ladies, sitting down to take cake with their tea. The trick to baking any cake is first and foremost making sure your scales are accurate and using them every time you bake. Do not approximate otherwise your cake may not come out as expected. To make sure the cake is moist do not grate the carrots too large, they should be grated finely to add texture in the cake. Go heavy handed on the spices, as they are supposed to be the highlight of the cake. Frost only when the cake has completely cooled down so that the icing doesn’t melt. If you do all this then voila! You will have the perfect homemade carrot cake.

 

Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 175g light muscovado sugar
  • 175ml sunflower oil
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 140g grated carrot
  •  (about 3 medium)
  • 100g raisins
  • grated zest of 1 large orange
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp grated nutmeg (freshly grated will give you the best flavor)

For the frosting

  • 350g icing sugar
  • 4 tbsp orange juice

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180oC/Gas 4. Oil and line the base and sides of an 9cm round cake tin with baking paper.
  2. Put the sugar, pour in the oil and add the eggs into a largemixing bowl. Lightly mix with a wooden spoon. Stir in the grated carrots, raisins and orange rind.
  3. Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices, then sift into the bowl. Lightly mix all the ingredients and stop mixing when everything has been evenly covered. The mixture will be fairly soft and almost runny.
  4. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 40- 45 minutes, until it feels firm and springy when you press it in the centre. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn it out, peel off the paper and cool on a wire rack.
  5. Beat together the frosting ingredients in a small bowl until smooth – you want the icing about as runny as single cream.
  6. Set the cake on a serving plate, cut into 2 or 3 and add frosting inside and outside the cake.

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