Now, I know a lot of people would look at the words carrot and cake in the same sentence and turn away in disgust, but believe me, this is a fabulous cake!
In an effort to convince you further about the goodness of this cake, I’ll let you in on a secret…I first made this cake for a wedding last year, and believe me, at first I was surprised and a little unsure about carrot cake as a wedding cake flavour, partly because I know it’s not a very common flavour, but partly because I couldn’t really remember ever loving a carrot cake (and as a baker, I have to love everything I bake, otherwise it’s a failure in some respect, even if it is a beautifully decorated and elegant wedding cake!). But as soon as I tasted the test cake, I knew these two were onto something!
The recipe they recommended was a Jamie Oliver recipe, and it’s fantastic! It’s moist and dense without being too intense. There is just enough spice to make the flavours pop – then add the lemon/lime cream cheese frosting and you have the most amazing balance of sweet cake and sweet yet sharp cream cheese frosting. Simply put, it’s an amazing cake that you could easily finish in one sitting…
Oh and the best thing, with a word like carrot in the title, you can totally pretend this cake is healthy – at least a little bit healthy…it’s not at all, but maybe it’s a little bit more healthy than chocolate cake? Who knows, it’s cake, and cake is good, so get baking!
Possibly The Best Carrot Cake Around
From Cook With Jamie by Jamie Oliver
250g soft unsalted butter
250g brown sugar
5 large eggs
zest and juice of 1 orange
170g self-raising flour
1 slightly heaped teaspoon of baking powder
100g almond meal
100g walnuts (optional)
1 heaped teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground cloves
1 pinch ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground ginger
250g carrots, coarsely grated
1 pinch sea salt
100g mascarpone cheese (or cream cheese/sour cream/yoghurt etc.)
200g full-fat cream cheese
85g icing sugar
zest and juice of 2 lemons or limes
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC fan-forced. Line a 22cm round tin, or large loaf tin, with greaseproof paper.
- Beat the butter and sugar in a stand mixer until pale and fluffy.
- Beat in the egg yolks one by one, and add the orange zest and juice. Make sure the orange zest gets incorporated and doesn’t get stuck around the beater as it tends to do…
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the sifted flour and baking powder. Then add the ground almonds, walnuts (if using), spices and grated carrot and mix together well.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff, then gently fold them into the cake mix.
- Scoop the mixture into the prepared cake tin and cook in the preheated oven for about 50 minutes until golden and risen. You can check to see if the cake is cooked by poking a skewer into it. If it comes out clean the cake is cooked; if slightly sticky, it needs a bit longer, so put it back in the oven for a few minutes at a time, then test again.
- Leave the cake to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, then turn it out on to a rack and rest for at least an hour.
- To make the icing, mix all the ingredients together and spread generously over the top of the cake. Ensure the cake is completely cooled before icing!! Finish off with a sprinkling of chopped walnuts if you want to.