Whilst I occasionally forget that October exists, I certainly don’t forget that August does. It alllll happens, mock exams, school formal, my birthday, by best friend’s birthday, more birthdays, sometimes a group of French students arrive… you know what I mean, we all have that time of the year 🙂
Anyhow, it is also my favourite time of the year. My favourite things to bake are cakes….and my favourite type of things to bake are birthday cakes. This is the first of just a few to come in the next wee while….
It was for my best friend’s father, who is pretty much a part of the family to me, and I think I did him proud. Time was scarce so an iPhone photo had to do before we cut it, but I assure you, it looked pretty darn good!
I always imagined carrot cake as sort of the earth mother of all cakes, all full of timeless wisdom and caring, as well as carroty goodness with a couple of walnuts here and there (she’s all knowing, walnuts are good for you!) and then a delicious slathering of cream cheese frosting, which no carrot cake could do without. She even has a crown, of nuts and seeds, or perhaps it’s a halo… What makes her look spectacular and full of her naturely grace is a crown of spun sugar, I’ll have to post a recipe for that another time.
Wow, so that’s enough of my madness, apologies for that. Whether or not you think cakes could have personalities, I’ll just hurry up and give you the recipe.
I love this one and don’t think I would ever bother trying another because it has tonnes and tonnes of carrot in it without overdoing it, or just feeling like you’re eating all carrot and no cake. It also uses oil, and after grating the carrots, takes a split second to make. This one is quite large of course, it IS a birthday cake, but half recipes work just as well for a smaller occasion.
The Best Carrot Cake
500g carrots, grated (finely or normal, up to you!)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
pinch of cloves
Zest of an orange or lemon
½ cup chopped walnuts
1&1/2 cups icing sugar
Juice of two lemons
3 Tbsp cream cheese
Pumpkin seeds, raisins, walnuts etc
Line two 20cm diameter cake tins with baking paper and preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
In a large bowl, beat the sugar, oil and eggs until pale and fluffy. Sift the flour on top followed by the baking powder and spices. Mix gently into the egg mixture along with the zest and carrots. Add the walnuts last.
Divide evenly between the two cake tins and bake for about 35 minutes until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes, remove from the tins and then cool completely.
When ready to assemble, make the frosting: soften the butter and beat with the lemon juice and zest until light and fluffy. Then add the icing sugar bit by bit, beating well in between each addition (you made have to add a bit more lemon juice or some milk so it doesn’t become too thick). Lastly add the cream cheese, beating until JUST combined!
Place the bottom cake layer on the place or serving tray and spread about 1/3 of the frosting on top, to fill the cake. Place the top layer on top and spread the rest of the icing in top (you could probably try and do the sides with this amount of frosting, just reduce the filling slightly or simply make more frosting!).
Arrange the decorations on top and you’re done! Store in an airtight container. Lasts about 2-3 days untouched.