Prepare to be very popular with your housemates… this week’s recipe is carrot cake! There are loads of different variations on carrot cake (and I’ve yet to find one I don’t like) but this version is extremely easy to make and always turns out deliciously moist. And whilst I make no claims that this is a healthy snack, it does pack in a lot of nutrition for a cake; there are carrots, sultanas, fresh ginger and walnuts. Plus, the amount of oil used is relatively little in comparison with most cakes. A warning though – don’t be tempted to cut calories by using low fat cream cheese. Otherwise, the icing may become too thin, so stick to full fat!
Serves 10 (depending on how big your slices are!)
- 280g plain flour
- 1tsp baking powder
- 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
- Pinch of salt
- 2tsp mixed spice (or you can just use ground ginger of cinnamon if you have them)
- 175g brown sugar
- 325g grated carrots
- 1tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
- 60g raisins
- 60g walnuts, chopped (or if you prefer, use pecans)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3 tbsp sunflower oil
- Juice of on orange (save the zest and use for decoration)
- 225g cream cheese
- 4tbsp icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 20cm cake tin and line it with baking paper.
2. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, mixed spice and salt into a bowl.
3. Stir in the sugar, carrots, ginger and raisins.
4. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, oil and orange juice then pour into the dry ingredients and mix well.
5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tine and bake for 60 to 75 minutes; it should be firm to touch and an inserted skewer (or sharp knife) should come out clean.
6. Allow to cool in the tin.
7. To make the icing, soften the cream cheese, then sift in the icing sugar and add the vanilla extract. Stir well.
8. Remove the cooled cake from the tin and spread over the icing, decorating with the orange zest or some walnut halves if you wish.