Carrot cake was never actually very high on my list of cake must-haves until a few years ago. This was mainly due to the fact that I’d only ever tasted shop bought cake and it never quite hit the spot – Often being far too dry and lacking in flavour.
When I first made carrot cake at home, I headed straight for the Hummingbird Bakery recipe book and have never looked back. Everyone I bake this for loves it (head swell) and I have to say it is one of my all time favourites. It’s remarkably easy to make, deliciously moist and oh. So. Very. BIG!
You can play around a bit with the flavours and add more (or less) cinnamon or ginger to suit your taste, or maybe even add a little nutmeg and ground cloves to the mix. If you are allergic to nuts, then simply leave the walnuts out… I prefer it with though, for that little bit of crunch. If you want to feel like you are being a little healthier, then simply make it without the cream cheese frosting. Not quite sure why you would want to do that!
I have to admit that this is the only carrot cake recipe that I have ever baked at home. I’ve been resisting using another recipe for fear of it not living up to the Hummingbirds, but I plan to change that very soon – I’d hate to be missing out on something that may be that little bit more divine!
Have you got the ultimate carrot cake recipe for me to test out? I’m up for the challenge.
300g Soft Light Brown Sugar
300ml Sunflower Oil
300g Plain Flour
1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon, plus extra to decorate
½ tsp Ground Ginger
½ tsp Salt
¼ tsp Vanilla Extract
300g Carrots, grated
100g Shelled Walnuts, chopped, plus extra, chopped and whole, to decorate
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
300g Icing Sugar, sifted
50g Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
125g Cream Cheese, cold
- Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) Gas 3.
- Put the sugar, eggs and oil in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat until all the ingredients are well incorporated (don’t worry if the mixture looks slightly split). Slowly add the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt and vanilla extract and continue to beat until well mixed.
- Stir in the grated carrots and walnuts by hand until they are all evenly dispersed. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tins and smooth over with a palette knife. Bake in the preheated oven for 20–25 minutes, or until golden brown and the sponge bounces back when touched. Leave the cakes to cool slightly in the tins before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
- For the Cream Cheese Frosting: Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.
- Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed.
- Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.
- When the cakes are cold, put one on a cake stand and spread about one-quarter of the Cream Cheese Frosting over it with a palette knife. Place a second cake on top and spread another quarter of the frosting over it.
- Top with the last cake and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides. Finish with walnuts and a light sprinkling of cinnamon.
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