Can I have more that one type of dessert as my favourite?
If you love carrot cake as much as I do, then you'll definitely want to give this recipe a try. It's super moist and soft, topped with a smooth cream cheese frosting. I've made this recipe so many time and it never fails me.
Guess what? This one recipe can make an 8-inch three-layered cake!
My carrot cake is soft and fluffy. The flavour comes from brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and of course the main ingredient, carrots. As with all cakes packed full of flavour, like chocolate cake, I prefer to use a flavourless oil instead of butter, which also helps to keep the cake moist.
I've read a lot of recipes that use brown sugar instead of the usual granulated white sugar, and I believe the reason behind this is that it gives the cake a lot more flavour and moisture because it contains more molasses. Ginger and nutmeg are a great combination and adding them to this recipe give the carrot cake that extra kick of flavour.
What else can I add in a carrot cake? Rather than using walnuts, pecan nuts also goes well in a carrot cake. You can add sultanas or raisins, but reduce the amount of nuts (or remove them).
How long does carrot cake last for? Unfrosted, this can last up to 3-4 days covered at room temperatures. If you've decorated the cake with the cream cheese frosting, this can last for 2-3 days when stored in the fridge.
What oil can I use? Make sure to use a flavourless oil, such as sunflower or vegetable oil. You can use coconut oil, however, this may overpower the other flavours.
Makes: 12 squares | Prep time: 15 minutes | Baking time: 40-45 minutes
300g plain flour
300ml sunflower oil (or any other flavourless oil)
270g soft brown sugar
300g grated carrots
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 tsp baking powder
1½ tsp cinnamon, plus more for decoration
1 tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp salt
100g walnuts, chopped, plus more for decoration
Cream Cheese Frosting
420g icing sugar, sifted
70g unsalted butter at room temperature
180g cream cheese (I used Philadelphia)
Preheat your oven to 175° (160° fan)/350F/gas mark 3. Line a 10" x 8" baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Combine the dry ingredients together in a bowl - sifted.
Put the sugar, oil and eggs in a bowl or stand mixer and mix on medium speed until it is fully incorporated. Slowly add the dry ingredients and vanilla extract and continue to beat until well mixed.
Fold in the grated carrots and walnuts to the mixture.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and cool on a rack.
Make the frosting: In a bowl, cream together the unsalted butter and icing sugar using an electric whisk or stand mixer at medium speed. This will form a sand-like texture.
Add the cream cheese all in one. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy for about 5 minutes. Do not overbeat as this would cause the frosting to go runny.
Assemble and frost: When the cake is cold, use a large palette knife spread the frosting on top of the cake. Sprinkle the extra cinnamon and chopped walnuts for extra flavour and crunch.
If you'd like to make a layer cake, pour the mixture into three evenly - increase the ratio of ingredients for the frosting to cover the full cake (see below). Time of baking would change to roughly 20-25 minutes when using sandwich tins.
Add food colouring to the leftover frosting to pipe carrots for decoration.
Cream cheese frosting for a layer cake:
600g icing sugar
100g unsalted butter
250g cream cheese