Carrot Cake

I actually made this cake a couple of days ago but time constraints meant it had to be wrapped up in gladwrap, thrown in the freezer and left until I had some time to finish it off with icing. It’s also one of the first cakes i’ve made in a really long while that didn’t have birthday connotations hence no real recipient, I am going to have to find some – any takers? Normally I would have someone in mind when baking something but being home alone for most of the day, besides a lovely coffee date, forced me to it. Boredom baking, it’s a thing. At least it’s a productive thing to do while bored, that and you can eat it afterwards – now I know everyone has had their fair share of boredom and/or procrastination munching.

This is a really beautiful, moist and full flavored cake that is complimented perfectly by it’s less than healthy frosting. Of course that can always be replaced with a light sprinkling of icing sugar before serving. Serve with a bit of greek yoghurt or cream on the side, or a lot of yoghurt if you’re me, and sit back with a cup of coffee or tea and wish for the swift return of warm weather. Seriously, where did it all go?

Carrot Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

For the cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup vegetable, or any other ’low-in-flavour’ cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups grated carrot
  • 1 can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 cup sultanas
  • ½ cup roughly chopped pecans (optional)

For the icing:

  • 250 grams cream cheese
  • 125 grams butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons fine lemon rind
  • 3 cups icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 180˚C and grease a 9 x 3 inch springform pan.

In a large bowl sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Make sure to mix with a spoon, to evenly distribute the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl beat together the sugars, eggs, oil and vanilla until smooth.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour the wet mixture over it. Fold until just combined. Gently stir in the carrot, pineapple, sultanas and pecans evenly though the mixture and spread into the prepared pan. Smooth out the top and pop it in the oven.

Bake for an hour, although depending on your oven you might want to check your cake at the 50 minute mark, just in case. If the top is becoming too brown you can always cover with aluminium foil for the rest of the time to stop any potential burning. Don’t forget to turn the cake halfway through the time to ensure even baking and when it looks about ready test with a knife in the centre of the cake. It will be ready when the knife comes out totally clean.

Remove from the oven and let the cake sit in the pan for 20 minutes before gently running a knife around the sides and turning out onto a cooling rack. Leave it until it is completely cooled and ready to be iced. Alternatively you can completely cover with gladwrap and freeze this cake for up to 2 weeks.

In a medium sized bowl place cream cheese, butter, vanilla and lemon rind. Beat until well combined and soft. Add the icing sugar in thirds beating well after each addition; when all 3 cups have been added beat for an extra 2 minutes to get the frosting extremely light and fluffy. Ice your heart away! If you want more frosting to cover the sides just add in an extra cup of icing sugar – I just laid mine on really thick so thinner all round and an extra cup should give you that little bit more to cover the whole cake.