There is something wonderful about baking at home. Weather its the smell coming from the oven or the naughtiness of licking the bowl after pouring out the batter its a lovely way to spend some time in the kitchen.
Fresh, zesty and sweet a Classic Carrot Cake is a treat! Its also a treat that I like to think you don’t need to feel to guilty over, after all it does have the carrots in it. I was baking this cake recently as the desert for a dinner party. I was a little absent minded as I was grating the zest for the fruits into the batter and added in lime zest as well. It turned out to be a good addition to the cake giving a depth to the citrus taste’s. I have included Lime in the recipe as I will be using as a part of the recipe in future but it is optional. I made the cake with a soft cheese icing but it works equally as well with a cream cheese frosting or left plain.
150g Plain Flour
1/2tsp Baking Powder
1/4tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
100g Soft Brown Sugar
1/2 Orange, zested
1/2 Lemon, zested
1/2 Lime, zested (optional)
100g Carrots, finely grated
75g Walnuts, chopped
For the Soft Cheese Icing
100g Butter, at room temperature.
300g Soft Cheese (go for a full fat one)
100g Icing Sugar
1tsp Vanilla Extract
Begin by heating your oven to 150C/fan 130C/gas 2. Grease or line a baking tin. I used a shallow 20cm tin. If you have a deep tin then you could double up the quantities. It looks really good when baked in a deep tin. Sift the Flour, Cinnamon, Baking Powder, Bicarbonate of Soda and mix. Sift in the sugar and stir it all together.
In a separate bowl beat the Eggs and the Oil with the Orange, Lemon and Lime zest. I do this by hand but for speed or convenience you could use an electric whisk. Stir the grated Carrot in. Pour this into the dry ingredients and fold it all together. Be gently when folding as you don’t want to knock out all the air you put into the cake by sifting the dry ingredients. Spoon or poor it into the tin and bake in the center of the over for around 40 minutes. Test it is baked through using a skewer through the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean then it is ready.
Turn the cake out onto a wire rack to cool and make the Icing.
To make the Icing, beat the Butter until it is soft. Next beat in the soft cheese, Icing Sugar and Vanilla Extract. Spread it over the top of the cake with a pallet knife or spatula and voila a delicious cake!