I have a confession to make…. I have never been a number one lover of cakes – I am sorry! Every single year, my granny would continue to bake me a birthday cake, whether it be a Victoria Sponge or Chocolate Cake. But for some reason, it just did not do it for me. I could never put my finger on why; I did not really have a sweet tooth, therefore maybe cakes were too cloying for my personal taste!
It was not until she decided to change things and to effectively try and convert me to the ‘dark side’ with a Carrot Cake. That is when it all changed. My entire conception of ‘cake’ had altered. It was the warmness, the different levels of flavours that popped within my mouth. The mixture of raisins, walnuts, cinnamon and carrot was overwhelmingly tantilising and together, topped with the cream cheese frosting it exuded an air of sophisticated charm compared to the Victoria Sponge or Classic Chocolate Cake and was just simply ostentatious!
The savoury aspects of the ingredients – carrot, walnuts and cream cheese – are features which prove to those who are not sweet lovers that cake is possible! I completely understand that Carrot Cake is not for everyone, but I guarantee this one will change your perception!
The Ultimate Carrot Cake – Inspiration from @BBCGoodFood
235ml vegetable oil or 1/2 and 1/2 with coconut oil
100g natural yoghurt
265 g self raising flour
4 large free-range eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 orange, zested335g light brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp of ground nutmeg
265g carrots, grated
100g walnuts, roughly chopped
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
100 g slightly salted butter
300g icing sugar
100g full-fat cream cheese
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Grease two 20cm sandwich tins and line the bases with greaseproof paper circles.
Whisk together the oil, yoghurt, eggs, vanilla and zest in a bowl. Separately, mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and a pinch of salt in a bowl.
Then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix well.
Add the carrots, raisins and half the walnuts. Mix well until fully combined.
Divide between both tins and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cakes are fully cooked through. If any wet mixture clings to a skewer when inserted, cook for a further 5 minutes until cooked through.
Whilst the cakes are baking, beat the butter and icing sugar together until smooth. Add half the cream cheese and mix well until combined. Then add the remaining half and beat again until smooth, (if added in one go, the mixture could split). Set aside in the fridge to chill.
Remove the cakes from the oven when cooked and leave to cool for 5 minutes in the tins.
Once cool, sandwich the cakes together by lathering the insides with 3/4 of the cream cheese frosting. With the remaining frosting, spread on the top of the cake. Once spread, scatter the remaining walnuts.
This recipe will last for up to five days if kept in the fridge. Best eaten at room temperature and with a cup of tea!