I overdid the carrot grating somewhat with my trusty food processor this week whilst making my veg-packed tomato sauce, there was nothing for it but to bake a carrot cake! I do love carrot cake but am not always keen on eating cakes with buttercream on but I didn't slather it all the way round the sides so a little concession, I think! I'm not a great fan of spices in cakes but have put a touch of cinnamon - nutmeg, ginger or mixed spice could also be used. This recipe contains nuts, omit if allergic.
150g unsalted butter, nicely softened
100g soft light brown sugar
3 organic free range eggs
200g wholemeal self-raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 generous pinches of salt
Zest of 1 large orange plus 1 tblspn of the juice
200g grated carrots
80g walnuts, chopped
6-8 walnut halves to decorate
125g Cream cheese
50g unsalted butter
250g icing sugar
Pre-heat your oven to 180C or 160C fan, line the bases of 2 x 7"/18cm sandwich tins with parchment paper and grease the sides with butter.
1. In a large mixing bowl beat the softened butter and sugar together until pale and creamy.
2. Add the eggs and beat together until well combined and doubled in volume.
3. Mix together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and fold gently into the wet ingredients.
4. Fold in the grated carrots, chopped walnuts, sultanas, orange zest & juice.
5. Divide evenly between the 2 tins and bake for 25-30 minutes until a cocktail stick comes out cleanly.
6. Cool on a wire rack.
7. For the buttercream icing, beat the butter and cream cheese together, then add the icing sugar gradually and beat until combined. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
8. Once the cakes are cool enough, slather buttercream icing over one half and sandwich the other half on top, then cover the top of the cake with the remaining icing. Decorate with walnut halves.
9. Make tea, cut a slice and enjoy. Delicious!