I woke up last Sunday morning with a burning desire to make a carrot cake.
This took me very much by surprise as I've never really seen the point of carrot cake and can probably count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I've eaten it, let alone made it.
I'm not sure that I'm ever going to pick carrot cake over chocolate cake but last Sunday morning, as the flat was filled with sunshine and the scent of the ginger and nutmeg in the cake, it was really rather perfect.
Carrot cake with cream cheese and honey frosting
Adapted from BBC Good Food
Yield: A 2lb loaf cake (serves 8)
I made a few small changes to the recipe - olive oil instead of sunflower oil, honey instead of sugar, flour and baking powder rather than self-raising flour. I also played around the with spices based on what I had on hand. I'm not a carrot cake expert by any means but it was rather delicious; a lovely texture and just the right balance of flavours for me. I really don't like sweet frostings so I tend to just sweeten the cream cheese and butter with a little vanilla and a touch of honey rather than pounds of icing sugar but any frosting will do really. I'm having a slightly odd obsession with loaf cakes at the moment. I don't know why but they just seem to taste better to me than round cakes or layer cakes. I'm sure you could bake this as a round cake but you'll probably want to play with the oven temperature and baking time.
For the cake:
- 150ml (1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil
- 2 eggs
- 120ml (1/2 cup) honey
- 180g (1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon) whole wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 140g (about 3 large) carrots, peeled and grated
- 170g (6oz) cream cheese, softened
- 55g (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 -2 tablespoons honey, to taste
- A pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 140C/275F (fan). Line a 2lb loaf tin with paper and grease well.
- In a large bowl, beat together the oil, eggs and honey with a wooden spoon.
- In another bowl, lightly whisk together all of the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients and carrots and lightly mix together until combined.
- Pour the batter into the tin and bake for about 50 minutes until the top is firm and brown and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tin before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the frosting, beat together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla, salt and honey to taste and beat until combined. Smooth on top of the loaf cake.