25 March 2013

Lush Carrot Cake w/ Lemon Frosting


There were an abundance of carrots floating around my apartment last week, and rather then let them go to waste I decided to make a carrot cake. I can't say that carrot cake is a favourite of mine, but you can't go past the spicy warmth of this cake and the heaven of cream cheese frosting. It is the best way to ice a cake in my opinion. It's also made with oil rather than butter, so it feels a lot lighter when you're eating it. It's from the AWW 'Cooking Class Cakes'. A title I recommend for every novice baker out there who needs some detailed, easy instructions (with pictures!).
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (I actually used rice bran)
  • 1 1/3 cups brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups grated carrot (about 3-4 carrots, depending on size)
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans or almonds are best)
  • 2 1/2 cups self raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb soda
  • 2 tsp mixed spice (replace with cinnamon and/or nutmeg if you prefer)
Preheat oven to 180C (190C conventional). Grease and line the base of a 22cm round cake tin.

Beat oil, sugar and eggs in the small bowl of an electric mixer until thick and creamy. It will still be a pourable consistency however. Transfer to a larger bowl and stir in carrot and nuts. Sift in the dry ingredients, stirring gently to combine.

Pour into prepared tin and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. To test if it's cooked gently press with your finger and see if it bounces back, if it does its ready. Stand for 5 to 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack. Cool completely before icing.

This icing is devine. It's not quite as sweet as normal icing thanks to the lemon and cream cheese. I used light cream cheese, but feel free to use full fat. I also used the spreadable version, which means you don't have to wait for it to soften as you would if using the block. Either is fine though.
  • 30g butter, soft
  • 80g cream cheese
  • 2 tsp lemon zest (original recipe uses 1, but I like the extra lemony kick)
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
Beat butter, cream cheese and zest in the small bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add the icing sugar. I found it's best to turn down the speed of the mixture when adding, otherwise you get clouds of icing sugar making a huge mess.

This is a great anytime cake. It's lovely washed down with a vanilla tea like T2's Perth Breakfast or a good strong afternoon blend.