Well, unless you have been sleeping under a rock the last few days, you will know that my Lil Man’s birthday was a few days ago, and he wasn’t with us. Well, it’s been a few years since I actually baked a cake for him, as time has often been short, but this year, I wanted to do the right thing… and what did he want? No Spidey cakes or Starwars cakes for him this time. Rather a grown up Carrot cake was what he requested!
This is a pretty good recipe that I had found in a newspaper, and had made a few years ago, for my sister-in-law’s birthday initially. It is actually for a 3-tier cake, but that was huge!
This time, I still made the 3 tiers, but used 2 for his cake, and iced the third single one to take into work for my team!
Here are a couple of photos of the 3 tier version (apologies, the photos were a bit rubbish!) and the single one from this time round!
Now, I would be cruel if I left you with drool hanging, and didn’t share the recipe.. I am not that awful, so here it is!
The Best Carrot Cake Ever!
525ml vegetable oil
525g soft dark brown sugar
420g grated carrots
Grated zest of 3 large oranges
525g self-raising flour
Pinch of salt
1tbsp bicarbonate of soda
1 ½ tbsp. mixed spice
Seeds of one vanilla pod
2 drops vanilla extract
200g icing sugar
40g butter, cubed
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
115g low fat cream cheese, chilled
Handful of pecans or walnuts, toasted to decorate
3 x 9inch round baking tins
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius/350 degrees Fahrenheit/Gas Mark 4.
- Prepare tins by oiling the insides and lining with baking paper.
- Put the oil, eggs, sugar, grated carrots and orange zest into a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon. The mixture is a lot, you may need to do this in batches.
- Mix the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and mixed spice, then sift into the bowl.
- Add the vanilla seeds and lightly mix everything together until the mixture is uniform, but still soft and runny.
- Ladle into tins and bake for 40-45 minutes.
- The cakes are ready when the sponge springs back up if pushed lightly. A skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean.
- Leave to cool for 5 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack, and peel off the baking paper.
For the cream cheese frosting
- Mix the icing sugar, butter, lemon zest and vanilla extract in a bowl then whisk well.
- Stir in the cream cheese. If the mixture looks runny then put in the fridge for 10 minutes to harden.
- When the cakes are cool, take two of them and slice off the domed tops, leaving them flat. Don’t slice the top off the third cake.
- Put a dollop of frosting in the middle of a serving plate to stop the cake from sliding.
- Take one of the flattened cakes and place it on top. Then pop a big spoonful of frosting and spread it all over, leaving a 2.5cm/1inch gap around the edge.
- Place the second flattened cake on top, then repeat.
- Put the unsliced cake on top then spread the frosting and decorate.
It was delicious, moist and carroty, with a hint of spice to warm things up! I definitely recommend it! If you get a chance, make it, and let me know what you think!