I’ve used lots of different carrot cake recipes in my time but, after a fair few tweaks and a bit of experimentation, I reckon this one’s the best. It’s just squidgy enough without being soggy and the icing is spot on. I made one of these for a picnic a few weeks ago and had a little bit of icing left over. I faced a tough decision – eat the remaining icing with a spoon or make a whole other cake just to use it up. I went for the whole cake option!
150g plain flour
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tsp baking powder
250g grated carrots
150g caster sugar (golden caster sugar is particularly good)
1tsp vanilla essence
150ml vegetable oil
2 eggs beaten
50g butter (at room temperature)
75g cream cheese (full or half fat)
half tsp vanilla essence
100g icing sugar
– Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and grease and line a 7.5 x 7.5 x 2in cake tin. (it works just as well in two similarly sized round shallow tins, plus you can put icing in the middle too!)
– Sieve flour, bicarb, baking powder & cinnamon into bowl.
– Stir in carrots and sugar
– Add oil, eggs & vanilla. Stir to mix then beat for 1 minute until thoroughly combined.
– Pour mix into tin(s) and cook for 20-25 mins (2 tins)/ 35-40 mins (1 tin) or until risen and firm to the touch.
– Take out of the oven and leave for 5 mins, then turn out onto rack to cool completely.
– Meanwhile beat butter until smooth, add cheese & vanilla and slowly stir in icing sugar. Spread on cake.
– Sprinkle with crushed pecans or walnuts if you like.
N.B. If the cake is not completely cool, the icing will melt into the cake a bit and make it even squidgier. This is not necessarily a bad thing!