May 21, 2015

Carrot Cake

Carrot cake is a staple recipe and it's so, so good.  The cake itself is moist and absolutely delicious, with the slight crunch of walnuts throughout, and topped off with classic cream cheese icing.  I find that carrot cake is a universally liked dessert so it's great to have in your baking repertoire!

Ingredients - one layer 23 cm (9 inch) square cake or two layer 20 cm (8 inch) round cake
250g brown sugar
3 eggs
250mL vegetable oil
230g flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarb soda
Pinch of cinnamon
250g carrot (2-3 carrots)
Walnuts to taste (I usually use about a cup - this step is optional!)

Ingredients - cream cheese icing
60g butter (room temperature butter works best!)
350g cream cheese
350g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Optional - walnuts for garnishing

Method - cake
1. Preheat your oven to 180C (356F).  Grate your carrot.  If you're using walnuts, chop them up roughly.

2. Beat the sugar and eggs, then mix the oil in.

3. Fold the flour, baking powder, bicarb soda and cinnamon into the mixture.

4. Finally, fold the grated carrot and chopped walnuts into the batter.

5. Line a baking tin (23cm square tin) with baking paper and pour the mixture in.  Bake the cake for 1 hour, an inserted toothpick should come out clean.

6. Let your cake cool for a bit in the tin, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.

7. Get started on the cream cheese icing!

Method - icing

1. Beat the butter and cream cheese until combined.

2. Add the icing sugar and beat until smooth and creamy.

3. Finally, add the vanilla and beat until combined.

4. Once your cake is completely cool, ice it to your preference.  It looks great decorated with walnuts.

The great thing about carrot cake is that you can make it look as 'rustic' and 'homey' as you want it to.  If you're doing it in layers, you can just ice between the layers and on top and leave the sides icing-free; you can put walnuts anywhere you like; and you can make the icing smooth or messy-looking.  There's lots of room for experimentation!

I like to ice the whole cake (because more icing is better!), chop walnuts up and put them on the sides.  Another method I often use is placing walnut halves around the edge of the top of the cake.

Carrot cake is also great in cupcake form!

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