I’ve sampled so many carrot cakes and my favorite was from Ottolenghi until I tasted the carrot cupcakes with coconut frosting at Lantana cafe in Soho. I realised it was time to bite the bullet and start grating those carrots.
It really is a lot of work, when, like me you don’t have machines to do the hard graft for you, and your boyfriend wont grate without a lot of groaning. But having trawled around for recipes, this one from Good Food really appealed with the addition of pineapple which I thought would ensure that super moist quality that makes for the most decadent carrot cake. On top of that there’s all the lemon and orange rind to grate. I added cardamon as well as the recommended cinnamon for spice. Finally, I used philly light instead of full fat which made the frosting lighter and fluffier. Next time, I’m going to find coconut essence for the frosting, but it’s really hard to find in London, so this time, I made do with lemon juice. Anyways, it was awesome if I have to say myself, which infact I dont, as Lottie, Wayne and Sacha were moaning with pleasure. It’s a good 40 minutes work and worth every minute.
300g plain flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamon
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
200g soft brown sugar
1 orange , zested
1 lemon , zested
200g carrots , finely grated
227g tin pineapple pieces, well drained, squeezed, and chopped
150g walnuts , chopped
125g unsalted butter at room temperature
50g icing sugar
250g cream cheese
Heat the oven to 150C/fan 130C/gas 2. Line a 20cm, 10cm deep cake tin with butter then paper. Sift the flour, cinnamon, cardamon, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda together and stir in the sugar. Beat the eggs with the oil and citrus zests. Stir in the carrots and fold everything into the flour mixture. Fold in the chopped walnuts and pineapple. Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool.
Beat the butter and icing sugar together until soft, then beat in the cream cheese. Like I mentioned, I used Philly light and it worked perfectly. Chill the mixture until it’s thick but spreadable. Spread a thick layer on top of the cake, making sure the side of the icing is flat and continues upwards from the side of the cake. I sprinkled dessicated coconut over it, but walnuts would be good too. Eat!
This is the cake straight out of the oven, cooling and ready to frost. Decadent!