Carrot cake has become my new go-to cake. It’s so easy to make and decorate, it’s hard to go wrong really. I’ve made this several times now, and each time I’m learning more and more, and each time they get tastier and tastier!
Quick snapshot of the cake ingredients, showing the brands I use. The ingredients are also listed at the end of this post.
First attempt: before, during, and after of the cakes. I always find it easier to bake in two separate tins as there is no need to cut the cake horizontally afterwards.
Another snapshot of the icing ingredients, again showing the brands I used. Likewise, the ingredients are listed at the end of this post.
Mixed all together and then topped with broken up pieces of pecans. Tada!
My second carrot cake attempt was made with two different types of brown sugar as I had ran out of the original and couldn’t find the same one. Although both were brown sugar, it was clear that the newer brand was lighter in colour and less clumped together. The second attempt was also less burnt, I had clearly learnt from my first mistake, and got the cakes out of the oven a lot earlier. Either that or the slightly lighter brown sugar may have had a factor on the fact that the second time looked less burnt.
Something also new on the second try: I used walnuts to decorate instead of pecans like the recipe states. I think the walnuts complement the cake much better than pecans, but I suppose I am biased more towards walnuts. The walnuts were definitely a lot easier to break up than the pecans too.
My third attempt: I used the same ingredients as I did the second time, as I had not run out of anything just yet. I went a bit overboard on the walnuts, though, I must admit – they’re just so tasty. This was probably my most successful try: the bake itself was so moist, I must have tipped a bit too much sunflower oil in, but it worked to my favour. I find the icing can get a bit sickening after a while, no matter how many walnuts are added on top. The carrots are well grated, as the recipe states, but it still looks more like strands of carrot rather than grated carrot here.
Happy baking! Here are the ingredients and method from a baking book I have called Good Housekeeping: The Baking Book, updated with walnuts instead of pecans.
- 250ml sunflower oil
- 225g light muscovado sugar
- 3 large egg
- 225g self raising flour
- large pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp each ground mixed spice, ground nutmeg, and ground cinnamon
- 250g carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
- 50g butter, preferably unsalted, at room temperature
- 225g pack cream cheese
- 25g golden icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- walnuts, broken up to small pieces
Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan oven) mark 4. Grease two 18cm (7 inch) sandwich tins and base-line with greaseproof paper.
Using a hand-held electric whisk, whisk the oil and muscovado sugar together to combine, then whisk in the eggs, one at a time.
Sift the flour, salt, and spices together over the mixture, then gently fold in using a large metal spoon. Tip the carrots into the bowl and fold in.
Divide the cake mixture between the prepared tins and bake for 30-40 mins until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave in the tins for 10 mins, then turn out on to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
To make the frosting/ icing, beat the butter an cream cheese together in a bowl until light and fluffy. Sift in the icing sugar, add the vanilla extract and beat well until smooth. Spread one-third of the frosting over one cake and sandwich together with the other cake. Spread the remaining frosting on top and sprinkle with the walnuts.