It seems traditional bakes are making a come-back during lockdown. Banana loaf, victoria sponge, scones or brownies are just a few examples of what pops up on my social media feed practically every day. The lemon loaf recipe I posted a few weeks ago is still being made by you my lovely bakers; I just got another photo from someone yesterday which made me grin from ear to ear yet again!
Quite a few of you have recently asked for a recipe for carrot cake. I must admit there was a time in my life when I would make carrot cake A LOT in my classes as well as for all sorts of private social occasions, birthdays etc. I must have had a slight overload and fallen out of love with it as I haven’t made it for a good few years now. Encouraged by my husband’s friend who whipped up his first ever cake a couple of weeks ago (yes, it was my lemon loaf!, she says feeling rather satisfied 😊), I dug out my old recipe, tweaked it a bit and here it is. If you’re new to baking and don’t have an electric mixer yet, you’ll be pleased to know that every step of this recipe can be done just using a bowl and a good old-fashioned whisk. That includes icing! I love using mascarpone cheese in icing rather than the traditional cream cheese and butter. Its texture is so much lighter and in my opinion it compliments this naturally rich, moist cake beautifully. All you have to remember is to use COLD mascarpone cheese and COLD whipping cream straight from the fridge. Don’t leave it lying around on the counter. Cold fat in the cheese and cream will help bind the icing nicely and you’ll end up with a beautiful, light texture which spreads incredibly easily. No runny or curdled texture, thank you very much. Sift the icing sugar to remove any lumps. Another addition of mine is orange zest – add it to the icing for a bit of fresh citrusy tang.
I’m using two types of sugar, however light brown sugar can be substituted with caster sugar, granulated sugar or golden caster sugar. As long as you have 350g of sugar in total, you’re fine. I sometimes like to use mixed spice instead of just cinnamon and ground nutmeg. Walnuts can be substituted with other nuts such as pecans or hazelnuts. Almonds work too, however bear in mind that the flavour will be much subtler and more delicate.
Some recipes call for raisins so feel free to add about 100g right at the end when you’re folding in the carrots. You can also sprinkle some nuts or almonds on top. Use organic carrots if you can, they’re much sweeter than the regular ones.
Finally, you can turn this cake into cupcakes! The whole batter makes whooping 30 cupcakes so divide the recipe in half and you’ll have 15 of them. Make sure you spoon the batter only until the cupcake cases are two thirds full to allow enough room for rising. Bake for 20-25 min until brown and well-risen.
Without a further ado here it comes!
No electric mixer necessary!
(rectangular baking tin about 23 cm x 33 cm or round 23 cm in diameter or 30 cupcakes)
For the icing:
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