I love carrot cake, and this is the best recipe I have found so far. It’s very easy and quite quick to make.
For the cake
200 ml vegetable or sunflower oil
250 g carrots, grated
100 g raisins
100 g walnuts (broken into pieces), plus a few extra for decoration
50 g dried cranberries
Zest of 1 lemon
200 g flour
1 pkt (5 ml) baking powder
2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼ tsp fine salt
200 g sugar
For the frosting
150 g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
45 g caster sugar
300 g full fat cream cheese
Zest of half a large orange
For the cake, preheat the oven to 180°c. Grease and line a deep, 20 cm round cake tin with baking parchment or a loaf tin.
Break the eggs into a bowl, and lightly whisk using a fork. Add the vegetable oil and whisk again.
Add the grated carrots, raisins, walnut pieces, cranberries and lemon zest. Stir in the sugar.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour, mixed spice, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
Slowly add the flour (dry ingredients) mixture to the carrot (wet) mixture, stirring as you go until all are well combined.
Spoon the cake mixture into the lined tin (about 3 quarters of the way up – don’t over fill) and bake on the middle shelf for 1 – 1¼ hrs, until the cake has risen and is golden-brown all over, or until you can remove a toothpick/knife cleanly.
If using a loaf tin you may have extra cake mixture which can be put into individual, lined cupcake moulds. (These small cupcake ones only need 20-25 minutes to cook).
Remove the cake from the oven and set aside in the tin to cool for 10-15 mins, then turn the cake out and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
While waiting for the cake to cool, make the cream cheese frosting.
Place the butter in a large bowl with the caster sugar and cream together for 2-3 minutes until light and creamy, then beat in the cream cheese until smooth. Add the orange zest. It is best to put the cream frosting in the fridge for 10 – 15 minutes to stiffen up.
Place the cake on to a serving plate or cake stand. Use a palette knife, or wide flat bladed knife, to spread the frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Scatter more walnuts on the top. It’s now ready to serve.