Safe to say this is a hit for carrot cake lovers. This is also a great alternative for the coming festive season when you want to bring something with a bit of flare and spice but not necessarily something that is traditional at this time of year. It also requires minimal effort. Win win. I find there is always something less stressful about a cake when the creaming of butter and sugar is omitted. Here, grapeseed oil is used in place but you could use plain vegetable oil if you prefer. Using oil creates a much lighter sponge, which is needed here, what with all those carrots weighing us down.
Modelled off an old CWA (Country Womens Association) recipe, I’ve kicked up the spice and added lemon to give it some edge. I’ve also added the delicious spiced cream cheese icing but you can always opt out of that if you want to keep things a little more austere. But I mean, why would you?
Lastly, do excuse some of the photo quality here, I cocked up a setting at the start, so some do have quite a misty, romantic boudoir-esq like quality. Sexy.
2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon bi carb
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I use grapeseed)
3/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon white vinegar or lemon juice (add this to the milk before you start to bake)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 medium sized carrots, grated
1 teaspoon cinnamon
zest of 1/2 a small lemon
Spiced Cream Cheese Icing
85 grams room temperature cream cheese
100 grams room temperature unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
zest of 1/2 a lemon
2 teaspoons lemon juice
First things first, preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius. Next, crack your eggs into a bowl and add the sugars and cinnamon.
Next, splosh in your vanilla. If you would like to use paste or a pod, by all means go ahead.
Now, pour in your oil along with the milk and vinegar mixture (not pictured).
Whisk until combined and set aside.
To your flour, add the bi carb, baking powder and salt. Stir and then sift into the wet ingredients.
Heres when you want to zest your lemon too. I do roughly half a small lemon.
Combine carefully and make sure you don’t over-mix. Stop once it looks like this.
Dump in your carrots, stir gently once again and pour into a prepared tin.
Bake for approximately 40 minutes but check after 30 as ovens do vary so much.
Once a skewer comes out clean and the cake is springy to the touch and looks like a magnificent golden crown, leave to cool completely.
While the cake is cooling get on with your icing.
It’s essential that both the cream cheese and butter are room temperature before you start making your icing. Beat the two together with the zest of half a lemon.
Beat together for 2-3 minutes and then sift in your icing sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon.
Beat for a good few minutes until the mixture is light and airy.
Once the cake has completely cooled, ice the ring however you see fit. You can be as ostentatious or reserved as you like here. I tend to only ice the top with a thick layer but there is icing enough here to create a sheer coating around all sides too. Whichever you prefer.
This cake is perfect for the upcoming festive months as it’s easy to make and just as easy to eat.
Perfect with a cup of tea or a cup of eggnog.