I don’t find myself baking very often, it’s so very precise and any deviation from the recipe can turn anything into a baking disaster. I tend to cook a bit more “free range” adding this and that, tweaking recipes really. But a conversation around the usual 4 year old’s (sorry 4 and a half year old!) protests at eating dinner resulted in me baking what I think may be the best cake ever! Big claim I know but this cake was so light and fluffy and just delicious!
After said 4 (and a half!) year old protested about eating carrot with her dinner, she and my husband proceeded to have a discussion about whether she would like carrot cake. He said of course (I mean who doesn’t like carrot cake!) and obviously she disagreed. He then suggested we buy a carrot cake the next day from a local bakery and see if she likes it. Buy?! Not likely when we had all the ingredients in the house! So that was Sat afternoon planned. I sat down with my cookbooks to find the perfect carrot cake recipe… and OMG did I find it! I dusted off my Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook and Supergirl and I got baking.
300g soft light brown sugar
300ml sunflower oil
300g plain flour
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tsp baking powder
1tsp ground cinnamon (plus extra to decorate)
1/2tsp ground ginger
1/4tsp vanilla extract
300g carrots, grated
100g shelled walnuts, chopped (plus extra to decorate)
For The Cream Cheese Frosting:
600g icing sugar, sifted
100g unsalted butter (at room temp)
250g cream cheese, cold
Three 20cm cake tins (base lined with greaseproof paper)
- Preheat the oven to 170ºC (325ºF)
- Mix the sugar, eggs and oil together in a stand mixer making sure they are incorporated well (hand mixer will work just as well, as I’m sure would a food processor)
- Gradually add the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt and vanilla extract.
- Stir in the walnuts and grated carrots until they are evenly distributed (stir these in by hand – not with the mixer)
- Pour the mixture into pre prepared tins, bake in the oven 170ºC for 20-25 minutes then allow to cool on a wire rack.
Cream Cheese Frosting Method:
- Beat the icing sugar and butter in a stand mixer.
- Add the cream cheese (in one go) and bet until completely incorporated.
- Continue beating on medium-high speed for about 5 mins taking care not to over beat as it can become runny quite quickly.
Assembling the Cake
- When the cakes are cold, place one on a cake stand and spread about a quarter of the frosting over it.
- Place the second tier on top and spread another quarter of frosting over it.
- Top with the last cake. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides. Finish decorating with walnuts and a light sprinkling of cinnamon.