Ok, so we’ve been doing our best to avoid cake after a bit of a carb overload at Christmas, but we finally had to give in and get our aprons on. So what better way to get back into baking than with a classic carrot cake?
150g butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
150g soft light brown sugar
3 free-range eggs
200g self-raising wholemeal flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp grated nutmeg
Zest of 1 orange
200g carrots, peeled and grated
100g pecans, toasted and chopped, plus extra to decorate
150g cream cheese
50g light brown soft sugar
Zest of an orange and a squeeze of juice
First preheat the oven to 180°C and grease and line two sandwich cake tins. Next, combine the eggs, sugar and meted butter in a bowl and whisk until the mix has almost doubled in volume (an electric mixer is a must here unless you’re Popeye!)
Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and spices together and then gently fold into the egg mixture. Toast the chopped pecan nuts lightly in a dry frying pan.
Add the nuts, sultanas, carrot and orange zest to the cake batter, then divide between the two cake tins.
Bake in the middle of the oven for around 30 minutes until a skewer in the middles comes out clean.
While the cakes are cooling, beat together the cream cheese with the sugar and orange zest and juice. It looks a little weird and lumpy at first so get those muscles going as you need to mix it really well! Then stick it in the fridge unti you’re ready to ice.
Sandwich the two cakes together with half the icing.
Then ice the top and decorate with a sprinkle of cinnamon and some whole pecans.
And that’s it – a sort-of-healthy bake. Or at least that’s what we told ourselves as we scoffed massive wedges of it with mugs of tea. The carrots, nuts and raisins definitely make it taste just a little good for you, plus it’s even made with wholemeal flour! Definitely a recipe for the favourites binder…