A long time ago I found a delicious carrot cake cupcake recipe (I think it was on Epicurious) and have adapted it before into a carrot loaf, but also made the cupcakes (with my own additions, honed over time). I also added an icing that I had from an old microwave recipe book. Today (for a belated Mother’s Day lunch), I took it another step further and made a carrot cake using the same recipe. It was bloody spectacular, if I may say so myself.
- Roughly 4 handfuls of baby carrots (I find them sweeter and juicier than large carrots) – needs to be about 4 cups grated
- 1/2 cup mixed nuts or just pecans – grated
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tsps baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
- 5 large eggs
- 2 cups light brown sugar
- 2 tsps pure vanilla essence/extract
Pre-heat the oven to 180c/350F.
Grate the carrots coarsely – I use my food processor but you could use a hand grater. I then grate the nuts without cleaning it out and combine these in a large bowl. Mix together the carrots and nuts with the oil, eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Then add the flour mixture to the carrot mixture, stirring until it’s just combined.
Grease 2 cake tins and divide the mixture between the two. I baked them for about 20 mins and then checked to see if they were cooked by using a non-disposable chopstick. I then baked them for about another 10 minutes til they had risen nicely, looked browner on top, and the chopstick came out clean. I then put them on a cooling rack.
- 500ml icing/confectioner’s sugar
- +- 200ml cream cheese
- 50ml soft butter (don’t melt it, just take it out the fridge before you get going)
- 2 tsps vanilla
- 2 tsps lemon juice
Cream the butter and sugar together and then add the rest of the ingredients. If you want more icing, then add a bit more cream cheese and sugar, and a bit more lemon and vanilla (I usually just, at this point, go on taste and how much I need). Once the cakes are properly cooled, put one on a decent sized plate, ice the middle, put the 2nd layer on and then ice again. I like to top it with pecan nuts to decorate.
For carrot cake cupcakes: Halve the recipe, and spoon into paper liners in a muffin pan. Bake for about 20-25 minutes (do the knitting needle/chopstick/wooden pick test)
For a carrot loaf: Halve the recipe, spoon into a greased loaf pan, and bake for about 45 mins – 1 hour, depending on your oven.
*Quote from The Partner in Crime.