Carrot cake is an essential springtime treat, this recipe gives a delicious, moist cake with the perfect balance of nuttiness and spice. If you’re not a fan of walnuts, pecans could be used instead. Or if you’re a lover of raisins in your carrot cake feel free to add them in when adding the carrot.
For the cake:
- 275g plain flour
- 360g caster sugar
- 100g finely ground walnuts
- 1.5 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ of a whole nutmeg, ground
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda/bread soda
- 4 eggs
- 300ml vegetable oil – like sunflower oil
- 300g finely grated carrots
For the cream cheese icing:
- 300g icing sugar, sifted
- 240g cream cheese, at room temperature
- 60g unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Walnuts, to decorate
Preheat the oven to 175℃/160° Fan/Gas mark 3. Grease and line two 9 inch/23cm loose bottomed tins. Start by preparing the dry ingredients. Sieve the flour into a bowl along with the baking powder and bread soda. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and walnuts and stir gently to combine. Next, in a separate bowl using an electric whisk beat the eggs and sugar together for about a minute until pale and fluffy. Then keeping the speed on low, add in the oil. Once all oil has been added, increase speed and beat until fully incorporated, this takes about half a minute. Next, gently fold in the grated carrot. Now for the final step, folding in all the dry ingredients from earlier. Do this until everything has just combined. Distribute this mixture evenly between the prepared tins. Bake in the oven for 42-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tins for about 15 minutes before transferring onto a wire rack to cool fully. It is important that the cakes are completely cool before you attempt to ice them!
While the cakes are cooling you can prepare the icing by beating the butter until it’s pale and fluffy. Then add the cream cheese and vanilla extract and beat until combined, this shouldn’t take long. Finally, slowly add the icing sugar and beat until you have a spreadable, smooth, shiny frosting. If the icing is too loose, add a little more icing sugar, just a spoon at a time to thicken it up. Use half the icing to sandwich the two layers and the rest on the top and sides. Don’t worry about being very neat, carrot cake looks best when rustic. Press walnuts gently around the edge to finish and chill for half an hour before serving.