I made two Valentine’s themed carrot cakes this year – one for work and one for Mat and Jess’s parents. I simply used my regular recipe but made a little heart out of pecans on the icing!
This carrot cake tastes like no carrot cake I have ever had. This is THE recipe! I don’t think I will ever amend it, this is a recipe I adapted from a Delia recipe, I wanted to get it as close as I could to taste like the Betty Crocker carrot cake mix which I love but wanted a home-made version. The flavour of this cake is very close with the spice combination and orange zest but it is so much better than a cake mix!. I’ve used it for many occasions using chopped or ground nuts to decorate.
There is no comfort food like carrot cake – snuggling up with the cake plate and a spoon – perfect for Valentine’s day.
This is also a favourite in my house as the bunnies love to feast on the carrot scraps!
The bunnies don’t actually like carrot cake though, well, apart from Binky. Oh Binky, he is seriously one of a kind. He is the baby of the bunch who has the most silly personality! He likes to sleep on my face and likes ripping the bins apart like a little fox! Anyway back to the point, among Binky’s favourite meals are lemon meringue pie, cookies (they all like cookies), icing, cinnamon whirls, chocolate brownies and tea (ONLY WITH SUGAR AND CAFFEINE!!!). And no, I don’t give him these things – he steals them!
Where was I? Oh yes, carrot cake!
Ingredients: Serves 12
For the cake:
150ml vegetable oil
175g soft dark brown sugar
Egg replacer for 2 eggs
200g self-raising flour
1 rounded tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 tsp mixed spice
200g carrot, finely grated (weight before grating)
zest of 1 large orange
50g ground almonds (can be omitted if you don’t have them to hand)
110g dried mixed fruit
For the syrup:
75g soft dark brown sugar
juice of a large orange (use zested orange used for cake)
2 tbsp lemon juice
For the icing:
250g soft vegan spread
300g icing sugar
1tsp vanilla, cinnamon or almond extract (I use vanilla paste)
1 – 2 tbsp non-dairy milk
chopped nuts to decorate (optional)
- Preheat oven to 170c and line the base of 2 8inch/20cm round sandwich/cake tins
- Add the oil, egg replacer and sugar to a large bowl and whisk with an electric mixer until pale, thick and the sugar has dissolved.
- sift over the flour, bicarbonate of soda and spice and gently fold in.
- Add in the carrot, ground almonds, dried fruit, zest and nuts and/or coconut (if using) and gently mix in
- Divide between the two tins and bake for 30 mins – a skewer should come out moist and with crumbs but no sticky batter – do not overbake
- whilst the cake is in the oven, make the syrup – mix the sugar with the juice until all dissolved.
- when the cake comes out of the oven, immediately poke it all over with a skewer, then pour the syrup over the hot cakes.
- Leave to cool completely in their tins before turning out – very gently – as the cakes are very moist
- For the icing, beat the margarine and sugar together until combined, pale and fluffy, add flavouring of choice and mix well before adding milk to get desired consistency
- sandwich the cakes together with some of the icing before spreading over the top and sides
- decorate with nuts etc as you wish