I don’t buy it a tab bit when people say they don’t like carrot cake. Its not possible. They probably haven’t tried carrot cake, and are just put off by the idea, like some people are put off by zucchini bread. I find that if i just serve it without bringing the name of the cake into the conversation, even carrot haters lap it up. After describing the essential characteristics to my mum, a box full was summoned over. Even my diet conscious yoga instructor finished 2 healthy helpings! With the nip in the air, and the beautifully sweet seasonal carrots piled up at the vegetable vendors – all of it literally begs you to make this delicious wholesome tea cake, with pretty piping of slightly lemony cream cheese frosting.
The cake is so dense and moist, bursting with flavour, chewy raisins complemented perfectly by the crunchiness of the walnuts, all with just a hint of earthy spices of ginger and cinnamon, is truly a classic made in heaven combination. The cake that emerged from the over was a burnished red, and everyone knew it was ready as the heady aroma filled the house. The cake lasts 5-7 days, although thats speaking strictly academically. In reality, it won’t last 2 days! This is a sure fire winner, seasonal baking at its humblest best.
Adapted sightly from here. Makes a 9″ X 4″ loaf or 12 cupcakes
- 2/3 cup all purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1/3 cup yoghurt
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup finely grated carrot (approximately 2 carrots)
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, for sprinkling on top
- 1/4 cup cream cheese
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 2 cups confectioners sugar
- 1/4 tsp lemon extract
- Preheat the oven to 175*c and spray/brush a 9″ by 4″ loaf tin with canola oil.
- In a large bowl, mix together the oil, sugar, yoghurt and vanilla. Sift in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Mix gently till combined.
- Fold in the carrot, walnuts and raisins. Pour into prepared tin and bake in the middle of the oven for approximately 30 minutes, checking after 20, till a skewer inserted comes out clean, or if pressed in the centre- the cake bounces back. Leave to cool. In the mean time, prepare the frosting.
- In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and the butter till pale and fluffy. Mix in the sugar, 1/2 cup at a time. Add in the lemon extract.
- Beat for 10 minutes. Pipe onto cake as desired, topping with the walnuts. Feel free to add some grated carrot or colourful sprinkles!
- The carrot adds a ton of natural moisture and texture to the cake.
- If you can’t get your hands on lemon extract, either skip it or add less than 1/2 tsp of zest.
- I found the frosting to be a bit too much, so even half the recipe portion stated above is adequate.