I hadn’t made carrot cake for a long time, after being repeatedly traumatised by enforced commercial carrot cake consumption. I now have to make lots of them for the café, so I started experimenting again. The other night, a friend told me she was going to be in town the next morning, and, as I had some carrots in the fridge, I decided to bake her an experimental version, using whatever was in the house. The recipe worked really well, and a super fussy friend said that it was the best carrot cake he’s ever eaten.
175 light brown caster sugar
1 tbsp vanilla flavouring
175 ml sunflower oil
2 large carrots, grated
1 banana, mashed (I know, a bit of a sacrilege, but it works really well!)
large handful of raisins or similar, finely chopped
handful of pecans, chopped (didn’t have walnuts, but pecans worked really well, if not better!)
a handful of crushed almond flakes (needed using up!)
grated orange peel
a bit of freshly grated nutmeg
a little bit of cinnamon (I really don’t like overpowering cinnamon taste in this)
175 g plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
a few heaped spoonfuls of icing sugar
about 50g butter
a few scoops of cream cheese, strained yoghurt or quark
Combine all ingredients for the dough. If too runny, add a little more flour. Fill into rectangular box tin (loaf tin) and bake for approximately 1 hour.
Make a creamy icing by combining icing sugar with room temperature butter and whatever tangy milk products you have in the house. I only had quark, so I used that. I’m quite partial to cream cheese icing, so I would have preferred that, but the quark icing was nice and fresh, too.