It’s always a big call when a recipe is described as ‘best ever.’ While I know it’s only there to lure you into trying the recipe, I can’t keep flicking the pages without giving it a go. Having not made many carrot cakes in my time (this is the first one to feature on the blog) I don’t have many to compare it to but I’ll tell you the story of this particular carrot cake.
At first it stood atop its pristine white cake stand in all its glory ready to be adorned with candles for a belated Birthday lunch for a friend. After the four of us had two slices each, I took the remaining third of the cake to dinner at mum and dad’s house where mum, dad and I left just a few slices on the plate.
The following night was Friday at the beach and after dinner mum produced a small plate with 6 tiny slithers of carrot cake. It was all that was left and it didn’t last long. I think that’s probably a record for cake disappearance rate so I can tell you, the author might not be far off in calling this the best ever carrot cake.
Unlike a traditional heavy carrot cake, this one is light (in texture not in oh-good-I-can-eat-more) and airy and not too crumbly. The sweetness of the cream-cheese icing is subdued by the lemon zest.
The photo in the book shows a gorgeous looking cake with snow-white icing. As I was whipping my thick, yellow mess of icing I was rather doubting it would look like the one in the picture. I needn’t have worried though because the more I beat it the closer it got to a glossy white beauty.
The sides of the cake weren’t exactly the look I was going for. I was picturing pristine white, but the longer it sat the more the carrot colour seeped into the icing sugar. If you don’t want it to turn orange then icing it at the very last minute. I personally don’t think it mattered and gave it a much more rustic look.
If you like your carrot cake to have a bit more bite to it and not be too light then use a coarse grater to grate the carrot. I used the fine setting on mine so the carrot blended in with the cake creating a smoother batter. However you make it, I know you’re going to love it. Enjoy!
What about you? Can you resist a recipe that says ‘best ever.’
- 3 free-range eggs
- 270g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 180g plain flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 1 pinch of salt
- 150ml olive oil
- 320g grated carrots (about 3 medium)
- 65 butter, softened
- 100g cream cheese
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 240g icing sugar
- 1 tsp lemon zest (from one lemon)
- Pecans and extra icing sugar (about ½ a cup) to serve
- Pre-heat the oven to 150C fan-forced and grease and line a 22cm round tin.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla together until light and fluffy.
- In another bowl, stir all the dry ingredients together and then tip them into the mixer bowl and beat until combined.
- Add the olive oil and the carrots and mix them through.
- Scrape the batter into the tin and bake for 55 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Leave the cake to cool in the tin.
- Beat the butter, cream cheese and vanilla together until light and creamy then mix in the lemon zest.
- Add the icing sugar and start with the mixer on low speed and beat until it is incorporated.
- Turn the speed up and continue to beat until the icing is fluffy and white. It will seem like it won't get there but keep beating, it will.
- Take the cake out of the tin.
- Place the half a cup of icing sugar in a mound on a plate.
- Take the cake between your open hands (hands in position like you were clapping) and gently roll and press the sides of the cake into the icing sugar.
- When the sides are coated, place the cake on a serving plate.
- Spread the icing over the top of the cake and decorate with pecans.