Easter carrot cake
YOU WILL NEED
Butter for greasing 200g plain flour, sifted 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 1½ tsp baking powder 1 tsp salt 1½ tsp mixed spice
225ml vegetable, sunflower or rapeseed oil 225g soft light brown sugar 3 large free-range eggs 200g grated carrots
100g broken walnuts (or pecans) – keep 8 whole for decorating For the cream cheese frosting 375g cream cheese, at room temperature 90g butter, at room temperature
½ tsp of vanilla extract a dash of lemon juice
125g icing sugar, sifted sugar paste carrots
■ Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C Fan /Gas Mark 3. Grease 2 x
8-inch (20cm) sandwich cake tins with butter and line with greaseproof paper.
■ Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt and the mixed spice into a large bowl.
■ Whisk the oil and the light brown sugar in a large jug, then beat in the eggs one at a time until thick and incorporated, then pour into the flour mixture.
■ Add the carrots and the nuts and mix until no flour is visible, and the ingredients are incorporated. Pour the mixture into the prepared tins, making sure there is an equal amount in each.
■ Bake in the oven for 25-35 minutes – the cakes are ready when they’ve risen, no longer feel wobbly on top and spring back when pressed. Leave them to cool in their tins, then turn out onto a cooling rack.
■ To make the frosting, add the cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract and lemon juice to a bowl and beat until light and whippy, then incorporate the icing sugar and beat again.
■ To decorate, first decide which cake is the top and which is the bottom, then position the bottom half on a plate or cake stand of your choice. Take a palette knife and generously slather the frosting on the bottom half with confidence – if you dither or are too sparing with the frosting, the carrot cake will crumble into your frosting. Make sure to push the frosting to the outside edges of your cake, which will give the end appearance a full and bountiful look. Carefully arrange the top cake layer, and frost in the same way. When finished, swish the palette knife across the cake to ruffle the frosting.
■ To finish, place the reserved walnut halves and sugar paste carrots around the top of the cake.
Images and recipe courtesy of Gastrono-me