I am lucky to work with a great bunch of girls and we take it in turns to make/bring in a cake when its each of our Birthday’s. So, it came round for my duties as staff baker and I decided to do a carrot cake, as my friend Meredith is quite a healthy person usually… cake healthy? well its got a carrot in it… surely thats one of your five-a-day right?
oh and I have Nigel Slater to thank for this recipe idea, (as my friend doesnt like nuts I took them out from the original recipe but you can add chopped walnuts on the top if you wish.
- 3 eggs
- 250g self-raising flour
- ½tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 200ml sunflower oil
- 250g light brown sugar
- 150g carrots
- juice of half a lemon
FOR THE FROSTING
- 250g mascarpone cheese
- 200g cream cheese
- 150g icing sugar
- the grated zest of a medium orange
- Prepare 2 cake tins by greasing with butter and adding parchment paper inside to avoid sticking. Preheat your oven to 180/160 fan.
- Separate the eggs. Mix together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
- In a mixer (or by hand) beat together the sunflower oil and sugar until well beaten.
- Add the egg yolks one at a time
- Grate the carrots into the mixture, then add the lemon juice. Mix well.
- Fold the flour into the mixture until well combined.
- Beat the egg whites until light and stiff, then gently fold them into the mixture using a large metal spoon (don’t use a wooden one as this will knock out all the air!)
- Divide the mixture between the two prepared cake tins, smooth the top gently, and bake for 40-45 minutes. Test the cakes are done with a skewer, they should be moist but not sticky. Remove from the oven when done and cool for at least 10 minutes.
- Once cooled a little, turn out onto a cooling rack until totally cool.
- Meanwhile, its time to make the frosting. Put the mascarpone cheese, cream cheese and icing sugar into an electric mixer and beat until smooth and creamy. It should have no lumps. Mix in the orange zest.
- When the cake is totally cool, sandwich the halves together with about a third of the frosting in the middle.
- Now use the rest of the frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake. It doesnt matter if its not all smooth and even, that adds to the home made feel surely?
- Add your walnut halves to the top if using, otherwise slice away and enjoy!