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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Carrot Cake

A good rich, full and fruity carrot cake is probably the cake you simply can't beat. Top it off with a lemon and cream cheese icing and you have a winner; the ultimate birthday cake. Having made one for every birthday in the last few years and making a few adjustments over time to Alison Holsts' recipe I began with, I think it's finally about perfect.

3 eggs
3/4 cup oil
2 cups raw sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 & 1/2 cups grated carrot
1/2 cup crushed pineapple (juice drained, but needed)
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup sultanas
1/2 cup walnuts
2 cups wholemeal flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons backing powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 cup apple juice + the 1/4 cup pineapple juice

In a large bowl beat together your eggs, oil, vanilla, sugar and salt. Fold into this the grated carrot, pineapple, sultanas, walnuts and coconut.

 Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon, and carefully fold into the mixture, adding the fruit juice as you do. Note that the mixture may seem overly wet, but don't worry it's meant to be like that.

Now, with the mixture the consistency it is I find it really helpful to properly line the cake tin with baking paper, and preferably with a high top to allow for some rising. Taking the time to line your tin properly makes the baking, and removal of your cake from the tin really easy, tidy and hassle free.

Pour the mixture into your lined tin and pop her into a preheated oven at 180 C. Bake for approximately an hour, but it may possibly need a little longer - at least until a skewer comes out clean. Your cake may look quite dark when it's ready, but as it's so dense and full of goodness it needs a wee bit of cooking. Allow to cool partially in the tin before removing, the paper lining will be of help here. Peel off the lining when the cake is just warm, and wait until it's cold before you ice it with a cream cheese icing.

So, Happy Birthday... or at least just pretend
Enjoy. Katies Kindred Cook - Matt.
I have just made this cake for the next special birthday & it was just fabulous as usual. I put more fruit than the above & didn't reduce the sugar...doesn't always work very well that one. We served the cake with a thick & creamy Greek yoghurt rather than icing but if you want to ice your masterpiece as above.
Cream 2 tbsps softened cream cheese & 1 tbsp butter together.
Beat in 1 1/2 cps of icing sugar
Stir in the finely grated rind of a lemon if you like, or 1 tsp vanilla.
Lemon cuts the sweetness quite a bit. Cool cake well before icing.
Plain is just great, but you might also like to sprinkle over the top a mixture of diced dried apricots, sunflower & pumpkin seeds & shredded coconut. (picture next cake made)

A really interesting note: I followed the recipe above this time round & ended up with a much lighter cake than usual. Matt's technique works really well mixing the eggs, oil & sugar all together at the start. 
Have fun tweeking this recipe to suit yourself.
One more wee note...the flour we use here is a whole wheat flour not baking bran or oat bran. Personally, I use a 7 grain wholegrain organic flour but ordinary wholemeal is fine. Ask at your local organics shop.
Much love Katie x

1 comment:

  1. Do you have a recipe here somewhere for your lemon cream cheese icing? It's always great to see a recipe that has been fine-tuned like this, and I will like to try it. I'm afraid I always try tweaking cakes and ruining them. That said, did you ever try using less sugar? ;-) That's one thing I'm always trying...


Ooh you are so sweet to leave a comment ♥

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