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Introduction & method

If you've never had carrot cake before, you might find it odd that it centres around an apparently savoury vegetable. But in fact, carrots are the second sweetest vegetable around, after sugar beet. Add to that a thick cream-cheese-based icing, and this is an irresistible cake.

Carrot Cake Recipe

Make the batter for the carrot cake

Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). Peel and grate the carrots. Add the sugar, spices and baking powder to the flour, and mix well. Add the eggs, oil and carrots and mix again. To bake the cake, you can use a 20cm (8 inch) diameter spring-form baking tin, or a loaf tin. Line the tin with greaseproof paper, or silicon baking mats, or simply smear it generously with butter. Pour in the batter mix and flatten the top with a palette knife. Place the tin into the oven, and bake for 1 hour. After this time, check for doneness by inserting a wooden skewer into the centre of the cake. If it comes out dry, the cake is done. Otherwise, bake it for a few minutes more.

Make the icing for the carrot cake

Start by combining the caster sugar, small chunks of butter and cream cheese with a fork. If your butter is too hard to work with, give it 20 seconds in the microwave to soften it but not melt it completely. Add the orange juice, and use a whisk to beat the mixture into a smooth paste. Keep in the fridge until needed.

Finish the carrot cake

When the cake is out of the oven, let it cool for five minutes. If the top has risen into a dome shape (and if it has, well done you!), you might like to carefully slice it off with a bread knife, leaving a flat top. Remove the cake from the tin, and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Spread the icing in a thick layer on the top, and use a fork to create ridges and decoration if you want. Then sprinkle the grated orange zest on top. Store any left over cake in an airtight container to stop it going dry.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Carrot Cake on YouTube.

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Ingredients & Info

•  230 grams brown sugar
•  150 ml vegetable oil
•  260 grams self-raising flour
•  260 grams carrot
•  3 eggs
•  1 tsp baking powder
•  1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
•  .5 tsp ground ginger
•  .5 tsp ground nutmeg
•  150 grams caster sugar
•  200 grams cream cheese
•   unsalted butter

If you have no self-raising flour, you can use the same quantity of plain (all-purpose) flour, plus one extra teaspoon of baking powder. For the icing, you'll need the juice and zest of half an orange.

US (cups, sticks, etc)

Makes 1 cake
Prep time: 15 minutes. cooling time: 30 minutes.
Cooking time: 1 hour.
Total time: 1 hour 45 minutes.