The extra spices in my latest favourite version of this classic make it seem a little more grown up than the version I was making when the kids were younger. And, with four eggs in the recipe, you have a very good chance of ending up with a moist cake.
I know this one is missing the rich and creamy cream cheese frosting. Do you really need it? Replace the traditional frosting with this sweet and tangy lemon glaze and the cake stays dairy free.
This recipe makes a whole lot of cake. I have tried the batter in a few shapes and sizes of pan:
1. One large cake in a 20cm round or square cake tin – cook for a longer time and at a lower oven temperature.
2. Two medium sized cakes, flatter versions in the 20cm round or square tins, or half the batter in a bundt tin or ring pan (with a hole in the centre) – cook in a moderate oven for 35 – 40 minutes. This is the best option – serve them separately or sandwich them together with icing or glaze between the cake layers.
3. Make one medium sized cake, and put the other half of the batter in the freezer. Defrost when needed, and it still makes a lovely cake.
4. Cupcake or muffin sizes – cook for a shorter time.
The cake keeps well and is still yummy 2 or 3 days after baking.
The recipe is a simplified and modified variation, originally inspired by the carrot cake at The Endless Meal.
Grating a mountain of carrot is the hardest part!
– 3 cups (approx 350g) carrot, grated – you will need about 4 medium carrots
– 1 cup (85g) shredded coconut
– 1 cup (130g) chopped walnuts
– 1 cup (150g) sultanas or raisins (also works with dried cranberries)
– 1 cup (150g) brown sugar
– 1 cup (250ml) light flavoured oil, such as rice bran oil
– 4 eggs
– 2 cups (300g) self raising flour
– 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
– 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
– 1 teaspoon ground allspice
– 1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 170 °C.
In one bowl, mix the carrot, coconut, walnuts and sultanas until combined.
In another bowl, beat together the oil, sugar and eggs. Stir in the flour, spices and salt, then continue to beat until thoroughly mixed.
Pour the carrot mixture into the remaining mixture and stir through until combined.
Place the batter into two lined or greased 20cm round or square tins and bake for 35-40 minutes. (If you like, vary the pan size and cooking times / temperatures as needed).
– 1 ½ half cups icing sugar (confectioners sugar)
– 3 tablespoons lemon juice
Mix well and spread over cooled cake.
I have made gluten free cupcakes using this recipe, just by replacing the regular flour with gluten free self raising flour. Add a little extra oil to compensate for the gluten free flour, and bake at a slightly higher temperature for a shorter time.
Carrot fairy artwork by our cherry blossom #3