Christmas Carrot Cake
Moist spnge lightly spiced and sandwiched together with cream cheese icing – who could resist? Not everyone is a fan of walnuts though, so if you prefer, replace the walnuts with raisins instead. It's hard to say which tastes best.
Ingredients (Serves 8):
350g/12oz light soft brown sugar
3 large eggs
350ml/12floz sunflower oil
350g/12oz plain flour
7.5ml/1 ½ tsp baking powder
5ml/1tsp bicarbonate of soda
10ml/2tsp ground cinnamon
5ml/1tsp ground ginger
350g/12oz carrots, grated
75g/3oz chopped walnuts or raisins
For the icing:
350g/12oz icing sugar
50g/2oz soft butter
5ml/1tsp vanilla essence
150g/5oz cold cream cheese
walnut halves and a little ground cinnamon to dust.
Preheat the oven to 170ºC/Fan 150ºC/325ºF/Gas Mark 3. Lightly oil 3 x 20cm/8” sandwich tins and base line with baking parchment.
Place the sugar, oil and eggs in a large bowl and beat together with a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth and thickned. Sift over the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and ginger then fold in until well mixed. Fold in the carrots and walnuts or raisins.
Divide the mixture between the prepared cake tins. Bake in the middle of the oven for 30-35mins or until golden, risen and the middle bounces back when lightly pressed. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 mins before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the icing: sift the icing sugar into a large bowl, add the soft butter and vanilla essence. Use an electric whisk on low, to beat this until it is well mixed. Add the cream cheese and briefly beat together again until just combined. Don't over beat or it will become runny.
When the cakes are cold, peel away the baking parchment. Divide the icing between the three cakes, spreading it evenly over the top of each. Stack the cakes one on top of the other. Top with the walnut halves and cinnamon. Store in a cool place.