The best part about having a carrot cake is the fact that you get a serve of veggies in, as well as a whole lot of nutrients. Carrots for vitamin A, vitamin C and fibre, eggs for protein, walnuts for healthy fats and cream cheese for calcium. Carrot Cake is like a superfood and should be included in everyones daily intake.
No but seriously, I’ve studied nutrition, I know I’m wrong haha. But you can see how some people might be persuaded to think that! And I’m sure you can make healthier version.. like ‘raw’, ‘vegan’ and ‘low fat’, and I’m open to trying recipes 🙂 (send them through!) But in a world where my boyfriend, father and I’m sure many other people, prefer the real deal, I’m going to stick with this recipe.
When I first started making these, I was terrible at piping the icing. I still am, but I assure you I am practicing! So don’t feel discouraged if you can’t master the art of piping, you can simply use the old knife technique and spread the icing on. It never fails!
And finally, you don’t have to make these cupcakes, by all means try a whole cake and do multiple layers with icing in between. You can also make a loaf.
– INGREDIENTS –
For the cake:
350g brown sugar
3 large eggs
350ml vegetable oil (can use sunflower or canola)
350g plain flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder, sifted
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda, sifted
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
350g carrots, peeled and grated (thickness depends on how you like it – I do mine fine-medium)
150g walnuts, roughly chopped
Optional: Sultanas, for a burst of sweetness. It really is up to you how much you put.
For the icing: I make my icing quite thick, it is better to pipe!
350 – 500gm icing sugar, sifted
80g butter, softened
200g cream cheese, chilled
1 teaspoon – 1.5 teaspoons vanilla essence
Pinch of cinnamon
Walnut halves or my favourite topping consisting of: Pepitas, Sunflower Seeds and Coconut (desiccated)
– METHOD –
1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line your baking tray (whether it be cupcake tray, loaf tin or cake tin) with baking paper or patty pans.
2. Place the sugar, eggs and vegetable oil in a mixer and beat until thick and smooth. Now is a good chance to prepare your ingredients if you haven’t already done so. I prepare the carrots and walnuts here while I wait.
3. Sift in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, spices and vanilla essence. Mix to combine.
4. Fold in the carrots and walnuts (and raisins!) until well incorporated.
5. Pour the mixture into prepared tin and bake until golden and skewer comes out clean once inserted in the middle. Approximately 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
6. To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl of a mixer. Add the butter, cinnamon and vanilla and beat on a low speed until the mixture comes together. Finally, add in the cream cheese and beat on medium until thick and smooth. Place the icing into your piping bag (disposable ones are available at the supermarkets if you don’t own one!) *Simply adjust your icing, adding more icing sugar or more cream cheese if the consistency is not right**
7. Pipe or spread your mixture onto the carrot cakes once they are cooled. Sprinkle the coconut/pepita/sunflower seed mixture or place a walnut half on top.