Christmas in our house is all about the wine, the dinners, the treats and the desserts. The last few days seem like a blur and I'm finding it so hard to keep track of the days. I have had such an amazing time catching up with old friends, lying around chatting with family, playing board games and of course the occasional sing-song......that's what Christmas is all about for me! We had a little gathering on St.Stephen's day so I wanted to make something sweet to accompany the canopies we were serving. I decided on a carrot cake, as it tends to be a hit with both young and old. This recipe turned out a treat and the cake itself was really moist, with the perfect blend of flavours and textures. Carrot cakes generally contain walnuts, but this recipe is a nut free alternative.
For the cake:
300g soft light brown sugar
300ml sunflower oil
3 medium eggs
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
300g self-raising flower
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
Pinch of salt
300g of carrot (grated)
For the cream cheese frosting:
600g icing sugar
250g cream cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 170C and grease and line a deep 18cm square tin (or round alternative).
2. Place the sugar, eggs and oil in a free-standing mixer (or alternatively use a hand-held mixer)
and mix together until well combined.
3. Next add in the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt and incorporate slowly
until well mixed
4. Finally stir in the carrot and pour the mixture into the prepared tin.
5. Place in the oven for 50 minutes or until the cake bounces back when pressed firmly. Allow
the cake to cool slightly before turning out on a rack to cool completely.
6. For the cream cheese frosting, place all of the ingredients together in a mixer and beat on a
high speed for 4-5 minutes.
Allow the cake to cool completely before carefully halving lengthways (as pictured). Using a palette knife spread 1/3 of the cream cheese mixture onto the centre of the cake for the filling. Finally reassemble the cake and using a spatula or palette knife, smear the entire cake with the remaining frosting
I made some really cute carrots from fondant icing to decorate my carrot cake but these are of course optional. If you don't quite have that much time on your hands, why not use a few walnuts or pecans to decorate!