Rich spicy carrot cake that is sweet and moist is hard to find. Make your own with our recipe and you won’t need to buy one again. (This is an American cup recipe based on using a cup that is 240ml in volume.)
2 cups of walnuts, chopped
2 and 1/4 cups of plain flour
1 and 1/2 cups of demerara sugar
Zest of 1 orange
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon of ground mixed spice
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of seedless raisins, soaked in hot water and drained
3 medium carrots, peeled and grated
1 cup of corn or sunflower oil
1/2 cup of orange juice
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract (not vanilla essence)
1. Preheat the oven to 180/350/Gas Mark 4. Coat a baking tin (preferably 13 inch x 9 inch and square) with oil and dust with flour. To make it easier to remove the cake when it is baked, place a 3 inch strip of greaseproof paper across the bottom of the tin, overhanging each side, so that you can lift the cake out later.
2. Dry ingredients: Put the walnuts in a big mixing bowl with 1/4 cup of flour and stir to coat them. Add the demerara sugar, orange zest, the rest of the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, mixed spice and salt. Add the drained raisins. Mix well.
3. Wet ingredients: In another bowl, mix the carrots, oil, orange juice, eggs and vanilla extract until they just come together.
4. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Mix well until everything is incorporated, then stop! You don’t want to make the batter tough. Scrape the bottom of the bowl with a spoon to ensure there is no flour that is not mixed in. If there is, stir again, but don’t over mix.
5. Pour the batter into the baking tin and level the top. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 40-45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean and the cake shrinks from the side of the tin.
6. Take the cake out of the oven and leave it in the tin to cool completely.
7. Remove from the tin, using a knife to free it up if you need to. Frost with cream cheese icing if you wish.
To make cream cheese icing: Mix 170g of cream cheese with 450g of icing sugar, add a tablespoon of vanilla extract and a tablespoon or two of milk and whizz in a food processor or blender, adding more milk if it needs it. Spread on the cool cake.