Spiced Carrot and Walnut Cake

Carrot CakeI was always put off making carrot cake. Maybe because the idea cake and vegetables was never appealing or maybe because I had one really healthy tasting one when I was young and never gave it a chance after that. It was less of a cake more of a coleslaw with julienne carrots and nuts in an oily dressing squeezed into a cake shape. Reading the recipe for this one though I felt the spicing would really bring something to it and it sounded like it was going to be so different and indulgent. Got the recipe from The Honey and Co Baking book and their version has no frosting making it dairy free. Once I had made their version I was coerced by a friend into making a frosting for it and seeing as I already had the ingredients in the fridge I gave it a go. It really did improve it I have to say, plus I needed to do something to distract myself while I let the cake cool. This is really important, especially if you’re adding a frosting as it will melt if even a tiny bit of heat is coming from the cake and if you’re not making a frosting, it will all crumble apart if not cooled properly.

Just make sure that the butter is properly softened. I thought that room temperature instead of fridge cold was fine. It was only after that I realised that here in Ireland, there’s not a huge difference between room temperature and fridge cold. This resulted in me having to beat the frosting into submission and then whisking is some more to break up the butter. So soften the butter in the microwave. Not until it’s boiling but very soft. Microwave for 30 second intervals, checking consistency until soft enough.

Spiced Carrot and Walnut Cake

Ingredients

  • 100 g walnuts
  • 100 g plain flour
  • 75 g wholemeal flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • A third of a nutmeg finely grated or a half a tsp of ground nutmeg
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 4 small carrots or 3 regular
  • 1 apple
  • 185 ml vegetable oil
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • For the Frosting:
  • 4 tbsp butter, softened
  • 180 g cream cheese
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 125 g icing sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 190 degrees Celsius or 170 for a fan oven.
  2. Once preheated, toast your walnuts for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the flours, spices, bicarbonate of soda and salt to a large bowl and gently whisk to combine.
  4. Peel your apple and grate it and your carrots, add the toasted walnuts and set aside.
  5. Whisk the sugar and oil until combined and add the eggs one at a time and whisk combine.
  6. Add the carrot, apple and walnut and mix well.
  7. Add the dry ingredients and mix until evenly combined.
  8. Pour the batter into a greased and lined loaf tin and bake for 35 minutes.
  9. Rotate the cake for even baking and bake for another 25 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before removing from the loaf tin and covering with frosting.
  11. For the Frosting:
  12. Beat the butter ad cream cheese together until smooth.
  13. Add the vanilla and caster sugar and mix until combined and spread or pipe over the cake once it has completely cooled.
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