Yet another beautiful Donna Hay recipe that I just had to share with you. Made especially for Trish’s birthday this beautiful cake is sure to be a winner at your house.
1 ¼ cups brown sugar
¾ cup vegetable oil
1 ½ cups plain flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarb soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 ½ cups grated carrot (about 5 carrots)
60g chopped pecans
½ cup sultanas
Frosting: 250g cream cheese, softened. 1/3 cup icing sugar, 1 ½tablespoons lemon juice (1/2 large lemon).
Preheat oven to 180’C. Place the sugar and oil in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs gradually and beat well. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarb soda, cinnamon and ginger over the sugar mixture. Add the carrot, pecans and sultanas and mix until just combined. Pour into a greased 20cm round cake tin greased and lined with baking paper. Bake for 55- 60 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Cool in tin.
For the frosting, beat the cream cheese in a mixer or process in a food processor until smooth. Add the icing sugar and lemon juice and beat/process until smooth. Spread over cooled cake. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
I like to try different cakes for birthdays, as dangerous as it is, with the possibility of ruining someone’s birthday cake, it is such an amazing feeing when you cut into it and it looks and smells amazing. This one was no exception, having never made this cake before I was a bit wary, especially because it was going to make a trek to Sydney in the back of the car to an awaiting table full of people who had been promised cake. Things didn’t go to plan when I walked around to the back of the car and my beautifully decorated cake was now some kind of psychedelic mess. Never the less we trundled inside to an awaiting table of people. After a beautiful roast dinner it was time for the moment of truth. Cutting the cake. Not scary for most people, but scary for me seeing as I had never made this cake before, the decorations had already run and I was terrified that the colours may have run inside the cake. I held my breath as Trish served up the first slice and as she turned the bowl around,perfect! Just the right amount of icing, soft moist cake with a smattering of sultanas and pecans. I couldn’t have asked for a better result!
This cake is relatively easy provided that you have about 2 hours to make it. With all the carrot peeling and grating, chopping up pecans, measuring and mixing this isn’t a quick cake to make. But for a birthday or special occasion it is worth every minute. The icing is delicious as with most cream cheese icings, it goes perfectly with the cake and with them both combined it has just the right level of sweetness. If you are looking for a good Saturday afternoon cake, this one is for you. I have to warn you though, the batter doesn’t taste very nice and there is no really amazing smell that comes from the oven during baking. Don’t let this phase you, it saves up all the flavour for the final product!
I decorated the cake with fondant flowers that I coloured in 5 bright colours, unfortunately the colours ran into the icing and after about 6 hours the fondant started melting too. It still tasted beautiful, it just wasn’t as pretty as I had first hoped it would be. Next time I will use dried fondant flowers in the hope that the colours won’t make a 70’s style cake! If you have a few hours free this weekend or just a love for a brilliant carrot cake give this ago, I promise you, you will never use another carrot cake recipe!