When I first announced I was starting a blog, friends asked whether I’d be putting the carrot cake recipe up. Today is the day the magic happens.
I now present you with an incredibly delicious recipe and the one I follow without deviation. Be warned though – this cake has been known to dramatically decrease tolerance for sub-par baked carrot goods.
Preheat your oven to 165ºC/325ºF.
For the cake
2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 cups plain (all purpose) flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp nutmeg
4 packed cups grated peeled carrots
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
4 cups powdered sugar
400g cream cheese, room temperature
100g unsalted butter, room temperature
4 tsp vanilla extract
What to do
For the cake
After turning the oven to 165ºC/325ºF, I like to get the prep out of the way. Peeling and grating the carrots takes a bit of time but can be quite therapeutic if you’re in the right frame of mind, and chopping chopping the pecans or walnuts doesn’t take long. Following that, grease and line three 9-inch round cake tins which finishes off the tedious jobs and means you’re ready to get cracking with the fun stuff.
With electric beaters, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, yogurt and eggs until you’ve achieved a smooth consistency. As I’m not really one for sifting flour, I usually
just dump in the two cups on top of this wet mixture and then sprinkle the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg over the top. After that, revert back to the beaters for another couple of minutes until you have a smooth batter once again. Add the carrots and nuts, beat some more, and you’re sorted! (Don’t worry if your batter seems quite liquid-y at this point – it’s meant to and will be fine after a stint in the oven.)
Split the batter as evenly as you can between your three cake tins and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick/knife comes out clean.
Leave the cakes to cool in their pans for about 15 minutes and then turn them out onto wire racks to finish cooling.
For the icing
No carrot cake would be complete without cream cheese icing (and you can quote me on that).
When making the icing, there is a bit of judgement required when it comes to getting the consistency right. Begin by beating the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together with your electric beaters. Once you have a relatively smooth mixture, add in your icing sugar bit by bit until you have icing thick enough to stay put on your cake (and not even consider dripping down the sides) and yet thin enough to spread easily with a knife.
When icing your cake, the only rule is to make sure the cakes are completely cool before you start. Put your bottom layer of the cake down and ice the top generously, put your second layer on top and repeat, and finally, crown your stack with the third cake. Cover your creation in the remaining icing and you’re finished!
My only other suggestion here is to keep your cake in the fridge. I find it tastes even better after a few hours of chilling, and while you may find its physical size a bit intimidating – trust me, it will go.
Enjoy and remember, it’s made of carrots so it must be healthy (right?)!