This recipe comes from my very lovely Auntie Rosie. My mum has had a hand-written copy tucked away in a folder for years, and it’s really the only go-to carrot cake recipe that you need. It’s very lightly spiced with cinnamon and comes out the oven dense, but deliciously moist thanks to the carrots and apples. A light, fluffy Victoria sponge can be absolute perfection, but sometimes your cravings call for a richer cake, one with the caramel flavour of brown sugar, the softness of cooked fruits and vegetables and small bursts of fudgy raisins throughout. The sourness of the icing on top helps to balance the sweet sponge. It’s a simple cream cheese affair, flavoured with lemon juice and, my own personal addition, orange zest.
2 tbsp olive oil
250g carrots, peeled and grated
2 apples, peeled and grated
170g soft brown sugar
7 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
3 tbsp milk
60g icing sugar
250g cream cheese
1 tbsp lemon juice
Zest of 1 orange
1. Preheat the oven to 160C fan/180C/Gas Mark 4 and grease a 20cm cake tin with a little butter.
2. Melt the butter and mix with the olive oil.
3. Mix the fats with the sugar, eggs, and grated carrots and apples.
4. Sieve the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt) and fold into the wet mix.
5. Add the milk and raisins to the cake mixture and stir well.
6. Spoon the cake mixture into the cake tin and bake for about an hour until a skewer comes out the middle of the cake clean.
7. Turn the cake out and leave to cool while you make the icing.
8. To make the icing simply beat together the icing sugar, cream cheese, lemon juice and orange zest. Keep in the fridge until you are ready to ice the cake.
9. Once the sponge is completely cool, spoon the cream cheese frosting onto the cake and spread evenly. Leave like this, or decorate in whatever way takes your fancy: I dotted some orange food colouring gel around the top of the cake and then used a skewer to swirl it through the icing.
This carrot cake doesn’t need any extras, like cream, on the side whether it’s served up mid-afternoon or for pudding. All you need is a generous wedge of cake, and perhaps a cup of tea.
Thanks for the fabulous recipe Auntie Rosie! x