I’ve always been a firm believer that vegetables do not belong in dessert. Carrots are for dinner, not cake. Zucchini belongs in fritters, not muffins. Black beans go in tacos, not brownies.
I made this cake because a few of the girls at work were dropping some pretty big hints. It came as a big surprise to me that I actually loved it. This carrot cake is so fluffy, not at all oily or dense. It’s by no means a healthy cake, there’s a lot of sugar in the cake, not to mention the frosting, but it’s 3 layers, so you only need a small slice. It would be perfect to make for an Easter treat to share with friends and family.
For the cake
225g brown sugar
180ml vegetable oil
3 eggs (I use size 7)
125g crushed pineapple, drained
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons orange rind
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
200g grated carrot, about 2 cups
2c walnuts, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease and line 3 x 8″ cake tins.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, pineapple, vanilla extract and orange rind. Set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold them together until just combined, then fold in the carrots and one cup of the walnuts.
Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared cake tins and bake for about 30 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool in the tins for 10 minutes, before turning out and cooling completely on a wire rack.
For the frosting
260g cream cheese, at room temperature
675g icing sugar
190g butter, softened
zest of one orange
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat all of the ingredients until the frosting is smooth, about 4-5 minutes.
Place one cake on a cake stand and plop on about 1c of the frosting. Smooth it out, leaving a 1cm border around the edge.
Place another cake on top, followed by another cup of frosting and smooth it out. Place the final layer on top. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Remove from the fridge and frost with the remaining frosting. There is enough for a ‘naked’ style, not to thickly cover the whole thing. Sprinkle the remaining walnuts on top.
Store in the fridge, covered in Gladwrap, for up to 5 days.
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