The Ultimate Carrot Cake
Now forgive me for being vain, but this is honestly the best cake I’ve ever made. I mean, I like carrot cake…but this is the Ultimate Carrot Cake. It’s SO moist, light and the cream cheese frosting is just the perfect accompaniment.
I’ve made it a few times now, and every time it goes within minutes with second helpings all round! Today being Mothers Day I thought it was the perfect time to bake it for the family and it didn’t disappoint. The recipe is absolutely fool-proof, every single time its as delicious as I remember!
This ultimate carrot cake uses sunflower oil rather than butter, helping it to keep super moist even a week later! The recipe also uses pine nuts rather than the more traditional walnuts and I won’t lie I wasn’t sure how it would work. But after considerable taste testing (for research purposes obviously….) I actually prefer it, it adds a really nice texture and flavour to the cake.
Cream cheese icing is one of my absolute favourites, especially if theres a red velvet cupcake beneath it. It just works so well, and this recipe in particular has the perfect ratio of icing sugar to cream cheese making sure its not too sweet. Theres also just enough, so you don’t end up sparingly smearing it between the layers or having to lick the bowl clean of the excess – guilty!!
The only problem with this cake is that its too light and moreish! You can have a load of slices without feeling guilty!! Oops..! Anyway, I hope I’ve tempted you enough to make this now. I promise it won’t disappoint!
On with the recipe:
4 large eggs
225ml sunflower oil
175g light muscovado sugar
3tbsp maple syrup
2tsp ground cinnamon
300g self-raising flour
1tsp baking powder
1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
50g pine nuts, toasted
350g (2-3) carrots, grated
400g full-fat cream cheese
50ml double cream
75g icing sugar
additional pine nuts for decoration
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 and line and butter three 8" baking tins.
Put the eggs, oil, sugar and maple syrup in a bowl and whisk with a hand-held electric whisk for 4-5 minutes until the mixture becomes creamy.
Sift together the cinnamon, flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda, then fold carefully into the mixture. Finally, gently fold the pine nuts and carrot in.
Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared tins and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
For the icing, beat the cream cheese and double cream together until smooth, then beat in the icing sugar until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
Once the cakes are completely cool, place one layer onto a cake stand or plate. Then using a piping bag, pipe dots of the icing around the outer rim of the cake layer and then a larger one in the middle. Using a palette knife smear all the dots inwards, and level out all the icing making sure to keep the rounded edges intact.
Lay the next layer of cake on top, and repeat the icing process. Finally, top the cake with the final layer and again pipe dots of icing around the outer rim of the cake. This time however, don't level out all of the icing, instead keep the 'smears' intact to create a flower-style on top of the cake. Use the remainder of the icing, to pipe a little in the middle of the flower and add pine nuts for decoration.
Best served on the day its baked.