This classic – the carrot cake – is simple to make, full of sweetness, spices and walnuts, and covered with a glorious cream cheese icing. I’ve been making it since I was about twenty (a very long time) so why it took me seven goes to get it cooked and photographed and onto this blog is beyond me! If you want to read this sad and sorry tale of food blogging then head to the bottom of this post. Otherwise, forge ahead, make this toothsome concoction for your family, friends or workmates, and enjoy their smiles of satisfaction.
Makes a 20 cm round cake, and serves 8 – 12
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour (make it gluten free by substituting gluten free flour – it works well))
1 teaspoon grated cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
2 cups grated carrot
1 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup canola oil
1 medium sized banana, mashed
250 g cream cheese
3/4 cup icing sugar
Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease a 20 cm round cake tin and line the base with silicon paper. In a large mixing bowl combine the brown sugar, grated rind of the lemon, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, grated carrot and walnuts. In a small bowl whisk together the eggs, oil and mashed banana and then combine with the dry ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon. Spoon into the cake tin and smooth the top. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly pressed and a skewer, gently inserted into the middle of the cake and removed, comes out clean. Turn out of the cake tin and cool on a wire rack. When completely cold, ice with the cream cheese icing. Keeps for 3 days in an airtight container.
To make the icing beat together the cream cheese, the juice of the lemon and the icing sugar, until thick and glossy.
The cook, the cake, her blog and her disasters
First attempt: Recipe testing – looks good, tastes good, family eats cake.
Second attempt: Bake cake, ice cake, get ready to photograph cake, it rains, family eats cake.
Third attempt: Bake cake, realise plain instead of self raising flour used, cake is actually pudding, family try to eat cake but can’t, dog eats cake.
Fourth attempt: Bake cakes in muffin tin in hope of good result, forget they were in the oven, burn cakes, throw cakes away.
Fifth attempt: Bake cake, cake sticks to bottom of tin, cake collapses, cook despairs, family eats cake.
Sixth attempt: Bake cake, ice cake, take photos, bad photos, cook rages, family eats cake.
Seventh time’s a charm: Bake cake, ice cake, take photos, photos OK, cook writes blog post, family eats cake, family vows not to eat carrot cake again.
Oh dear! You poor thing. I know this was written a long time ago now but I definitely empathise with the less-than-ideal bake outcomes, photo conditions etc…! Glad that the seventh time was a charm (it looks delicious! I adore carrot cake so I’m glad you persisted in sharing your recipe!) x
Thanks laura..it’s been a while since I made carrot cake after that episode, but maybe sometime soon I will feel up to it again. 🙂 Thanks for spending so much time cruising around my blog. Cheers, margaret.
Your list of seven attempts to put this cake on the blog had me laughing out loud, in a cafe. Pure gold. Has your dog also vowed not to eat carrot cake ever again? The cake sounds and looks great, so your dedication was rewarded finally!
Our dog has no shame and is relentless in his pursuit of ‘people food’ so I am sure he would go for it however many times it was offered. But I think it will be a little while before it is offered again, at home at least. I am, however, making for an Easter morning tea at work this week, so the carrot cake lives! margaret
Been there! Glad you stuck with it. I love the addition of banana.
Thanks Michelle. I was not going to let it go, although the family was ready to give up! margaret
Oh do I feel your pain! But I’m impressed you stuck with it — after attempt #4 I might have given up. Of course, that cake is so pretty and looks so delicious I’m guessing it was well worth the effort!
I was determined not to be defeated! And it was yummy. margaret
The cake looks amazing! My husband’s birthday is in a couple of weeks and carrot cake is his all time favorite! Hopefully I can get it the first try! (But I loved your story of the 6 previous tries!! Ha! Ha!)
I hope so too! And I hope your husband likes it for his birthday. margaret