Carrot cake. I’m back with a bundt…

Hello. Remember me? I’m the woman who occasionally blogs about cakes, rarely blogs about singing and is rather fond of gin. I’ve had a bit of a leave of absence for a few reasons, but kick-started by the theft of my MacBook. I lostimage my blogging mojo and to some extent, my baking mojo too. I’ve had a run of bad luck with cakes, bundts particularly, and so I just didn’t feel it was right to post about my disasters on the world wide web. Hey, I know it’s okay to have disasters, but I was just a bit glum about the quantity of them!

It’s been a cakey couple of weeks for me. The Clandestine Cake Club has launched its second recipe book, A Year of Cake. The Manchester groups held a joint book launch party at Waterstones on
Deansgate (featured in the Manchester Evening News) that was attended by our founder, Lynn Hill, who also created a lot of recipes for the book. We also had a party in Leeds (it’s the wrong side off the Pennines,
but it’s where she’s from so I forgive her. Also don’t tell anyone as it really ruins my Lancashire cred, but I really love Yorkshire!) for the book contributors and club organisers. For the event I baked one of Lynn’s recipes from the new book. An olive oil, rosemary and lime bundt. This one worked. It’s the first one that’s worked in about 3 months! So it gave me my bundt mojo back. Hurrah!

I had a cake to bake for work, for a team meeting. I always like to bake for an appreciative crowd and the lovely folk at my work do seem to enjoy it. One colleague put in a request for me to bake, and as it was her birthday at the weekend, I couldn’t really say no. She requested either a lemon drizzle or carrot cake. I decided carrot would be lovely and seasonal. There are literally millions of carrot cake recipes out there, each with their own tweaks and variations, so I decided to have a bit of a play with recipes and ingredients and this is what I came up with.

Sweet carrots, warm spices and a simple cream cheese icing, this bundt was made in a 6-cup tin. For you non-bundt strange folk, you should be able to make it in a springform cake tin – 8″ should do. Just adjust the cooking times so that a skewer in the centre comes out clean. Should take around an hour depending on your oven.

Here’s the recipe…

Ingredients

  • caster sugar – 100g
  • self raising flour – 200g
  • vegetable oil – 85ml
  • carrots (grated) – 75g
  • eggs – 2
  • yoghurt – 75ml (I used lemon flavour, full fat)
  • salt ¼ teaspoon
  • cinnamon – 1tsp
  • mixed spice – 1tsp
  • raisins – 50g
  • walnuts (chopped) – 50g
  • zest of one lemon
  • vanilla – 1tsp

For the icing

  • 100g icing sugar
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 75g full fat cream cheese (cold)

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180/160 fan
  • Spray your chosen bundt tin with cake release spray
  • Combine the flour, spices, salt, lemon zest, carrots, raisins and half the walnuts in a bowl and give it a good stir so everything is mixed and coated.
  • Using a mixer or electric hand whisk, beat together the sugar and eggs until they’re full of air, light in colour and the consistency of thick, double cream. Should take about 5 minutes.
  • With the mixer running, slowly pour in the oil, followed by the yoghurt and vanilla.
  • Next, add the flour and carrots mixture, either on the slowest mixer speed or by hand. Don’t over-mix at this point. You just want everything to be lightly combined.
  • Pop it into your prepared tin and into the oven.
  • Bake for around 45 minutes, depending on your oven. Test it after 40 mins with a skewer. If it comes out clean, you’re done.
  • Allow to cool in the tin for 20 minutes or so, then turn out ont a rack and cool.
  • Make the cream cheese icing by mixing together the icing sugar and butter, then adding the chilled cream cheese and beating with an electric mixer for a few minutes until thick and pale and fluffy.
  • Slather on top of the cake (and the sides if you like) and sprinkle with the remaining walnuts.

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