Carrot cake

This is an absolute blinder of a cake. You’d be forgiven for thinking it had been made by the WI themselves, but of course it’s another Him Indoors special – inspired by a recipe from Good Food magazine. Consequently there are no raisins in this one, you can add some if you like.  He used a loaf tin with a base measurement of 7½ inches (19 cm) by 3½ inches (8.5 cm) for this recipe.

Carrot cake

serves 10

The cake:
juice 1 orange/ 2fl oz orange juice
85g / 3oz wholemeal flour
85g / 3oz self-raising flour
175g / 6oz light soft brown sugar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground ginger
half tsp salt
125ml / 4fl oz sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing
2 eggs, beaten
175g / 6oz carrot (about 2), peeled and coarsely grated
50g / 2oz walnut halves, roughly chopped, plus extra to decorate

The icing:
85g / 3oz Philadelphia (or other soft cheese)
25g / 1oz butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
175g / 6oz icing sugar

Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas 4. Grease a loaf tin and line with greaseproof paper. Sift together the flours, sugar, bicarbonate of soda, spices and salt in a large mixing bowl. Pour the oil and eggs into the dry ingredients, mixing well, then fold in the grated carrot, walnuts and orange juice.

Fill the tin and smooth the top. Bake for 1 hour until Delia reckons it’s cooked. Leave to cool for a few minutes then turn out onto a rack to cool properly.

Meanwhile make the icing. Beat the cheese, butter and vanilla extract until smooth. Sift in the icing sugar, mix well, then chill until needed. To decorate, split the cake in half and spread the bottom with half of the icing. Replace the top half, then spread the remaining icing over the top using the back of a fork to make nice swirly shapes. Dot with walnuts to decorate.

Adapted from a recipe by Diane Louttit, originally published in Good Food Magazine

Author: Rachel Wheeley

Comedian, podcaster, based in London, UK

3 thoughts on “Carrot cake”

  1. This looks delicious and I cannot wait to make it for my girlfriend. She’s been in love with carrot cake ever since she first visited the UK – unfortunately we cannot get them in the Canary Islands.

    As a novice in the kitchen I do have a couple of questions however…

    Firstly, what size tray is recommended for the given proportions ?

    Secondly, is it possible to use pure orange juice (the one with ´bits´ perhaps) in place of an actual squeezed orange… and if so, how many fluid ounces would you recommend.

    I’m planning on attempting this in the coming week so please let me know. I shall certainly let you know it turns out.

    Many thanks, Gary
    -Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

  2. Hi Gary,

    Thanks for your questions, I have updated the recipe above with the answers. Him Indoors used a standard loaf tin for the recipe (dimensions above), and you can use orange juice instead of the juice of a real orange, according to the Florida citrus growers there are 2 fl oz of orange juice in an orange! Let me know how it goes!


    Rach x

  3. Wow… just… wow!

    After 2 weeks of searching for ‘Light Soft Brown’ sugar here in the canaries and after finally finding a spice shop in a small out-of-town market who actually knew how to prepare me a bag of mixed spices… I finally went for it.

    I used pure orange juice (with ‘bits’) and left out the ginger as my spices mix had considerable ginger already.

    The result was a carrot cake the like of which I’ve never tasted before. This is an absolutely amazing recipe and the execution was simple enough for a kitchen virgin like myself.

    I actually used a good microwave oven for the baking and the results were rich, moist and delicious.

    For decoration I had intended to fashion half-carrots from marzipan and colouring, however marzipan is hard to obtain here except at xmas time and it tends to be hardened and preformed into shapes. So, instead, I prepared a layer of soft orange icing on a baking sheet, allowed it to dry a little, cut the shapes and pinched them into a carrotlike mound finally giving them a little texture with the side of a cocktail stick. Another small batch of green icing was cut with a knife into three tiny leaves which I pinched together at one end and then pressed into the carrot body with aforementioned cocktail stick.

    Once each slice of cake was adorned with its own little carrot they looked and tasked better than anything I’d expect to buy in a store.

    The only thing I’d do differently is cook more of them. They just disappear so fast!

    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe with us,

    -Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

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