Carrot cake is a quintessentially classic British cake, and accompanied with a cup of tea this sweet treat really hits the spot. This little gem of a recipe maintains the lusciously jam packed sponge and jazzes up the icing to give the cake a fresh summer kick.
So without wasting any more time:
For the Sponge you will need:
250g softened butter
250g brown sugar (light)
170g self-raising flour
5 large eggs separated into yolks and whites (you will need both parts)
1 heaped tsp baking powder
250g carrots, peeled and grated
1 orange, zest and juice
100g ground almonds
100g walnuts, chopped (plus a few extra to decorate)
1 heaped tsp ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground clove
1 pinch ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground ginger
For the Lime Mascarpone Icing:
100g Mascarpone cheese
200g full-fat cream cheese (full fat is very important, otherwise the consistency will be too runny)
85g icing sugar
2 limes, zest and juice
- First things first, get that oven pre-heated at 180°
Tin Talk: You can either put all the cake mixture into one tin and bake it that way, but there is the risk, due to the cakes depth, of it becoming burnt on the outside and raw in the middle. So, to avoid this, use two equally sized cake tins and split the batter evenly between the two. The cakes will cook evenly and there is minimal chance of burning the outsides.
- Grease and line your two cake tins with greaseproof paper.
- In a large mixing bowl (to avoid being splattered) beat the butter and sugar together with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy. You can do this by hand, however it will take much longer.
- Beat in the egg yolks one by one using the electric whisk and add the orange juice and zest.
- Add in the flour, baking powder, grated carrot, ground almonds and walnuts and mix together.
- Next you’ll be whisking your egg whites. Whisk your egg whites with a pinch of salt until it forms stiff peaks. Gently fold the whites into the cake mixture with a spatula or tablespoon.
Tip: You need to make sure the bowl you are using and the whisk is completely clean otherwise the egg whites won’t stiffen properly.
- Evenly distribute the cake mixture between your two prepared cake tins and tap the tins on a surface to ensure the mixture is evenly distributed and flat on top.
- Bake in your pre-heated oven for 50 mins until they’re well risen and golden looking.
Tip: To check if your cakes are cooked inside, poke a metal skewer into the centre and if it comes out clean its done!
- Once baked leave in the tins for 10 mins then turn out onto a wire rack to cool for at least an hour.
Tip: Once the cakes are cool you can either freeze them or decorate them.
Method for the icing:
- Whisk all the ingredient together in a large mixing bowl. Give it a taste and if you think you’d like it sweeter, or the kick of lime needs to be more predominant, add more to your liking.
- Coat generously on both cakes and then place one on top of the other.
- Sprinkle with chopped walnuts and dust with cinnamon and lime zest.
Tip: If you have leftover icing, DON’T THROW IT AWAY! Put it in a bowl and shove it in the fridge, when you’re serving your cake bring it out and it’s there if people want an extra dollop on the side.
Words: Iona McGregor-Nelson
Feature Image and Image 1: Both by author