A legend in the cake world.
I have eaten many different carrot cakes in my time and it is quite impressive how much they can vary. Some are huge and full of icing and wonderfully spicy, nutty and delicious. Some are dry, crumbly and disappointing.
This recipe is hands down the best! I warn you, it won't last long so keep it in your sight and make sure you get your fair share!
235ml coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
4 large eggs
100g yoghurt (low fat or full fat work equally well)
1.5 tsp vanilla extract/essence
Zest of 1/2 an orange
265g self raising flour (or 265g plain flour and 3.5tsp of baking powder)
100g dark muscovado sugar
235g light muscovado sugar
265g carrots grated (3-4)
1/4 fresh nutmeg finely grated
1tsp ground ginger
2.5tsp ground cinnamon
(100g walnuts/pecans optional if you prefer the crunch)
300g icing sugar (if you're really stuck - use granulated sugar blended into a powder in a nutribullet or strong blender)
100g cream cheese (full fat or low fat again equally work well)
Preheat oven to 160C fan/180 Conventional/Gas mark 4.
Whisk together the oil, eggs, vanilla, yoghurt and zest. If you're using coconut oil, don't panic if it looks curdled/scrambled eggs in texture after whisking, some of it is just staying solidified. Once you add the dry mix, everything comes together.
In a separate bowl add the flour, sugar, spices and a good pinch of salt. Muscovado sugar can be quite lumpy so do your best to squeeze out all the lumps with your fingers or a wooden spoon.
Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well. Add the grated carrot, raisins and nuts if using and mix until evenly spread throughout.
Line the base of two 20cm baking tins with parchment and use some oil for the bottom and edges. Divide the mix evenly between the two tins. Bake for 25-35 mins. Check at 25 mins with a small knife or scewer inserted into the middle. If wet mix comes away then bake for another 5 mins and check again. If it is starting to brown on top then cover them with foil.
Allow to cool completely in the tins before removing and icing.
To make the icing beat the butter and sugar together well. It should be smooth with no lumps of icing sugar. You can sieve the icing sugar for best results. Add half the cream cheese to blend it in well before adding the rest. It helps it blend smoothly together and not look curdled.
Once the cakes are cool, divide the icing between the two. I ice the "bottom" of the cakes i.e. the flattest side. One cake is the bottom for the middle layer of icing and the other is the top. You can decorate the top with raisins or nuts around the edge.
Best kept in the fridge for up to 5 days. Eat at room temperature. If it is sure to be eaten quickly and you don't have room in the fridge, keep in an airtight container in a cool place.