I have a recipe for carrot cake that has been my standard carrot cake ever since it was given to me by a friend from Australia. Carrot cake also happens to be my husband’s favourite cake, so this page of my recipe folder has become quite well-thumbed. However, our household recently suffered from a bout of a nasty, school-incubated sickness bug. The carrot cake that I had made on the day before it was my turn to suffer consequently remained in the cake tin largely untouched. When I came to dispose of its remains, I was struck by its oiliness. From that moment onwards, I began to wonder about the possibilities of using butter rather than vegetable oil in my carrot cakes …
After much trial and error, I have now come to regard this recipe as my new standard carrot cake. It produces a cake that is moist without being cloyingly oily and flavoursome without being fussy. And oh, this is a carrot cake that can be enjoyed ‘naked’ – my husband dislikes the usual frosting!
2 oz butter
5 oz caster sugar
2 oz light muscovado sugar
6 oz grated carrot
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 oz plain flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
1/8 teaspoon crushed cardamom seeds
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/350 degrees F. Grease and line a 20 cm/8″ cake tin.
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the sugars and cook gently over a low heat for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and add the carrot, orange rind and vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
Sift flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and spices into a bowl. Whisk to combine.
Add the carrot mixture and stir well until combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the cake tin and cool on a wire rack.