For most things applies the saying “You can’t pleased everyone”. I think there is an exception – do you know anyone who doesn’t like carrot cake?! I mean the moist, nice carrot cake with cream cheese icing……mmmmmmmmm…
A while ago I have discovered a great recipe for a spiced carrot cake. Since then, I was experimenting and adding ingredients I like, replacing the ones I like less (I’m not a big fan of nutmeg for example)…
The result is my Special Spiced Carrot Cake – it’s moist, spicy and goes perfectly with Cream Cheese icing (smooth and creamy, not sugary and grainy as we know it from many cafes and shops). Here is my tuned recipe:
For the cake (for 20cm / 8″ cake)
- 2 cups plain flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 3 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tbsp dark cocoa powder (unsweetend)
- pinch of black pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup vegetable oil (can be olive oil)
- 4 eggs (large)
- 3 cups peeled and grated carrots (I usually use 6-7 medium sized carrots)
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
For the icing:
- 500g of full fat soft cheese
- 250g of unsalted butter
- 2 cups icing sugar
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 170°. Line the bottom of a 20cm round cake tin with baking paper and grease it (I always grease my cake tins with butter and put a little of flour in it, then shake it to cover both bottom and sides).
- Sieve flour, soda, baking powder, all spices, cocoa and pepper into a large bowl, add sugar and salt. Whisk to combine all dry ingredients.
- Add eggs and oil, stir in until all ingredients are combined and you can see any flour patches. Add carrots and chopped walnuts to the mixture.
- Pour batter into the prepared and greased cake tin and place into preheated oven. Bake for 1 hour. (The time may vary, depends on your oven, I’ve baked the same cake for hour and a half ones). Before taking out, test with a wooden skewer / stick inserted in the center of the cake, when it comes out clean, the cake is done. When batter stuck to the stick, lower the heat and continue baking. Test frequently.
- Transfer cake to a cooling rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Then remove from the tin and let cool completely.
- In the meantime, prepare the icing. Beat soft cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth and fluffy. (It’s better when these are in room temperature). Add icing sugar and mix until smooth.
- Once cake is completely cooled, cut twice to create 3 layers. Put the bottom layer on a plate or cake mat, spread with icing. Cover with the second layer, again spread with icing and top with the last layer of cake. Cover the top and sides of cake with remaining icing. (when it’s a special occassion I leave some icing and decorate the cake. It’s also nice to press chopped walnuts on the sides of the cake.
Place in the fridge and let the icing set a bit, for about an hour. You can serve immediately, but I think carrot cake is always better on the second day!