It's no secret that I have a sweet tooth, and I have something of a long term affair going on with Carrot Cake. From my childhood curiosity of this apparently strange creation to conversations with fellow bakers about whether it should contain fruit or nuts, or both; I'll always find myself deeply satisfied when I'm enjoying a slice of it.
There are many variations of Carrot Cake, and mine doesn't feature any Dates or Figs as I've never liked them. Instead, I load up on good old walnuts and of course plenty of carrot. I also bake mine with added mashed banana because there's nothing more depressing than a dry Carrot Cake; it has to be soft and moist IMO.
- 225g self-raising flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 150g soft light brown sugar
- 100g chopped walnuts (plus a handful for the top)
- 2 large carrots, grated
- 2 small very ripe bananas, mashed
- 2 eggs
- 125ml sunflower oil
- 175g soft cream cheese
- 175g icing sugar, sifted
1. Lightly grease an 18cm round cake tin, ideally with a loose, springform bottom. Cut out a circle of baking or greaseproof paper and place it inside. Preheat the oven to 180C / Gas 4.
2. Mix together the flour, baking powder, chopped walnuts and brown sugar in a large bowl.
3. Squeeze out as much water from the grated carrots as possible (using your hands is easiest) and add them to bowl, then mix in the mashed bananas.
4. Beat the eggs and oil together and then pour them into the mixture, beating well with a wooden spoon.
5. Spoon the mixture into the cake tin, making sure to level it out. Cook for around 1-1/4 hours, until a skewer pushed in the middle comes out clean. Carefully remove cake from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.
6. Beat the cream cheese and icing sugar together, and spread evenly over the top of the cake. Sprinkle on the extra chopped walnuts and pop into the fridge for about an hour to allow the topping to set before serving.