Recipe – Carrot Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake - cut
I don’t know where the original recipe for this cake came from – perhaps a flatmate, or an ex-boyfriend’s mother. I only know I’ve been cooking it for over 25 years, making minor modifications along the way. My latest variation is adding orange zest to the cream cheese frosting … and I wish I’d thought of that sooner! At the end of the day, carrot cake is just an excuse to eat cream cheese frosting, isn’t it? This cake is moist due to all the carrot in it, so it keeps well, refrigerated for up to a week … if you can resist it for that long. For something more than a nice cup of tea alongside, try a Cream Sherry – specifically Lustau East India Solera, a sweet but not cloying blend of Oloroso and PX aged in solera in the warmest part of the bodega, honouring the days when sherry was shipped as ballast from the East Indies to Europe.

Serves 12

Ingredients
  • 185g salted butter, melted,
    plus extra for buttering cake tin
  • 1 cup self-raising flour, sifted,
    plus extra for flouring cake tin
  • 1 teaspoon bi-carb soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup demerara sugar
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups grated carrots (about 2 large carrots)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 60g butter
  • 125g Philadelphia original cream cheese
  • ¾ cup icing sugar
  • 1 orange, zest finely grated
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC.
  2. Butter and flour a 23cm non-stick cake tin.
  3. Sift flour, bi-carb soda, cinnamon and ginger into a bowl, add sugar, walnuts and carrot and stir to combine well.
  4. Add egg and butter and stir to combine well.
  5. Pour into cake tin and bake for 30-40 minutes, until a wooden skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  6. Meanwhile, make Orange Cream Cheese Frosting: beat all Ingredients together until soft and smooth. Refrigerate until needed.
  7. Remove cake from oven and set aside in cake tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
  8. Spread frosting over the top of the cooled cake and serve in wedges.

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