Today I’m here to give you the ultimate carrot cake recipe. After years of testing different carrot cake recipes (because there are so many!) I have finally found the one and think I am in love. This will definitely, from now on, be my staple carrot cake recipe. Even my Grandma says that this was the best, most moist carrot cake she’s ever eaten (she promises) and she tells me she’s tried a lot of carrot cakes in her time!
Now, I know. It’s a bit odd that I made a carrot cake bang in the middle of summer. It was a spontaneous thing really. We had three carrots in the house that were begging to be grated or ribboned into a salad but, alas, the salad never came soon enough and the three carrots in the bottom drawer started to feel sad and neglected. So, instead of putting them in a salad, I did one better and indulged them and spoiled them by deciding to put them in a delicious carrot cake. I’m sure they were pretty chuffed about that. I mean, if I were a carrot and I knew I was going to be cooked anyway, I’d much rather be put in a carrot cake then some salad. Am I right?
Anyway, back to the carrot cake in summer issue. (Which I really don’t think is an “issue”). Just hear me out. When my mum suggested using the carrots for carrot cake: “Why don’t you use the leftover carrots to bake a carrot cake?” I heard the word “cake” and I heard the word “bake” so I jumped at the offer and within a couple of minutes I was in the kitchen, oven preheated, tin greased and apron on. But then, time started to slow down again and I was brought back into reality whilst mixing my cake batter. I had a moment of pensiveness. (<<It is a word, I Googled it.) My stirring slowed down and I stopped for a moment. Was I making a carrot cake in summer? This thought made me uncomfortable for a while – a spiced cake with thick, stodgy cream cheese frosting in the middle of summer? It just didn’t make sense. But then I started to think things through. We can’t play with the seasons or the weather to suit our baking needs. But what we can do is play with our baking recipe to suit the needs of the seasons, right? give you an e.g. because we all love a good e.g. don’t we? I particularly appreciated the e.g.s in my GCSE Maths textbook but that’s irrelevant so we won’t go into it.
e.g. you can take an apple cake. Autumn/Winter: top it with a nice, thick cinnamon frosting or serve it hot with a streusel topping. Spring/Summer: give it a good old crunchy sugary crust or just a sprinkle of icing sugar will do and serve with some summer berries. In conclusion, all cakes are for all seasons! It just depends what we do with them..
So, I thought for a while about how I could make this carrot cake more “summer-friendly” without taking too much away from the essence of a good carrot cake. I wasn’t about to be that person to take nutmeg and cinnamon out of carrot cake.. I’m not evil, you know. Now, it was the walnuts and raisins I had to consider. In the end I went for walnuts because.. Crunch. And in my opinion they make a summer salad sooo it makes sense for them to go in my summery cake. I said no to raisins (sorry raisins) because that would give it a more fruit cakey vibe, which I think is more wintery. But in the winter.. Go raisins! I love raisins in carrot cake because they kind of rehydrate a little bit when put in the wet cake mix, making them all plump and juicy.. Yum!
Ok so that was my cake mix sorted. Now for the topping. Frosting would be too much, for me personally, because I generally feel like lighter stuff in the summer. But it’s your choice! So I went for more of a glaze with the fresh, summery flavour of lemon (orange would be scrummy too, maybe even better, but I only had lemons at home!). It also gave my cake a really beautiful and simple finish as it meant that the glaze could do all the talking and I didn’t need any fancy toppings. But if you have frosting, some walnuts or lemon/orange zest would look lovely on top of that!
Now for the fun part.. The making and baking of my carrot cake! Here is the recipe I use for the sponge. It is THE BEST CARROT CAKE ever, I promise.
So first we have to do the boring bits. Preheat the oven and grease and line your tin. As you may remember from last year, I have limited cake tins here in my house in France so I just had to make do with the tins I have. But it turns out this tin was perfect. It is a shallow and wide circular tin (unlike the one in the recipe which results in a chunkier cake). But I have read the reviews and some people have done it as a loaf, muffins, cupcakes etc. and they all say that the recipe works brilliantly with all of them. You just have to watch your baking time maybe! Anyway that’s enough cake tin spiel for now..
Make a grate cake batter now by grating some carrots. Haha. Ha. Ha… Sorry I had to say it..
(P.S. a note to auto correct: no I didn’t mean “great” I meant “grate” because I’m an epic joker. You just can’t keep up with me..)
Measure out and mix your sugar, oil and eggs. It turns out when you add eggs to oil you make the most prettyyyyyyyy bubbles! I was far too excited about this.. I mean who doesn’t love bubbles?!
JUST LOOK AT THE BUBBLES. MESMERIZING? Or is it just me…
Now add the star of the show! The carrots.. They’re so grate. No, Sureyya. Seriously. Stop it.
Next up.. Add your dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, ground nutmeg and bicarb) The Winnie the Pooh spoon isn’t explicitly necessary for this stage, but it kind of is because look how cute it is!!!
Ooh look at that artsy sifting shot..
Now mix it all together (cause you know that it’s the best of both worlds!) Wow. My jokes today are,,, No comment.
This stage is where you can add whatever you like e.g. walnuts, raisins etc..
Pour your mixture into the tin and bake!
…And you should end up with a beautifully golden cake!
Let the cake cool and remove from the tin once completely cool. A springform tin or lose bottom tin makes this really easy… But if not, all you need is a really well-greased and floured tin and you’re good to go!
Now is where you can add your toppings.. To apply my glaze I just drizzled it on and brushed it with a silicone brush whilst it was still warm!
Recipe for the lemon glaze:
2tbsp lemon juice
90g icing sugar
90g caster sugar
And here it is.. The final product! I think it turned out really well, definitely on flavour and texture if not on presentation. But I do like the simple presentation. As my fellow art historians will know.. Mies always said “Less is More” and I am inclined to agree!
SLICE! And admire the moistness…
HAPPY BAKING! ❤