Carrot Cake…there, I removed the word “moist” for those allergic to it!! Personally, I have no major issues with the word – I find the use of “lush” and “scrumptious” more annoying J So tell me, are you one of those who likes Carrot Cake because of the icing or because you think it's healthier? Me, I hate icing, frosting or glaze of any sort on homemade cakes (which reminds me, “naked cake” or “nude cake” are again words I find extremely annoying and noooo I am not a prude…at least I think I am not!)…as for healthier, well, all that sugar certainly isn’t good for you, but if a cake is what you crave for, all that fibre certainly is good for you and the no icing bit sure does help! I have been using this cake recipe for quite a while now…a Rachel Allen recipe so of course it has to be perfect…but seriously it was the least complicated and fuss free recipe I found and I stick to those like my life depends on it…as for the facebook post on the secret ingredient...the secret ingredient got added in last year when I was short on carrots and all prep was done before I realized…the solution was simple, I could either not make it (my first instinct always leads me away from doing anything!) or use something similar to make up for the bulk…and bingo! there it was right in front of my eyes…Sweet Potatoes!!...and ever since, the Super Moist Carrot Cake has been converted into Super Moist Carrot and Sweet Potato Cake…the only thing you have to remember, is to use the fine grater attachment to ensure that the carrots (and sweet potatoes, if using) blend in and it is easier to cut the cake cleanly later…I didn’t this time, to ensure the grated sweet potato shows up in the picture…and before I forget, adding raisins and walnuts is totally up to you…I don’t add either as it makes the cake taste like Christmas cake and to me personally, the clutter free cake (just like my life now) tastes much better J
Carrot Cake (Carrot and Sweet Potato Cake)
- Self Raising flour, 180gms (you can substitute with 170gms Regular All Purpose Flour + 10gms of Baking Powder)
- Salt, ¼ tsp (Self raising flour in the UK unlike the US doesn’t have salt added to it. Skip the salt here, if you are using US self raising flour)
- Baking Soda/Soda Bicarbonate, ½ tsp
- Vanilla Extract, 1 tsp (RA doesn’t, I do)
- Ground Cinnamon, 1 tsp (or if allergic to cinnamon smell or taste or the idea of using spices in a cake, skip both cinnamon and nutmeg and just increase vanilla extract to 1 tbsb)
- Grated Nutmeg, ½ tsp (I have stopped using this one)
- Eggs, 2 large
- Flavourless Vegetable Oil, 150ml
- Soft Brown Sugar, 200gms (or dark brown sugar or demerara sugar or regular old white sugar….I almost always use Demerara sugar as that is our normal sugar in the house for tea, coffee etc and I hate buying specific ingredients for a single recipe unless I absolutely have to. Back home in India I used to make this with plain white sugar most of the time and the cake is absolutely fine using it)
- Carrots, peeled and grated and then weighed, 300gms (when using sweet potatoes – I use 150-200gms of carrots and make up the balance with grated sweet potatoes, ensure both are freshly grated)
- Orange zest from 1 orange (optional)
- Walnuts or Pecans, roughly chopped/crushed, 75gms (optional)
- Raisins, 100gms (optional)
Preheat the oven to 150ºC. Oil and line the 5X9 inch loaf tin or an 8 inch round tin with grease proof paper. (Rachel Allen’s recipe specifies using a loaf tin, but I use a round tin as it makes it look more like a cake and not bread)
In a bowl, sift and whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, brown sugar and vanilla extract.
Stir grated carrots, sweet potatoes and orange zest into the wet ingredients until evenly coated. If you are using nuts and/or raisins, stir them in at this time as well.
Fold in the dry ingredients into wet just until no floury bits remain.
Pour the batter into prepared pan, smooth the surface and bake for 60 to 75 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out batter-free.
Let cool in the pan for 20 to 30 minutes, then remove from pan and cool the rest of the way on a wire rack.