Yes, it’s been around the block a bit…Carrots were used in medieval times as an alternative to expensive sweeteners, this cake has been popular in Switzerland since 1892, revived in Great Britain due to the rationing of the Second World War, voted no 5 in Americas top fad foods of the 1970’s and even been voted most favourite cake in the UK, in 2011.
My liking for this cake was ‘revived’ when I tried Debbie’s version at Rowena Corner Store, in Melbourne. It’s really a great café and you must try it. Nestled behind Bridge Road on a residential street, it’s great for locals and those who either stumble upon it or navigate with intention, cosy, welcoming and great food too, check it out.
Anyway, Debbie cooks here on weekends and even though all her cakes deserve recognition, this is my favourite and I love having her ‘authentic’, carrot stained, scribbled version cello taped into my scrap book.
It’s really simple to make, just mix all dry ingredients together, all wet ingredients together and then combine the two. The result is an extremely moist, dense cake, that will easily keep for a week (unless it’s all gobbled up!)
Feel free to make little marzipan carrots for decorating the top, I do this often with this cake, you’ll just need the marzipan and food colourings.
- 2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
- 1 ¼ cups of brown sugar
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp mixed spice
- 4 eggs, whisked
- 1 1/3 cups veg oil
- 3 medium carrots, grated
- 1/3 cup sultanas
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- 375g full fat cream cheese (if icing all over) or 250g if icing just the top
- 3 cups icing sugar, sifted (if icing all over) or 2 cups for just the top
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Heat oven to 170°C. Grease a 23cm spring form cake tin. It doesn’t matter if yours is a little under or over, it will just effect the cooking time, be careful though as the cake does rise about 3-4 cm.
Mix together all dry ingredients.
Mix together all wet ingredients.
Mix both together with a wooden spoon.
Pour mix into your cake tin and bake for about 1 hour, or until a skewer comes out clean and the top springs back to the touch.
While this cools down on a rack, make your icing by adding the cream cheese and icing sugar to a food processor, or mix by hand. Get your icing to your desired consistency, you may need to add more icing sugar – I always seem to!
Ice around your cake once it’s cooled and scatter over your chopped walnuts. Enjoy, and thanks Debs!