Carrot Cake


So, I was going to present you with healthy chocolate cake for this post. I had found a recipe for one that had little sugar, cocoa powder instead of chocolate, plain yoghurt and no butter. All this should have probably been a warning sign to me… because what came out of the oven was unworthy of being called a cake! It was tasteless and had a rubber like texture – disgusting really. I very rarely have a baking disaster but this was definitely one and therefore I decided to make a revenge cake!

The idea of a revenge cake comes from my Japanese colleague Kei, who once made some chocolate cupcakes that didn’t come out as were supposed to be, so she had to get her revenge by making another cake straight away, a “revenge cake”. She said, her mom always made revenge cakes if a cake didn’t come out as planned. I liked the idea, so following my cake disaster I decided to bake a tried and tested carrot cake, as my revenge.

The recipe for this cake is from Pret A Manger’s cookbook Food on the Move. I always liked their carrot cake and this recipe gives you a very similar result. Pineapple pieces are added to the batter, giving the cake some juicy bursts of fruit.

The icing is very sweet but with a cake being this dense, it works. However, if you are having this cake for brunch, you might want to go easy on it. If you are having another piece as a treat later on in the day, bring it on!

You’ll need:

  • a 21cm round baking tin
  • baking paper

For the Icing:

  • 400g icing sugar
  • 100g cream cheese
  • 50g unsalted butter

For the Cake:

  • 2 eggs
  • 200g soft brown sugar
  • 150ml sunflower oil
  • 200g grated carrot
  • 50g pecan pieces, roughly chopped
  • 75g diced pineapple (fresh or tinned), roughly chopped
  • 50g desiccated coconut
  • 200g flour
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1tsp bicarb of soda
  • 1tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees and line the baking tin with baking paper.

Start with the icing by beating the butter and cream cheese together with an electric whisk until smooth. Add the icing sugar in three batches, whisking in each batch before adding the next. Put aside in the fridge to set.

For the cake, whisk the eggs until doubled in volume then add the sugar and whisk until pale and fluffy. Keep whisking on a high speed, as you slowly pour in the oil in a steady stream. The mix should hold the shape of a trail across the surface.

Gently fold in the carrot, pecan pieces, pineapple and coconut (I use a big metal spoon for this). Then fold in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt and transfer the mix into the cake tin. Bake for 1 hour (do the skewer test…) and if the cake goes too dark at the end of the baking time, cover the top with baking paper or foil to protect it from burning.

When the cake is baked, leave it to cool in the tin for 10-15 minutes before turning it out on a wire rack to cool it completely. When cold, slice the cake in half horizontally and spread one half with half the icing and sandwich the halves together again. Then cover the top with the rest of the icing and you’re done!



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