Oooh, carrot cake. I love me some carrot cake. My first time eating it was two years ago, when we were on holiday in the South-West of England, enjoying an afternoon tea (the hot drink-type, not the dinner-type) after a long walk through the countryside. We sat down in the shadows of a large tree in the back garden of a miller's house-turned-teahouse, ordered our drinks and cake, and sat there for a good hour and a half. Not just because it was so lovely. Also because the slices of cake they brought us were HUGE. And carrot cake, in case you didn't know, is very filling.
We're not a very veggies-in-our-sweets type of people, us Dutchies, so things like carrot cake aren't eaten a lot. I wish they were, though. It's a great cake! So I made it for my birthday this past Tuesday (I turned 24! Holy crap, 24!), and we loved it!
Walnuts. A good carrot cake needs some more texture than just 'cake', so I added some walnuts and a good two handfuls of golden raisins.
Then I grated my carrots. All my fingernails turned bright orange! (And even after washing them twice and scrubbing thoroughly, they still had a hint of orange on them... That carrot juice man, it stains!)
This is the cake batter, right before I poured (pushed, scooped, shook... It's pretty thick for a batter!) it into the cake tin.
And the cake, right after it came out of the oven! Golden brown, nicely domed and oh.. that smell... Hmm....
A good carrot cake needs a cream cheese frosting! I made this one not too sweet, because it can get so overwhelming when it's too sweet, so I just added sugar until it tasted just right to my buds.
Hmmm.. Take a bite! I know you want to...
Recipe: carrot cake (based loosely on "The loveliest carrot cake in the world" on Let her Bake Cake.)
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cup butter, melted
- about 9 carrots (medium-sized), grated
- 100 gr. walnuts, chopped finely
- a large handful of raisins (golden)
- 250 gr cream cheese
- 125 gr butter, softened
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar (or extra, according to taste)
For the cake:
- Preheat your oven to 175 C. Butter a 9-inch spring form pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. (Cut a rectangle that's somewhat bigger than your pan, place it over the top of the bottom of your pan, place the sides over the paper and close the spring form. The paper is now held firmly in place by your spring form pan and you can trim down the edges!)
- Mix your eggs, sugar and butter together in a mixing bowl until it's fluffy and light.
- Add your grated carrots.
- In a separate bowl, mix together your flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in batches and mix until combined.
- Fold in your chopped walnuts and raisins.
- pour into your prepared pan and pop it in the oven! Bake for approximately 45 minutes, until golden brown and a skewer, when inserted in the middle, will come out mostly clean (a few crumbs is no problem. A good carrot cake will be slightly moist. Mine was actually a bit overbaked and slightly dry, because I thought it wasn't done and added an extra 5 minutes to the baking time!)
- When the cake is done, take it out of the oven and allow to cool completely.
For the frosting:
- Mix together the cream cheese and the butter until soft and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla extract and mix until incorporated.
- Mix in the powdered sugar in small steps and taste regularly, until it is as sweet as you like it.
- When the cake is completely cooled, frost the cake.
The cake can be made up to a day in advance. I frosted the cake half a day in advance and kept it in the fridge until about an hour before serving.