This is the most popular cake on the site and one I’ve baked time and time again. Perfect for cake stalls, birthdays, bake days and study sessions, it’s seriously the easiest and most fool proof cake ever if you follow the recipe. Since so many of you have tried it, the tip section below is very comprehensive. Great for those that need help or have questions. Share the carrot cake love. It’s got vegetables in it, so it’s good for you. Ahem.

Makes: 2 medium loaves          Difficulty: Easy

EQUIPMENT:

·      2 medium loaf tins (21 x 11 x 6 cm; 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.5in)

·      Large bowl

·      Whisk

·      Spatula

·      Wire rack

·      Electric mixer / stand mixer

·      Oven thermometer

·      Kitchen timer

·      Kitchen scales

INGREDIENTS:

Cake

·      210g Brown Sugar

·      250ml Vegetable Oil (no olive oils)

·      3 large Eggs

·      1 pinch of Salt

·      ½ teaspoon Bicarbonate Soda

·      265g Self Raising Flour

·      4 large Carrots, finely grated

·      ½ cup of Walnuts, finely chopped

·      ½ cup of Sultanas (optional)

·      1 teaspoon Cinnamon Powder

·      1 teaspoon ground Nutmeg

Cream Cheese Frosting

·      300g Icing Sugar Mixture

·      125g Cream Cheese, cubed

·      50g Unsalted Butter, softened to room temperature

METHOD:

  • Heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (160 fan-forced; 350F). Line the bottom of two medium loaf tins with baking paper and grease the sides with non-stick spray. Set kitchen timer for 30 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, add the sugar and oil. Whisk together until the mixture is thick. Add the eggs one at a time. Whisk together for a few minutes until well combined.
  • Add in the salt, bicarbonate soda, grated carrot, walnuts, sultanas (optional), cinnamon, nutmeg and sifted flour. Stir all together with a spatula until all ingredients are evenly combined.
  • Split the cake batter evenly between the two loaf tins. Check the oven has reached the correct temperature. Place the cake tins on the middle rack of the oven. Bake until the tops are golden brown, the top springs back when lightly touched, and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. If not, add 5 minutes to the timer then check again. Repeat until cake is done. Total baking time is 35-45 minutes depending on your oven.
  • Remove cake tins from the oven. Allow cakes to cool for at least 10 minutes in the pan. Then turn cake onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Prepare the cream cheese frosting. Add the icing sugar mixture and softened butter to the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat with a paddle attachment until the butter has coated the icing sugar and there’s a sandy texture to the mix. With the beaters running on medium speed add cubes of softened cream cheese one at a time. The frosting will start quite thick then thin out as more cream cheese is added.
  • On medium-high speed beat the frosting until it becomes light and fluffy.
  • When the loaves are completely cool, slather the cream cheese frosting on top.

TIPS:

  • The recipe makes 2 medium loaves. It could also make one loaf and approximately 12 cupcakes. If you need one cake, just halve the ingredients. Baking time will vary depending on the size of the tin and the amount of cake you are cooking at once. Very roughly, I would use 15-20 minutes as a guide for cupcakes and 35-45 minutes for a whole cake. You could bake in larger or small pans, but the cooking time will vary. Larger pans need more time and smaller pans need less time. I can’t predict how much time it needs. Keep an eye on you cake closely and test for doneness as advised.
  • Baking time: I deliberately set the kitchen timer 5 minutes before the cake is expected to be done, so I’m reminded to watch the cake carefully at the final stages. All ovens have their own quirks and often the temperature dial does not accurately reflect the temperature inside. I recommend an oven thermometer inside to be sure.
  • Ingredient substitutions and omissions: cake baking relies on the chemistry between the published ingredients. Any time you alter core ingredients like flour, eggs, butters/oils and milk you risk the cake not working. Even substituting full fat ingredients for low-fat alternatives can ruin it as fat is a core component to the structure of cake. Feel free to experiment, but I can’t guarantee your cake will work if you start making your own changes.
  • Loaves will keep in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to 3 days.