I HAVE been searching for many years for a Carrot
cake recipe that contains a carrot or two, and does not
use a ton of sugar. I have recently discovered two that have a good
autumnal spicy flavour.
The first one is equally good made with grated apples. It also
uses the classic carrot/cardamom combination, which persuaded a
chance visitor that I'd put our house on the market, so seductive
was the scent of the cooling cake in the kitchen.
It makes 16 squares if you make it in a 22cm-square, deep
cake-tin; so it is ideal for a party. Walnuts are another classic
addition, but I no longer dare to use nuts if I'm cooking for
people I don't know. If you know that no one is allergic, throw in
a handful of chopped walnuts, or use a few to decorate.
275g (10 oz) self-raising wholemeal
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon each ground cinnamon and
200g (7 oz) fruit sugar
250ml (½ pt) vegetable oil
1 tablespoon real vanilla essence
400g (14 oz) finely grated carrot (or apple:
cooking or dessert)
Light the oven to 180°C/350°F/ Gas 4, and prepare the tins:
either two large sandwich tins, or one deep square tin. Whisk
together the eggs and fruit sugar till the mixture is pale and
light. Gradually whisk in the oil and vanilla. Fold in the flour,
bicarbonate of soda, and spices, and, lastly, add the grated
carrot. Bake the cake for about 30 minutes, or 45 minutes if you
use one deep tin.
Carrot cake traditionally is covered in cream-cheese icing. Make
your own according to taste with cream cheese, agave syrup or fruit
sugar, and cinnamon, whisked together until light.
The second recipe is vegan, and fat-free, and makes a more solid
cake that also works well as a pudding, served warm with custard.
It uses dried fruit and traditional Bonfire Night spices.
240g (8 oz) whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
300ml (10 fl. oz) water
250g (9 oz) dates, chopped
200g (7 oz) raisins
1 teaspoon each cinnamon and ground
½ teaspoon each ground cloves and ground nutmeg
200g (7 oz) carrot, finely grated
90ml (3 fl. oz) apple-juice concentrate, or 60g (2
oz) pear-and-apple spread and 2 tablespoons
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5) and prepare a deep cake
tin. Mix the flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl.
Combine the water, dates, raisins, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and
nutmeg in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, and
gently simmer for 5 minutes. Add the carrot and apple-juice
concentrate. Stir in the flour mixture quickly, and pour the cake
into a well-greased (or silicon) tin. Bake for 45 minutes, or until
the cake is done.