Old Fasioned Carrot Cake

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I might as well get all the old fashioned cakes done or ‘baked’ – I’ve posted an old fashioned coffee cake recipe, last week was Ginger and Lemon Cake so this is the final in the trio of ‘cakes to bake when I cant think of anything else to do’ (like iron / correct / check homework etc……)  Carrot Cake! I don’t have any back story or family memories about carrot cake as quite frankly, growing up in 1970s / 80s Ireland, I reckon “carrot cake” was as exotic as lasagne or chilli. Putting carrots in cakes and not beside a pork chop or boiled ribs (another mystery to me – why didn’t someone tell our mothers that ribs  ARE good, with sticky barbeque and honey sauce, barbequed or roasted – NOT boiled) was just plain weird. Something Americans would do. But of course we have all discovered the taste of moist delicious carrot cake, usually finished with a cream cheese frosting, maybe flavoured with some orange zest? Yes – I also like carrot cake.

What I don’t like about carrot cake recipes are loads of ingredients, lining tins, and the general faf that can entail. This is the answer – a tray bake that can be in the oven baking within 10 minutes of the decision being made to bake a carrot cake. Its adapted from the same little book of cakes as last weeks Ginger cake – “BBC Food 101 Best CAkes and Bakes”.

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Ingredients

175g light muscovado sugar

175ml sunflower oil

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

140g grated carrots (about 3 medium)

grated zest of 1 large orange

175g self-raising flour

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp grated nutmeg (freshly grated will give you the best flavour)

(You can also add about 4 oz raisins – I prefer it without)

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Preparation

  • Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4/fan 160C. Oil and line the base and sides of an 18cm square cake tin (I have used a small rectangular roasting dish too) with baking parchment.
  • Tip the sugar into a large mixing bowl, pour in the oil and add the eggs. Lightly mix with a wooden spoon. Stir in the grated carrots, (raisins if adding) and orange rind.

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  • Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices, then sift into the bowl. Lightly mix all the ingredients – when everything is evenly amalgamated stop mixing. The mixture will be fairly soft and almost runny.

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  • Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 40- 45 minutes, until it feels firm and springy when you press it in the centre.

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  • Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn it out, peel off the paper and cool on a wire rack. (You can freeze the cake at this point.)
  • Ice with Cream Cheese Frosting – see recipe from Red Velvet Cup Cakes Post and add finely grated zest of one orange.
  • Spread on top and slice.

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