Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

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First things first. Happy Spring! I can say this with conviction as it’s been sunny for over a week now and suddenly it seems like that particular season is a possibility.

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The elephant in the room? The very pink elephant. I haven’t blogged in a long time. There I’ve said it now. So the elephant can leave. I am not going to mention it again.

The blog has had a slight revamp because 2015 blogging has scarily moved on (and on) from 2012. I imagine it’s a work in progress. Bear with me.

I’ve always wanted to do two things. Bake and write. I will continue to do this here.

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Since I’ve last spoken to you a few changes have occurred. I am now baking professionally as well as for pleasure (well very little of the latter is happening these days much to my family’s chagrin). Things really started to move forward last summer when I started making the cakes for a friend’s cafe. I have now added another local cafe to my belt and am learning so much from the experience. It’s what you call a learning curve. Sometimes more of a flat line or an upside down arc. It’s good to learn and it’s even better to curve.

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This carrot cake is one I made last week for them. It’s a popular staple along with Victoria Sponge, Coffee & Walnut, Lemon Polenta and Chocolate Fudge. I seem to make all of these at least once a week! Carrot cake is a great all seasons cake. Orange like the changing leaves, cinnamon flavourings like Christmas wines, carrots that pull from the ground in Spring, and light cream cheese icing which is soft and cool in the Summer sun. Can’t beat it really.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

450g grated carrots (about 3 large carrots)
260g raisins
1 can of crushed pineapple, drained
4 large eggs
260g caster sugar
240ml vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
240g plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
2 tsp cinnamon
50g sweetened shredded (desiccated) coconut

Preheat your oven to 180c. Grease 2 x 8″/20cm baking tins and line with baking paper.

Combine the grated carrots, raisins, coconut if using in a large bowl.

In the bowl of a electric mixer (you can also do this by hand if you prefer) beat eggs and sugar together. Carefully add the oil, vanilla and crushed pineapple.

In a separate bowl sift the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together. Slowly add these to the egg mixture, beating well. Pour this mixture into the large bowl with carrots and mix together until everything is well incorporated.

Fill each baking tin evenly and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and a fork comes out clean. Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for about 10 mins and then carefully turn them out onto a wire rack. Leave to cool completely before icing.

Cream Cheese Icing

175g cream cheese (at room temperature)
475g icing sugar (sifted)
125g butter (at room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla

Place butter and icing sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until well combined. Add the cream cheese and the vanilla. Beat for about a minute. It should be smooth and slightly cream coloured.

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