A Carrot Cake for Jamal

Good Sunday morning to you all!

Being the baked good enthusiast that I am, I am always looking for a good excuse to bake a cake. It just so happened that it was dear Jamal's birthday yesterday which was more than enough excuse to bake a carrot cake upon request.

The recipe I used is my Mum's recipe. She got it from one of her old books in her cupboard above the fridge. Since I don't have access to that cupboard right now (slight geographical hurdle) I can't confirm which book. Anyway it is a rather good recipe. Stays moist (yes I said it, moooiistt) for days and days (if it even lasts that long). The best bit about it is that it gives you the excuse to smother it in cream cheese icing. Om nom nom. One of Mum's secret tricks is to put chopped prunes in the cake. Prunes! They are surprisingly good in this cake as it makes it lovely and moist (moooissttt). Another thing she does is she always makes a 1.5x recipe. So that the cake is nice and tall in her 25cm tin. Haha and wait there is a third thing! Crushed pineapple. This ups the moisture content and provides a lovely fruity texture.

So here we go,

Sophie's Mum's Delicious Carrot Cake
(this is the single recipe - if you want a bigger cake just multiply quantities by 1.5)
1 1/2 cups whole meal flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cups oil
2 eggs
1 cup grated carrot (about 2 carrots)
1/2 cup crushed pineapple with juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
about half a cup of chopped prunes and/or dried apricots

1x25cm cake tin or 2x 20cm cake tins lined and greased
two sheets of tin foil to place over the top of the tins


Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.

Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, grated carrot and dried fruit. Mix until evenly distributed.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs, vanilla and pineapple (and its juice) until evenly combined.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry and stir until combined. Try not to over mix as we don't want the cake getting tough. Just make sure there are no pockets of dry ingredients lying around.

Pour into your tin(s). Now if you made two small cakes bake for 45 minutes (check at 40 minutes though). For one large cake it takes around 1 hour 10 minutes but check at an hour just to be sure as all ovens are different. If you notice your cakes going a bit too brown on top place the tin foil over the tin. This will stop the browning but not the cooking.

Let the cakes cool down before popping out of their tins. Leave to cool completely before icing (overnight in a chilly Dunedin flat works well).

Could we count this as a healthy cake? fibre, carrots, fruits! haha

Now for the icing, I doubled the recipe here as I wanted to put icing between the cakes and down the sides, If you want to cut calories (haha like you would want to) just do a single recipe and just ice the top. This recipe is from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook.

300g icing sugar, sifted
50 unsalted butter, softened
125g cream cheese, cold

Beat the icing sugar and butter together with an electric hand beater or free standing mixer until well incorporated and semi fluffy. Add cubes of cream cheese one at a time, beating until well incorporated. Once all the cream cheese is added, beat on high for a few minutes until the icing becomes nice and fluffy. Do not over beat as the icing can become runny (I can give you a nice long explanation as to why that happens if you want). Add a teaspoon of vanilla if you wish.

Sweet, now apply that to your cold cake(s).

I recommend checking out Kaitlin over at Whisk Kid to learn how to ice a cake properly. She will teach you how to crumb coat which is essential when using a light coloured icing (ie anything other than chocolate). What is a crumb coat you ask? Go and see for yourself haha.

I even added sparkles

Well I do believe this cake turned out quite nicely. I hope it tasted all right haha.Carrying it on a plate all the way to Jamal's flat was the host terrifying ordeal. I was more nervous that public speaking and sitting an exam combined! It got there in one piece and damage-free thankfully. I did get some funny looks though as I walked down the main streets of Dunedin.

Time for some food chemistry I do believe, hmm or maybe just food . .

See you later!