I used to be a prolific baker before I got ill. I would still love to bake now, but rarely have the spare energy. Either that or I’m stuck in bed, and not much baking can be done from there!! But there is a recipe I used to make over and over again, as it was so easy and absolutely delicious. I know it’s not very modest to say, but I love my own baking (!) and this is one of my favourites to eat. I have made it as below, decorated with nuts, but my favourite version was one I made for my mum’s 60th birthday, which I iced with cute little carrots 🙂 Here it is! I usually do ice down the sides, but my mum doesn’t like too much icing (I know, really?!!)
You can buy the original Hummingbird Bakery Cook Book here. I have it and it’s great – it covers all the cake, cupcake and icing/frosting bases you could need!
Hummingbird Bakery Carrot Cake Recipe
300g soft light brown sugar
300ml sunflower oil
300g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp vanilla extract (I use at least a tsp personally)
300g carrots, grated
Zest of half an orange
50g shelled walnuts, chopped, plus extra, to decorate (I swap for pecans as I hate walnuts!)
50g pecans, chopped, plus extra to decorate
For the icing
600g icing sugar
100g butter, at room temperature
250g cream cheese, cold (you can use reduced fat if you like)
- Preheat the oven to 170C (fan). Prepare 3 x 20cm cake tins with loose bottoms by greasing then lining the bottoms with greaseproof paper.
- Put the sugar, eggs and oil in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment and beat until all the ingredients are well mixed (don’t worry if it looks slightly split). Slowly add the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt, orange zest and vanilla extract and continue to beat until well mixed.
- Stir in the grated carrots and walnuts by hand. Pour into the prepared cake tins and smooth over. Bake in the preheated oven for 20–25 minutes (mine took 40 minutes, which seems to be the feedback from other cooks, too), or until golden brown and the sponge bounces back when touched. Leave the cakes to cool slightly in the tins before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
- To make the icing, beat the butter and sugar with the paddle attachment again until well mixed. Add the cream cheese, then beat again until well mixed. Turn the speed to high and continue to beat until light and fluffy but stop when you reach this point; if you over beat it the mixture will turn runny.
- When the cakes are cold, spread about one-quarter of the cream cheese icing over it with a palette knife. Place a second cake on top and spread another quarter of the icing over it. Top with the last cake and spread the remaining icing over the top and sides. Decorate with walnuts (or pecans!) around the edges and chopped pecans on top. Add an extra dusting of cinnamon if you like.