Wednesday 22 February 2017

Carrot Cake

A day ill at home, with an annoying cold. I'm not actually ill that often, which is fortunate, as I don't really cope with it that well. The house is still a little bare of food since I came back, so I scanned the books to try and work out what I could make to take my mind off the bunged-up nose. I'm hoping to be back in the office tomorrow, so something that was viable as gluten-free would be preferable.

The limiting factor was actually butter, so I eventually settled on a carrot cake. I found a basic recipe that used walnuts...didn't have any of those around, so swapped them for sultanas. I also added mixed spice and cinnamon (as I believe all carrot cakes should have this), and some orange zest...partially as I always associate carrot cake with citrus, and partly as I suppose Vitamin C is good for the immune system.

I did two was gluten-free in a 20cm cake tin, and the other in a 2lb loaf tin (useful to know...basically the same volume it turns out!) using wholemeal self-raising flour. They both came out quite well, nice and moist, though as always I think that more spice and cinnamon would not go amiss (this might be partly as my taste buds are probably dead right now!) Loaf cakes are a really nice format for serving, as you can easily produce even slices...though they can never be considered that pretty I guess...

Carrot Cake - Recipe

  • Pre-heat oven to 160'C
  • Grease and line a 20cm deep cake tin OR a 2lb loaf tin


  • 150g muscavado sugar
  • 50g sultanas
  • 100g grated carrot
  • 2 large, ripe bananas
  • 2 large eggs
  • 150ml sunflower oil
  • 2tsp bicarbonate of soda 
  • Zest of 1 large orange
  • 1tsp mixed spice
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon


  • 215g plain, gluten-free flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder


225g wholemeal self-raising flour

1) Place the carrot, sultanas, sugar, eggs, zest and sunflower oil in a stand mixer bowl with the paddle attachment

2) Mash the bananas with a fork, and add to the bowl

3) Mix together until smooth (ish)

4) Sieve the flour, spices, bicarbonate and (if doing gluten-free) baking powder together

5) Mix the flour with a whisk to make sure that it is evenly mixed

6) add the flour mix to the stand mixer, and mix until combined

7) Pour the mixture into the prepared tin

8) Bake in the oven for 45-55 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean

9) Remove to a wire rack to cool

Topping Ingredients

  • 175g cream cheese (I used light Philadelphia, other brands are available)
  • 100g icing sugar (sifted)
  • 50g softened butter
  • Vanilla essence
1) Place the butter, icing sugar, cheese and essence in a stand mixer bowl with the paddle attachment

Note - really make sure you soften the butter, or your topping will be lumpy, and you'll end up forcing it through a sieve

2) Mix hard until smooth

3) Transfer to a clean bowl, and leave to chill in the fridge

4) Once the cake is cooled, spread the topping generously over the cake.