It’s fluffy and light and contains a few ingredients to ensure a deliciously moist sponge that won’t dry out in the oven:
- Raisins infused in orange juice – just leave them to soak for a couple of hours for lovely plump raisins!
- Vegetable oil (rather than butter) – often butter is added to cakes for extra flavour, but there’s so much flavour in this cake already you don’t need it. Go for vegetable oil for a tender, moist cake.
- Banana. Ok, a little bit strange in carrot cake, but I saw it in one of Mary Berry’s recipes, tried it and was completely won over. Just one banana is needed, which means you won’t really taste it.
Spoon piles of creamy frosting on top before slicing it up and serving.
So much easier than making two round cakes, trying to get them even, filling with frosting, then coating in more frosting without it looking like a five-year old has just had a go at plastering (ok yes, we’re talking about me).
I made this recipe using some of the ingredients sent to me by Bearfaced Groceries (thanks guys!) – check them out for deliveries of quality locally sourced (UK) produce, and make sure you use my 20% discount code – NICKYBEAR20 – in the discount coupon code box.
So far I’ve received 2 boxes from Bearfaced Groceries. One being the award winning meat box – packed with a great variety of different meats that my carnivore of a husband loved. As well as the Chicken and Cous Cous One-Pot, we’ve also made Chicken fajitas, slow-cooked pork and beef chilli and good old spag bol. I’m looking forward to making a roast dinner on Sunday with the beef topside.
I’ve also had the weekly essential box – which is packed with fruit, veggies, meat and fish plus cheese too! I used the carrots, orange and banana for this carrot cake. We enjoyed my 30-minute salmon with creamy lemon spaghetti last night and my sticky chicken stir fry earlier this week. The kids have been at the rest of the fruit, raiding the fridge hourly whilst they’re on the Easter hols. I even caught Lewis eating one of the giant beef tomatoes with a mischievous smile on his face yesterday.
Oh and yes, that’s his hand in the top photo. He makes a great hand model – providing you can get a good photo within 15 seconds! Once the 16th second struck he decided it was torture to hold cake and not be able to eat it, so I had to oblige and we all took a piece to scoff in front of the tv 🙂
- grated zest and juice of 1 large orange
- 150g (1 cup) raisins
- 175g (1 cup minus 2 tbsp) golden caster or granulated sugar
- 150ml (2/3 cup minus 1 tsp) vegetable oil
- 1 banana, mashed
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and grated
- 170g (1.5 cups minus 1 tbsp) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 280g (1 + ¼ cups) full fat cream cheese
- 80g (1/3 cup) soft butter (very important it's soft to prevent lumps in the frosting)
- 450g (4 cups) confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 1tsp orange extract (optional)
- Zest of 1 orange
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- Place the orange juice and zest in a bowl with the raisins, stir, cover and leave to infuse for 2-3 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350f. Line an 18cm square cake tin with baking parchment.
- Place the sugar and oil in a large bowl, mix together then add in the banana. Whisk it all together with a hand whisk until there a no lumps. Add the eggs and stir again to combine.
- Stir in the carrots and infused raisins (including any juice that might be left in the bowl).
- Mix the together flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon. Add to the wet mix along with the vanilla. Stir until just combined, then pour into the prepared baking tin (it will be runny).
- Place in the oven and bake for 40- 45 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, before removing and cooling completely on a cooling rack.
- To make the frosting, whisk together the cream cheese and butter until combined, then add in the confectioners' sugar and orange extract. Whisk together until smooth and creamy. You want a mixture that's thin enough to pour on, but thick enough that it won't just pour off the sides of the cake. If you lift your whisk and the trial remains on top for at least 5 seconds, that should be the right consistency. Add more confectioners' sugar or a drop of water if needed to get it just right.
- Pour or spoon the mixture on top of the cake, then sprinkle on the orange zest and cinnamon.
- Cut into 16 squares, then serve.