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Mum's Carrot Cake by Sam Mannering

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Sam Mannering  


I grew up thinking that this was pretty standard in terms of carrot cake, and so it was with a mixture of pride and pity when I discovered otherwise.

This is nothing like the pale, dry, insipid stuff you often come across. Instead, it is rich, spicy and lush, with the kind of icing that needs to be made in double batches because you end up eating the first lot. Makes an extremely gratifying birthday cake. 



for the cake:

375ml light oil

480g brown sugar

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla essence

zest of 1 orange

280g wholemeal flour

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp salt

about 3 cups of grated carrot

120g chopped walnuts

2 tsp baking soda


for the icing:

200g cream cheese

120g icing sugar

60g melted butter

1 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp orange zest



Preheat the oven to 160°C. 


Line a round tin with baking paper.


Combine the oil and sugar. Add the eggs, vanilla, and orange zest and mix well. In steady succession, add in the flour, cinnamon, salt, carrot and walnuts and incorporate into the mixture. Add the baking soda in at the last minute. 


Transfer to the lined tin and bake for about 50 minutes. 


In the meantime, sort out the icing. Combine all five ingredients and beat well. Try not to eat it all as you wait for the cake to cool down - you want the cake to be completely cool before you ice it. A good inch of icing on top is essential. Trust me on this. It is that delicious.