carrot cake

Carrot Cake – healthy eating?

Carrot Cake

To herald the beginning of my favourite season, I’m sharing with you the recipe for one of my favourite cakes. My mum used to make this for us occasionally – it would generally appear when she was being all earth-mothery and going through one of her bread-baking phases. My mother is a brilliant cook but *whispers* she’s never quite conquered bread. Shhhh… So, to sweeten the bitter pill of rockhard sandwiches in our lunch boxes, she’d often make us carrot cake (still all mother earth of course, it is a carrot cake after all!), delicious enough to ignore the nod towards healthy eating.

We had to eat it on the bus to school because the nuns didn’t allow cake in lunch boxes regardless of Mother’s protestations that it didn’t count. If you want to know why I’m such a rebellious character, I’ll just point out that the apple didn’t fall far from the tree!


o 230g carrots, grated

o 350g self-raising flour

o 200g caster sugar

o 50g chopped walnuts

o 100g sultanas

o ½ tsp vanilla essence

o 6 free-range eggs, beaten

o 3 tsp cinnamon

o 2 bulbs of ginger from a jar (in syrup)

o 340ml sunflower oil

o 1 tsp baking powder Frosting:

o 175g cream cheese

o 1 tbsp lemon juice

o 225g icing sugar


1. If not using an Aga, preheat your oven to 170ºC.

2. Bung everything into a stand mixer and mix it all together.

Alternatively, put all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix together well.

3. Line a 23cm/9in cake tin with Bake -o-Glide or baking parchment and pour in the mixture.

4. If using the baking oven (3/4/5-oven Agas) place the tin on top of the grid shelf on the base of the baking oven. Or, for a roasting oven use grid shelf on its floor with cold plain shelf on the second set of runners above. If using a 2-oven Aga, place cake tin inside an empty large roasting tin on top of grid shelf.

5. Bake for about 1 hour. With a standard oven, check after 40 minutes with a skewer but be prepared to cook longer.

6. Leave for 10 minutes to cool in tin, then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.

7. When the cake is cool, mix the icing sugar into the cream cheese and lemon juice in a bowl and spread over the top of the cake.

8. Mmmmmmm. ELLEY WESTBROOK is part of the Twyford Cookers team. Marches Trade Park, Leominster, Herefordshire HR6 0LX. Tel: 01568 611124. Find Twyford Cookers on Facebook and Twitter @TCookers

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