CARROT CAKE WITH A FRUITY TWIST



I've been making this carrot cake for years. It's a family favourite and it doesn't last long when I make it! I love carrot cake but I find that shop-bought carrot cakes can all taste the same and can be quite dry. That's why I love this cake, it's a lovely moist cake and it also has apple and sultanas in it so it has lots of flavour. It also stays fresh for a few days, in fact I find that this cake is better eaten a day or two after you have baked it, the flavours seem to really come out and it's more moist than when it's just been baked. The orange cream cheese topping is delicious and the flavour really compliments the cake and finishes it off perfectly. I think with the carrots, apple, sultanas and orange it could qualify as 4 of your five a day!


Ingredients

200g plain flour
half tsp ground nutmeg
half tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
150g dark Muscavado sugar
3 medium eggs
200ml vegetable oil
225g carrots (peeled and grated)
apple (peeled and grated)
sultananas (soak for at least an hour in 300ml of cold tea to plump them up)
50g chopped walnuts

Icing

180g full fat cream cheese
130g icing sugar
finely grated rind of 1 orange
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp vanilla essence

Method

- Preheat the oven to 150C
- Grease and line the base of a 7inch round cake tin or a 6 inch square tin with greaseproof paper
- In a large bowl, sift together the spices, flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder then stir in the sugar and mix well
- In a jug, lightly whisk together the oil and eggs, then gradually pour this mixture a little at a time into the flour and sugar mixture, stirring well
- Add the fruit (drain the sultanas first), carrots and walnuts to the mixture and mix everything together thoroughly then pour into the prepared cake tin
- Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour then insert a skewer into the cake, if it comes out clean the cake is done, if not, bake for another 10 minutes and test again
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then turn the cake out onto a wire rack until completely cool
- For the icing, beat together the cream cheese, orange juice and rind and vanilla essence
- Sift the icing sugar and stir into the mixture
- Remove the paper from the cake, place the cake on a serving plate then spread the icing over the top

Tip: If you prefer a thicker icing you can add an extra dessert spoon of cream cheese and an extra 30g of icing sugar then stir into the icing mixture. You can keep adding these two ingredients until you get a consistency you're happy with but bear in mind the flavour of the icing will be less orangey.



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