Wednesday 5 March 2008

Carrot Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing

It was R’s birthday at work this week and I promised to bake her the cake of her choice and she asked for carrot cake. I was thrilled by this as by is probably my all time favourite cake. The recipe I use originally comes from an Australian Women’s Weekly magazine and I have tweaked it over the years to produce what I now think of as my perfect carrot cake. I love its moist spiced crumb, dotted with juicy raisins and the odd nugget of chopped pecan nut which are scattered throughout. Topped off with cream cheese icing it becomes a truly marvelous cake.

People often pair orange flavoured icing with carrot cake but, I much prefer lemon as I think it gives a sharper cleaner finish. However, the birthday girl requested a cinnamon icing, which is equally good as it helps enhance the spices within the cake. It’s not the most photogenic of cakes but the flavour more than makes up for it. I added a few pink royal icing flowers on top as pink is her favourite colour. The birthday girl was more than happy with her cake.

I have included the recipe for both lemon and cinnamon icing below, so you can use which one most appeals. And, if you must have orange icing, simply substitute orange in the lemon icing method.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
250ml vegetable oil
250g light soft brown sugar
3 eggs
500g (3-4) grated carrots
120g walnuts or pecans
75g raisins
375g self raising flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp mixed spice
½ tsp cinnamon

Grease and line the base of a 20cm 8inch springform cake tin. Preheat the oven 180C.
Place the oil, sugar and eggs into a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until thick and creamy.
Peel and roughly grate the carrots and chop the nuts into large chunks. Fold the nuts, raisins and grated carrot into the cake batter.
Sift over the flour, mixed spice, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda and fold into the mixture using a spatula, turning the bowl as you go until no flour streaks remain, but do not overwork. (The moisture from the carrots will help slacken the mixture).
Spread the batter evenly into the cake tin and bake for 45 minutes, then cover loosely with foil and bake for a further 20-25 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Allow to cool for 15 minutes before un-moulding and cooling on a wire wrack before icing. Store in the fridge until required.

For the cinnamon icing
30g butter
150g cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract
1½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp extra cinnamon
140g icing sugar

Using an electric hand mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese together in a bowl until smooth.
Beat in the vanilla and the 1½ tsp of cinnamon. Gradually sieve and beat in the icing sugar until it’s all combined.
Spread thickly over the cooled cake. Dust the remaining cinnamon over the top of the cake using a sieve and decorate with sugar flowers or extra whole or chopped nuts if desired.

For the lemon icing
30g butter
100g cream cheese
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
240g icing sugar

Using an electric hand mixer, beat the butter, cream cheese and lemon zest in a bowl until smooth.
Beat in the lemon juice and gradually sift and beat in the icing sugar until its all combined.
Spread thickly over the cooled cake. Decorate the top with sugar flowers or extra whole or chopped nuts if desired.
Eat and enjoy.


Gigi said...

You're great friend! The cake is stunning with cinnamon frosting and the bright pink flowers!

Johanna GGG said...

I find it is a tyranny of choice of the many great carrot cakes in the women's weekly cakes and slices cookbook - but my favourite would probably be the one with sour cream in it. Although I always love a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting - and I love the little flowers on top of yours.

Pixie said...

I love cream cheese icing (i had a coconut cream cheese icing for my F'd up cake; I should have just ate the icing but didn't). Your cake looks great!

Maria♥ said...

Hi Katie

Just come across your blog and may I say what a wonderful blog you have.

Your carrot cake is gorgeous, love the touch of the pink flowers ;o)

I am adding you to my blog list, feel free to do the same!


Meeta K. Wolff said...

This looks great. Love the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing. YUM!

grace said...

cinnamon + cream cheese icing = best combination ever. yummy yum!

Finla said...

Yumm. The carrot cake looks delicious with the icing. I am certain ther was no left overs

Deborah said...

I don't think I would have ever thought to add cinnamon to cream cheese icing - it sounds wonderful!

Allison said...

Oh yum! Cinnamon icing is so bomb!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Why don't I ever make carrot cake? Yours is so lovely, it's making me think I really need to make one soon. I'm with you on the lemon laced frosting too.

Anonymous said...

That looks amazing. I never thought of using cinnamon in the icing. Yummy! Carrot cake is the hubby's favorite

Eva said...

What a lovely cake! I really like carrot cake with lemony cream cheese frosting, too (the only thing I leave out is raisins - can't stand them at all). But maybe I should give the cinnamon frosting a go..;-)

Viagra said...

That cake looks divine! thank you for sharing the recipe.

Elliott Broidy said...

I bet this tastes wonderfully! The spices are magnificent!