This delicious cake won’t quite fit into any strict New Year regimes, but it might be a healthier alternative to chocolates or cream cakes. It’s loaded with carrot, delightful crystallized ginger, and orange zest. It is moist and keeps well, so will certainly get you through a few visitors. By all means halve the recipe and bake in a loaf tin for an easier-cutting, smaller cake.
5 cups (1.25 L) grated carrots
125 gr finely chopped crystallized ginger or stem ginger in syrup
Zest of one orange finely grated.
625gr cream flour
1 tbsp. Baking powder
1 tsp. Bread soda
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
250gr butter, at room temperature
375 gr soft light brown sugar
4 free range eggs
2 tsp. Vanilla essence
150 ml milk
- Preheat oven to 180˚ C. Spray or lightly oil two 9-inch round spring form tins.
- Line the bases with a disk of parchment paper.
- Grate carrots using a food processor.
- Finely chop ginger.
- Grate peel from orange.
- Place flour, baking powder, bread soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger in a bowl then sieve.
- Sprinkle in orange peel while stirring.
- Place the butter, sugar and orange zest in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light creamy.
- Gradually add the eggs beating in after each addition, and then add the vanilla and chopped ginger.
- Don’t worry if it seems curdled. Beating on low, gradually add about a third of the flour mixture.
- Beat until just mixed, followed by half the milk.
- Repeat additions, ending with flour.
- Sprinkle chopped ginger and stir to distribute. Stir in carrots.
- Divide batter between the cake tins.
- Spread as evenly as possible to sides of pan. To remove air pockets, bang pans on counter five to six times.
- Bake until the cakes seem set when lightly tapped, 30 to 35 minutes.
- Place on a baking rack to cool. After about 15 minutes, turn cakes out of pans and cool completely on racks. It’s best to bake cakes a day ahead of icing and leave at room temperature overnight.
300gr icing sugar
4 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. boiling water
- On low speed initially, beat the butter and icing sugar with lemon juice in the bowl of an electric mixer.
- Once the icing sugar is incorporated increase the speed and beat until light and fluffy.
- Finally add the 2 tsp. boiling water and beat again.
- Put together once completely cooled
- Keep a smooth bottom layer for the final top layer of the cake.
- Spread one layer with roughly 1/3 of the icing, then top with the second layer of cake with the even base face up.
- Use the remaining icing for the top and sides of the cake, spreading evenly. Using a hot dry pallet knife will help.
- You may have some left over, depending on how thickly you want to spread the icing.
- Leave plain or decorate with a few slivers of crystalized ginger, or some toasted or dipped almonds.