This delicious moist carrot cake is both fruity and spicy. The dark brown sugar gives it a slight treacle-like flavour, balanced by the warming cardamom. It certainly doesn’t lack interest. The frosting adds a little extra sweetness but isn’t essential. This is a big Bundt cake — maybe too large for most people so I have done half the recipe and that is suitable for a 2lb loaf tin.
Delicious carrot cake
Carrot Cake with Cardamom
Ingredients (for 2 lb. loaf tin — double this for a large Bundt tin)
224gr grated carrot
42gr dried apricots cut into small pieces
25gr candied fruit — you can use orange or dried pineapple cut into small pieces.
30gr chopped pistachio
60ml cunflower oil or similar
120gr soft dark brown sugar
80gr soft light brown sugar
2 free-range eggs
2 tsp. finely grated orange zest
100ml orange juice
175gr cream flour
2-½ tsp baking powder
6 to 8 green cardamom pods — seeds removed and crushed
½ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp baking soda
This may seem like a lot of ingredients but it’s easy once you group them into three bowls.
To start, pre-heat the oven to 175C.
Grease and line the base of a 2lb loaf tin.
In one bowl, put the carrot, apricots, pistachio, orange peel, and orange zest.
In a second bowl, put the brown sugar, oil, cardamom, orange juice and the egg.
Whizz this with a hand blender to form an emulsion. (or in a food processor).
In the third bowl, put the flour, baking powder, ginger, bread soda and a pinch of salt. Sieve these ingredients.
Scrape the egg mixture onto the carrot mixture and mix well.
Add the sifted flour and mix well.
Scrape into the prepared tin, level the mix then place in the centre of the oven.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.
Check by inserting a skewer into the centre — it should come out clean.
Once cooked, lift tin out of oven onto a wire rack, allow to cool for about 10 minutes before turning out onto rack to cool.
This cake keeps well and actually seems to develop flavour over a period of a few days.
30gr cream cheese
90gr icing sugar
1 tsp. grated orange zest
Once the cake is completely cool, prepare the frosting.
Beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth.
Add the icing sugar and beat on low speed.
Next add the orange zest, mixing well.
Finally, add orange juice barely ½ tsp at a time until you get a barely running consistency.
Spoon along the middle of the cake, allowing it to spread and run over the sides.
Set aside or chill to set.
Strips of rind from one orange cut into thin strips
1 tbsp pistachios
Cook the orange zest in boiling water for two minutes, drain.
Heat the water and sugar together and cook to dissolve the sugar.
Once the sugar is dissolved add the orange zest, simmer gently until the sugar glazes the zest. Turn off the heat.
Lift the zest from the syrup and scatter over parchment paper.
Add the pistachios to the remaining syrup and cook over a low heat until the nuts are sticky and coated in sugar.
Lift out to cool. .
Decorate the cake with pistachios and orange zest.
This cake is definitely best at room temperature as all the flavours come through.