The first time I ever made this cake I was living in London. It was summertime, and my back-garden was in full bloom. I had invited friends around for afternoon tea, and we sat outside in the glorious sunshine under my apple tree. Sipping Elderflower cordial, my friend and our 6 children devoured this gloriously moist cake; everyone raving about the icing. Since then however, I will often make it icing free. (An attempt to be a little more healthy. Also enabling you to eat it warm.) My eldest son (who only eats cake if it is moist) declares that this is his favourite. Indeed, it is one of mine also.
Note: Because I am gluten and dairy free I substitute the flour for gluten-free flour and the cream cheese for lactose-free cream cheese. The cake is just as successful.
Carrot Cake with Honey Cream Cheese
Recipe by Oliver Peyton from ‘British Baking’
225g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
225g light brown sugar
200g self-raising flour
1tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
225g fresh carrots, peeled and grated
150g walnuts, chopped
50g sultanas, chopped
Honey Cream Cheese Icing:
500g icing sugar
100g unsalted butter, softened
200g cream cheese, softened
1 tbsp mild honey, plus extra for drizzling
Preparation time 25mins, plus 2 hours cooling
Cooking time 45-55 mins
20cm springform cake tin about 7cm deep
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius. Line a 20cm springform cake tin with baking paper.
Cream together butter and sugar, in a bowl, until fluffy. Then beat in the eggs, one at a time. When it is well mixed, sift in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Mix together until it is all incorporated.
Grate the carrot, then add to the bowl. Measure, then finely chop the walnuts before adding to the bowl. Lastly add the sultanas, then mix everything until it is all incorporated.
Spoon into cake tin, smoothing down the top. Bake in oven for 55 minutes, or until a cake skewer comes out clean, when you test the cake.
Allow to cool in tin for 10 minutes, before removing cake onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before icing.
In a bowl, using an electric beater, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Add in the cream cheese and continue to beat.
Sift the icing sugar. Then add a third of the sugar to the mixture and beat; repeat this process until all the sugar is added. Finally, add the honey. Continue to beat until smooth and creamy.
Chill in fridge until you are ready to ice the cake.