Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

This delicious carrot cake can be eaten plain or covered with a fluffy cream cheese icing. Both the cake and icing are amazingly easy to make.

A rather special cake recipe, this is a combination of my own 50 year old family recipe and chef Sam Gardiner’s recipe; Sam is an amazing pastry chef based in Glasgow, Scotland. It’s easy to make the recipe gluten free too, using brown rice instead of flour. When using brown rice you’ll need to let the batter rest in the cake tin for 6 hours before baking, and I also like to allow this resting time when using flour – I find it improves the flavour of both versions by allowing the flour or ground rice enough time to soak up the liquids in the batter.

My tasty cream cheese icing (which would be called a frosting in USA) only takes two minutes to make, and your Thermomix produces a lovely smooth consistency which is almost impossible to achieve any other way.

I have served this gorgeous cake at dozens of parties, coffee mornings, afternoon teas and desserts – I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

This recipe is suitable for Thermomix TM5 and TM31.

ACTIVE TIME 15 MINUTES

TOTAL TIME HOURS

SERVES 12 MAINS

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Ingredients

Carrot Cake

  • 160 g soft unsalted butter or coconut oil, cut in 2 cm pieces if solid, plus 1 tsp
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg or 1 small nutmeg
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 heaped tsp ground cinnamon
  • 250 g wholemeal flour or brown rice
  • 300 g carrots, preferably organic, cut in 4 cm pieces – see 1st tip
  • 3 large eggs
  • 300 g coconut palm sugar or 350 g soft brown sugar
  • 50 g sour cream or crème fraîche or coconut yoghurt

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 large organic orange, thin peelings of skin only
  • 300 g cream cheese
  • 15-30 g runny honey

Method

Carrot Cake

  1. Grease with 1 tsp butter the base and sides of a round cake tin 7 cm deep x 20 cm diameter then line base with a circle of baking paper; set prepared tin aside.
  2. Grind soda, nutmeg, sea salt, cinnamon and flour 30 sec/speed 10 (or if using brown rice grind 2 min/speed 10).
  3. Add carrots, eggs, sugar, sour cream and remaining 160 g butter, then stir with TM spatula through hole in TM lid 40 sec/speed 6. Scrape down sides of TM bowl with spatula; if there are any carrot chunks left, push them under the surface of the batter with the spatula.
  4. Mix again 5 sec/speed 6, then transfer batter to prepared cake tin, cover tin with a plate and set aside to rest 6 hours or overnight (this resting time improves flavour and digestability, but if you have used flour instead of brown rice and are in a hurry, the cake can be baked straight away.)
  5. Preheat oven to 180°C without fan/350°F/gas 4/Aga baking oven – see 2nd tip for an Aga without baking oven. Remove plate from top of cake tin then bake in preheated oven 1-1¼ hours or until top of cake springs back when lightly pressed with a fingertip and a skewer inserted in middle of cake comes out clean. Allow cake to cool completely in tin on a wire rack.

Cream Cheese Icing

  1. Grind sugar and orange peelings 20 sec/speed 10, then scrape down sides of TM bowl and grind again 5 sec/speed 10.
  2. Add cream cheese and honey then mix 20 sec/speed 3, then scrape down sides of TM bowl with spatula and mix again 5 sec/speed 3.
  3. Insert Butterfly Whisk then whisk 30 sec/speed 2. Spread cream cheese icing on cooled cake on day of serving.

Janie’s Tips

  1. If your carrots are not organic, it is recommended to peel them, as most of the pesticides and herbicides are concentrated in the skin, tops and tails.
  2. If you have an Aga without a baking oven, bake 30 minutes in roasting oven on rack on floor with cold plain shelf two sets of runners above top of cake tin. If a skewer inserted in middle of cake comes out clean, it’s baked; if not, transfer to the simmering oven to continue baking until it tests done.
  3. I give a range on the amount of honey for the icing as it’s quite challenging to measure an exact amount of runny honey!
  4. GF: for gluten free, use brown rice instead of flour.
  5. DF: for dairy free, use coconut oil instead of butter, use coconut yoghurt instead of sour cream or crème fraîche, and use a dairy free icing recipe instead of cream cheese icing.
  6. Cake can be frozen either whole or in slices. Freeze icing separately. Defrost both completely before applying icing to cake.
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