Saturday, 10 April 2010

A Cheeky Carrot Cake (Edited, recipe included)

I made a carrot cake again recently.  The occasion this time was because a work colleague was moving to another branch. 

I made marzipan carrots to decorate it with and had left over carrots.  I thought a few cheeky rabbits feasting on the carrots would be fun! 

I also had some green icing left and so turned these into green flowers to add onto the cake.

The cake was beautifully moist, full of succulent raisins and full of orange and warm spice flavour!  It certainly is my favourite carrot cake recipe and has always been popular when I've made it for friends and work colleagues.

I may try the same mix but in small cake cases so it makes small carrot cakes.  That way no fighting for the biggest slice!

The recipe is from a great cake baker in my opinion, Delia Smith, but I sometimes make a few tweaks.


6 oz / 175 g dark soft brown sugar, sifted
2 large eggs
4 oz / 120 ml vegetable oil
7 oz / 200 g self raising flour 
1 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon mixed spice
grated zest of 1 orange
7 oz / 200 g coarsely grated carrot
6 oz / 175 g sultanas (can be omitted or substituted with 2 oz / 50 g walnut pieces)

Juice of 1 orange
1 tablespoon of sugar

4 oz / 100 g soft butter
8 oz / 200g icing sugar
lemon juice
few drops of yellow colouring


Preheat oven to Gas 3 / 170 C / 325 F.  Grease and line base of a 7" / 18cm square baking tin.  

Begin by whisking the 6 oz (175 g) sugar, eggs and oil together in a bowl using an electric hand whisk for 2-3 minutes. 

Then sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and the mixed spice into the bowl, tipping in all the bits of bran that are left in the sieve. 

Now stir all this together, then fold in the orange zest, carrots and sultanas. After that pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake on the centre shelf of the oven for 35-40 minutes, until it is well risen and feels firm and springy to the touch when lightly pressed in the centre. 

While the cake is cooking, make the lemon butter icing by mixing all the icing sugar into the soft butter.  Add the lemon juice to your taste then colour with yellow colouring if liked. Now you need to make the syrup glaze, and to do this whisk together the fruit juices and sugar in a bowl. 

Then, when the cake comes out of the oven, stab it all over with a skewer and quickly spoon the syrup over as evenly as possible. Now leave the cake on one side to cool in the tin, during which time the syrup will be absorbed. 

Then, when the cake is completely cold, remove it from the tin, spread the topping over, cut it into 12 squares.  You can make rabbits from fondant icing (I used silver balls for eyes) and colour marzipan with colouring to make carrots.  

The marzipan carrots were quite easy to make - attaching the 'greens' was fiddly business though!  I even marked 'lines' on the carrots to make them look realistic.

Quick!  Someone stop that Cheeky Carrot Chomper!

The rabbits were fun to make and were just formed from fondant icing.  Sweet in both senses of the word!

My work colleague did enjoy the cake and I even made sure he had some to take home to his missus.  Apparently, she ate first and then asked questions later!

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