April is a month full of birthdays for us. This carrot cake can safely be made the day before, as it keeps well. We have Hazel turning one, so I decided to make this as I know her parents enjoy this cake. As we also have house guests, the cake will be handy to have on hand. Since it is a cake without butter, I feel it is a little healthier than some.
Luxury Carrot Cake
275g/ 10 oz plain flour 2 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. bicarbonate of soda 1 tsp. salt 2 tsp. ground cinnamon 1 tsp. ground ginger 200g/ 7oz dark soft brown sugar 100g/ 31/2 oz castor sugar 4 large eggs, beaten 250 ml / 9fl oz sunflower oil 1 tsp vanilla essence 4 carrots, peeled and shredded (about 450 g/ 1 lb) 380g/ 14 oz can crushed pineapple, well drained 125g/ 4 oz pecan or walnuts toasted and chopped.
175g/ 6 oz cream cheese, softened 50g/ 2 oz butter softened 1 tsp vanilla essence, ( I use a squeeze of lemon juice) 225g/ 8oz icing sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 180 C. Lightly oil a 33×23 cm/ 13×9 inch baking tin. Line the base with non stick baking paper, oil and dust with flour.
2. Sift the first 6 ingredients into a large bowl and stir in the sugars to blend. Make a well in centre.
3. Beat the eggs, oil and vanilla essence together and pour into the well. Using an electric whisk, gradually beat drawing in the flour mixture from the side until a smooth batter forms. Stir in the carrots, crushed pineapple and chopped nuts until blended.
4. Pour into the prepared tin and smooth the surface evenly. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 50 minutes, or until firm and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before removing from the tin and discarding the lining paper.
5. For the frosting, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla essence, ( or lemon juice), together until smooth, then gradually beat in the icing sugar until the frosting is smooth. Spread the frosting over cake. Refrigerate for about 1 hour to set the frosting, then cut to serve.