Carrot Cake has always been one of my favourite cakes and this beautiful Springtime version is just gorgeous.
My love for carrot cake has a lot to do with the cake, light but robust and sweetly cinnamon scented, it really is heavenly but my love for carrot cake also has a lot to do with the frosting. Cream Cheese Frosting is without a doubt my favourite frosting, I love the silky smoothness of it, that slight tang behind the sweetness, it really is perfect.
I have decorated this carrot cake with pretty flowers from my garden and cake crumbs. I bake the cake in four layers and level off the top of each layer, reserving the cut offs to crumble and sprinkle all over the cake.
I make this cake a lot, below you can see another version, with crumbs but without flowers.
I do not think this cake needs to be too heavily frosted, the frosting is creamy and sweet and a little goes a long way but if you prefer a thicker coating or more frosting between layers you can absolutely scale up the quantities in the frosting.
Grate your carrots before you begin and tip them onto a plate covered with kitchen roll, I like to take a few extra pieces of kitchen roll and pat the grated carrots to absorb some of the excess moister before proceeding with the recipe.
325g plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
4 large eggs
295g caster sugar
150g light brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla paste
225ml unrefined cold press organic sunflower oil
425g grated carrot
4 x 20cm springform cake tins
To make the cake:
Preheat the oven to 160C.
Butter and flour your 4 cake tins and set aside,(I like to add a little cinnamon to the flour before dusting).
In a medium bowl sift together the plain flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt, set aside.
In a separate large mixing bowl beat together the eggs and both sugars until pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla paste and beat until evenly distributed.
Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and stir just to combine.
Stir in the oil and grated carrot, ensuring the carrot is evenly distributed and no traces of oil remain.
Divide the mixture between the 4 cake tins and bake for 45-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool in the tins for 10-20 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting
150g butter, room temperature
375g icing sugar
275g cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla paste
Beat the butter for 1-2 minutes until soft and smooth. Add the icing sugar and beat for a further 2-3 minutes scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl halfway through.
Add the cream cheese and vanilla paste and beat just until creamy, smooth and fully incorporated. Do not over beat.
Level your cake layers if you wish, taking just a little off the top to flatten the surface. (Reserve the off cuts for decorating the cake). Frost between each layer and then cover the top and sides of the cake.
Crumble the off cuts into fine crumbs and sprinkle over the cake.