I'm a little bit crazy about carrot cake. Just a little. I've survived my 'carrot cake obsession' phase and now consider my like of carrot cake to be within the realms of normality.
When I was obsessed/addicted/hooked/crazy/gaga over carrot cake, I ate it daily. I dreamt about it. Made carrot cake in loaf form, in cupcake form and on occasion, in an actual 'cake' shape.
I bought carrot cake from MANY cafes and analyzed and appraised (don't like the one from Brumby's; the one from Michelle's Patisserie is OK but gets 'too much' very quickly).
Thankfully, I got over that.
I still love carrot cake but it's more of a healthy interest than all-out stalking the poor thing.
This week I planned a little tribute back to my error of insanity. Just a small loaf, enough to curb some cravings.
THIS recipe from Exclusively Food is my go-to carrot cake recipe. As the description suggests, it results in a moist, subtly spiced cake laden with good things: crushed pineapple and nuts. Mmm... It's also SO easy to follow. One bowl required!
They called for pecans but I used walnuts. I halved the recipe to get my mini loaf but I made the full quantity of icing (which was too much... I guess I got carried away). The recipe below is the original one with the full quantities. Remember I HALVED it to get 1 mini loaf of carrot cake.
- 2/3 cup mild-flavored vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained
- 1 and 1/3 cup grated carrot
- 2/3 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 and 1/3 cup caster sugar
- 1 and 1/3 cup plain flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 and 1/4 tsp baking soda
- cream cheese frosting (instructions below)
- extra walnuts, for decorating
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a loaf tin with non-stick baking paper.2. In a large bowl, mix the oil, eggs, vanilla, pineapple, carrot, walnuts and sugar.
3. Sift the flour, cinnamon and baking soda over the top. Stir to combine to form an even batter. Pour this into the prepared loaf tin.4. Bake for 55-65min or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. When I made my mini loaf, it cooked in about 30min.
5. After removing from the oven, wrap the cake in a clean tea towel for 10min before cooling it completely on a rack.6. Once the cake is room temperature, you can ice it and decorate with extra walnuts.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes about 1 cup
- 60g cream cheese, softened
- 1 and 1/2 tbsp (30g) butter, softened
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 and 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted
1. Using an electric hand mixer, beat the cream cheese, butter and lemon juice together until smooth.
2. Gradually add the sifted icing sugar until the frosting holds its shape. I ended up using about 1 cup of icing sugar.
This carrot cake got rave reviews from my mother - which is high praise indeed since she normally only likes coffee/chocolate-flavored things and doesn't like cinnamon much.
The texture of the cake is just lovely. Moist and complex from the various elements: crunchy walnuts and chewy, tangy pieces of pineapple.
The cream cheese offsets the cake nicely but I thought the frosting was a bit too sugary. Next time, I'll use even less icing sugar.