I'm in a rush today so I'm going to keep this post short and sweet!Was browsing through Lorraine Pascale's first book Baking Made Easy at the weekend and I came across this carrot cake which I made last Easter.I instantly remembered how much of a hit it was with the family so I decided carrot cake would be on the cards for that evening.Lorraine's recipe make a massive three layer 9 inch cake and even though everyone loves this cake I knew that would simply be too big so I scaled it down to a 2 layer cake.The cake comes together very quickly,the only bit of work required is for grating the carrots.I doubled the frosting quantities as I like to frost the sides of my cake as well as the top and middle.In a nutshell,this cake was delicious.The sponges were so soft and moist and the frosting was to die for!I also found the cake lasted for days and still retained its flavour and moistness.The recipe given below is for the original 3 layer 9 inch cake and the frosting recipe given makes just enough to frost between the layers and the top of the cake.
Makes one 3 layer 9inch(23cm)cake
For The Sponges
525ml(18 1/2 fl oz) vegetable oil
9 eggs,lightly beaten
525g(1 lb 3 oz)soft dark brown sugar
420g(15oz) carrots,peeled & grated
Grated zest 3 large oranges
525g(1 lb 3 oz)self raising flour
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 tbsp mixed spice
Seeds of 1 vanilla pod or 2 drops vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Frosting
200g(7oz) icing sugar
40g(1 1/2 oz)butter,cubed
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Seeds of 1/2 vanilla pod or 1 drop vanilla extract
115g(4 1/2 oz)low-fat cream cheese,chilled
Handful of pecans or walnuts to decorate
1.Preheat the oven to 180C(325F),Gas mark 4.Prepare the tins by oiling the insides and lining the bases with baking parchment.
2.Put the oil,eggs,sugar,carrots and orange zest in a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon.
3.Mix the flour,salt,bicarbonate of soda and mixed spice together,then sift into the wet mixture.Add the vanilla and lightly mix until the mixture is uniform but still soft and runny.
4.Pour into the prepared tins and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes.Check after 30 minutes as ovens vary(mine were done in 30 minutes).The cakes are ready when the sponge springs back when lightly pressed.A skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean.Leave to cool for 5 minutes or so,then turn out onto a wire rack and peel off the baking paper.
5.For the cream cheese frosting,mix the icing sugar,butter,lemon zest and vanilla together in a bowl,then whisk well to combine.Stir in the cream cheese.If the mixture looks a little runny put it in the fridge to firm up for 10-12 minutes.
6.When the cakes are cool,place one one a serving plate and top with some of the cream cheese frosting.Place a second cake on top and spread some more of the frosting on this.Finally top with the third cake and spread the remaining frosting on top.Finish with walnuts or pecans if desired.