The carrot that got the cream
The final day I lived below the line, I looked in my diary and in horror realised I had agreed to make a carrot cake for a local food bank festival fundraiser. Luckily I have made this cake many times before, including at a gluten free baking lesson earlier this year, so I was confident the cake would come out OK. But cream cheese icing without taste testing? I’ll leave you to decide whether that happened or not…
This blog is a place to celebrate the joys of healthful food, and not to dwell on the current state the political and financial climate of the UK. It is indeed fantastic that we have a welfare system that supports and runs food banks, however I can’t not mention that I am saddened that so many need to exist in the first place. Perhaps a discussion for another forum, but in the meantime I continue to support where I can. I don’t have pots of money to give, so instead I can give my time. Time to make cake.
I think this cake is the perfect example of my philosophy on pure paleo (grain free) baking these days. Often cakes can be pure almonds instead of wheat flour, but I increasingly find them just too heavy on the stomach (as well as expensive). In some recipes it works well to lighten up by subbing 50% almonds with buckwheat flour and that is what I have done here. There is enough moisture from the honey and olive oil for the texture of the cake not to be affected. Using olive oil in a cake is a reliable dairy free alternative to butter. The topping for this cake is optional (and dairy of course), but is rather delicious!
We call this cake an all-in-one recipe. You simply put all the ingredients in together and out comes a beautiful cake. It couldn’t be simpler. I guess I’m revealing all my trade secrets here! Cook simple recipes well, then make them look pretty when you decorate. Baking doesn’t always have to be complicated!
This cake recipe is for a 9 inch springform baking tin, though you can easily scale up or down for a different sized tin. I rather like the challenge of making a heart shaped cake soon. There are some amazing tins HERE.
- 6 eggs
- 100g olive oil
- 200g honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 150g ground almonds
- 150g buckwheat flour
- 1.5 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 480g carrots, grated or processed in food processor
- 250g tub of organic cream cheese
- 50g of melted coconut oil or butter
- ½ Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1-2 Tablespoon honey
- Handful pistachios or walnuts to decorate
- Preheat oven to 180C.
- Combine all wet ingredients in a large bowl; whisk vigorously together to mix the eggs well. Then add all the dry ingredients and give it a good stir. Finally mix in the grated carrots.
- Grease and line a large – 9” spring form baking pan with parchment (base and sides). Pour in the cake batter and level off.
- Bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until cooked and slightly browned on top. An inserted toothpick should come out clean.
- Meanwhile, to make the frosting, combine the cream cheese with the fat and lemon juice then add honey to acquired sweetness. The topping should taste a little tangy rather than over-sweet.
- Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the tin.
- Once cooled entirely, spread the icing over the top and decorate with the nuts.
What’s your favourite topping for carrot cake. To cream cheese or not to cream cheese?5