Clodagh McKenna shows us how to bring our carrot cake to the next (delicious) level.
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
1 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1.5 cups grated carrots
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 1/2 cup self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
For the orange blossom frosting:
2.5 cups cream cheese, chilled
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
3 cups icing sugar, sifted
1 orange, zest only
1 teaspoon of orange blossom water
Preheat the oven to 180C and oil and line a 13 x 23 centimeter loaf tin with greaseproof paper.
For the carrot cake: beat the eggs in a large bowl, then add the oil, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, grated carrot, raisins and chopped walnuts.
Sift in the rest of the dry ingredients and bring the mixture together using a wooden or large metal spoon until well combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin, smooth the surface and bake in the oven for one hour 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. If you’re using a ceramic baking dish then you’ll need to add 15 minutes to the cooking time.
Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the tin for about five minutes before removing. Cool completely on a wire rack before serving.
For the orange blossom frosting: beat the cream cheese and butter together in a bowl until well combined. Add the icing sugar, orange blossom water and finely grated orange zest and mix until the frosting is smooth and thick. Using a palette knife, spread the frosting evenly over the cooled cake, dipping the knife into a bowl of hot water if the icing is hard to spread out.