If you ask about my all time favourite cakes, carrot cake is not on my top 10 - I'm more a chocolate kinda girl- but after having one as good as this, I'm seriously reconsidering.
It just that it ticks all the boxes: moist, flavoursome, dense and sweet but not extremely so, with the right amount of spices and including one of your daily 5. The icing, tangy and creamy goes so well against the soft crumb and is a dream for decorating purposes . Did I convince you?
You can forgo the coconut oil and go for 250 g butter instead but this small amount of oil makes for a slightly more aromatic and moist crumb.
My recipe is inspired on one from Jamie Oliver, just a little more wholesome and less sweet.
200 g butter, softened
50 g coconut oil, softened
250 g coconut sugar
5 large eggs, separated
170 g self-rising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
100 g ground almonds
100 g shelled walnuts, chopped
250 g carrots, peeled and grated
1 orange, zest and juice
A pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 pinch ground cloves
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 pinch ground cardamom
For the icing:
250 g mascarpone cheese
200 gr cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla seeds, like this
juice of 1/2 lime
A pinch of ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 180C and line a 22cm diameter cake pan.
In a medium size bowl mix dry ingredients: flour, carrots, almond meal, walnuts, baking powder, salt and spices. Set aside.
In the bowl of a standing mixer with the whisk attachment beat the egg whites until light and fluffy. Transfer to another bowl and reserve. Using again the bowl of the standing mixer but with the flat beater mix butter, coconut oil (if using) and coconut sugar until creamy and light. Add egg yolks, orange zest and juice and all dry ingredients, mixing briefly but until everything is combined. Using a rubber spatula fold in egg whites into the carrot mix in thirds, this will add volume and air to the batter.
Transfer cake batter to your lined cake pan and bake in the oven for 50 minutes approximately or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Cool down in a cake rack and cover with the icing.
Icing: In a bowl mix mascarpone, cream cheese and the rest of the ingredients using a whisk until well incorporated. Make sure not to over mix as the mascarpone can curdle (like over beaten cream) as its high in fats. If the consistency is a bit thick add a touch of cream or milk until soft and easy to spread.