Carrot cake is the marmite of cakes – people either love it or they hate it. I’m a strange one, a carrot cake convert we might say. I never used to like it (perhaps I thought all carrot cake tasted very carrot-y?) but was 100% converted by this recipe. It is now one of my go-to’s if I fancy making a quick cake.
Even better, I think I’ve really cracked making a cake gluten, wheat and dairy free without people being able to tell. I can boldly say this as I did quite a few taste tests on people at work and no one could tell the difference. I have a colleague who is unable to eat gluten or wheat, so often I’ve been put off bringing my baking to work knowing how it feels to be the one missing out. However, I thought this would be a great recipe to attempt switching the flour for an alternative because, as far as cakes go, carrot cakes have a relatively low amount of flour in them as they are also held together by the carrot. I used Doves Farm’s gluten and wheat free self raising flour and I have to say I was pleased and amazed at the results. I will definitely be making them again and trying some different cake recipes with the flour.
This carrot cake has an interesting mix of ingredients, but do give it a try as they work perfectly together. The sultanas are bursts of sweetness throughout the cake, a good contrast to the crunch of the walnuts; and the coconut, cinnamon and nutmeg compliment the sweet carrot flavour to make the cake very aromatic.
The recipe also calls for quite a lot of carrots, so choose your carrots carefully based on how carrot-y you like your carrot cake. It is quite simple… If you want a stronger carrot flavour, use fresh carrots – the lovely bright orange juicy ones. If you don’t want a very carrot-y carrot cake, use older carrots – the slightly duller in colour and drier ones. Like I said, simples! Makes one medium sized cake or 12 cupcakes. Ingredients: Cake:
- 175g carrots
- 2 eggs
- 100g soft brown sugar
- 75ml oil (use a mild flavoured oil such as vegetable, rapeseed or coconut)
- 100g self raising flour (or 100g gluten and wheat free self raising flour, such as Dove’s)
- 1 heaped tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 50g desiccated coconut
- 50g sultanas
- 50g walnuts
- grated zest of 1/2 orange
- 50g dairy free butter
- 90g golden icing sugar
- grated zest of 1 orange
- 12 walnut halves to decorate
- For a whole cake preheat the oven to 190 degrees and line a 20cm tin. For cupcakes preheat the oven to 170 degrees and line a 12 hole muffin tray.
- Finely grate the carrot and put to one side.
- Whisk the eggs and sugar together until thick and creamy, then slowly whisk in the oil until combined.
- Add the remaining ingredients (carrots, flour, spices, coconut, sultanas, walnuts and orange zest) and fold together until just evenly combined.
- For a whole cake, add the batter to the cake tin and smooth over until even and level. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until firm to the touch and golden brown. For cupcakes add a large tablespoon of batter to each cupcake cake, and bake for 17 – 20 minutes until firm to the touch and golden brown.
- Once baked, cool on a wire rack until completely cold.
- Make the butter cream – in either a stand mixer or using an electric mixer, add the butter, icing sugar and orange zest and beat until fluffy and doubled in volume.
- Either pipe or spoon the buttercream onto the cake or cupcakes and decorate with walnut halves.