Carrot Cake

This is a pleasingly autumnal cake, with it’s mixed spice, treacle and brown sugar. I have been known to add some sweet potato, butternut squash or pumpkin when I’ve been running low on carrots or had a surplus of pumpkin at Hallowe’en.

Pre-heat oven to 150C.

Ingredients: 350ml water

350g demerara or muscovado sugar

175ml vegetable or sunflower oil

1 tablespoon treacle

2 large/3 medium carrots, peeled and grated

150g wholemeal flour (self-raising if you have it) or chapatti flour

260g self-raising flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder (add another 1/4 tsp if you don’t have self-raising wholemeal flour)

zest and juice of one orange

2 teaspoons of mixed spice (If you don’t have any, throw in some cinnamon and if you have them, ginger and nutmeg. Mixed spice contains many of the same spices as garam masala but I can’t bring myself to suggest using it in a cake.)

  1. Mix the oil, sugar, water, treacle, orange zest, half the orange juice and the grated carrots.
  2. Stir in the baking powder and both types of flour.
  3. Pour into a lined, greased tin and bake for an hour to an hour or fifteen minutes. Give it a little longer if a toothpick doesn’t come out clean.
  4. Once cool, ice with cream cheese icing, adding the remaining half of the orange juice. Add a little more icing sugar if the icing is on the runny side.
  5. Walnuts make a welcome addition this cake. You can also vary it by leaving out the orange and treacle and replacing the mixed spice with ground cardamom and decorating with pistachios.