Birthday Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Hi guys! I recently turned another year older and to celebrate I went home for the weekend and saw lots of friends and family and had a LOVELY time. I chose to bring the whole affair forward a couple of days because turning 24 in the middle of a night shift and then sleeping through the entire day and then going back to work whilst it's still your birthday doesn't really seem like a birthday at all. 

Anyway. I got special permission to make my own birthday cake this year and due to the fact I have been obsessed for the last month or two, it had to be carrot cake - with cream cheese frosting, naturally. 

The recipe is based on one I found by Mary Berry, baking wonderwoman extraordinaire, with just a couple of changes. It made a big, tall cake which would easily serve at least 10 people (as long as you're not all planning on having doorstop-sized slices, though I wouldn't blame you!).

You'll need:

250ml sunflower oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 225g light muscovado or soft brown sugar
  • 200g (3-4) carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 50g walnuts, shelled and chopped
  • 75g raisins or sultanas

  • For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 50g butter (room temperature)
  • 100g icing sugar 
  • 250g full-fat cream cheese (room temperature)
  • a few drops of vanilla extract

  • 1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (fan 160°C/350°F/Gas 4). Grease two deep 20cm (8in) round sandwich tins and line the bases of the cake tins with baking parchment. 

  • 2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs and sugar. This should blend together and thicken slightly. 

  • 3. Fold in the grated carrot.

  • 4. Add the flour, baking powder, ginger and mixed spice. Mix together and then stir in the chopped walnuts and raisins. The raisins are not in the original recipe but add a little more moisture and tasty goodness.

  • 5. Once all mixed evenly, divide into the two sandwich tins. Handy tip - using your spoon, create a slight dip in the middle of the surface of the mixture in the tin. This just helps avoid having conical cakes out of the oven!

  • 6. Pop them in the oven for around 35 mins or until golden brown and a knife comes out clean from the middle. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

  • YUM.
  • 7. Enjoy the amazing smell that will waft around your kitchen.

  • 8. Whilst cakes are cooling, prepare your frosting. Ideally using an electric whisk, blend together your butter, cream cheese, vanilla extract and icing sugar until light and fluffy. It is really important that both your butter and cream cheese are at room temperature, otherwise you'll end up with tiny lumps on butter visible throughout the cream cheese frosting.

  • 9. Once cooled, spread half of the icing on one of the cakes to form your middle layer. Lay the second cake on top and then cover the top with frosting. If you like, get creative with some extra walnuts on top - I tried this but it looked disastrous so took them off and patched up with more frosting...!

  • 10. EAT! This cake is so moist and delicious, not too sweet and lasts well, up to around 4-5 days if kept in an airtight container. You'll need to keep it fairly cool though so if you have a hot kitchen then pop it in the fridge.

  • Would love to know if you give this recipe a go guys, I would definitely recommend it - the spicy flavours are extra special at this time of year too. 

  • Thanks for reading! JAM x

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