To make the cake or cupcakes, the carrots are shred into small pieces, then incorporated with flour, sugar, eggs, oil and spices. Baked in a cake pan or cupcake liners at a lower temperature of 300 F or 150 C for the batter to rise slowly, cook and brown evenly. Once the cake or cupcakes are cooled, they are topped with cream cheese frosting and decorated with marzipan carrots. The texture is super moist, tasty, with the right sweetness and a delicate hint from the spices. With or without the frosting, they are delightful. A perfect indulgence for parties, events or just giveaways.
When baking, use fresh ingredients and at room temperature. Preheat the oven while getting the batter ready. Do not overmix and on low speed, incorporate the ingredients together. Use an ice-cream scoop or measuring cup to fill the paper baking cups one-half to three-fourths full. This will ensure equal distribution, even cooking and uniformity in appearance without any overflow. Bake on a rack positioned in the centre. Do not open the oven to peek. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting. To maintain freshness, store properly.
Do you know why oil is used in carrot cakes? It keeps the cake moist, lighter and fluffier unlike butter that makes the carrot cake heavy and dense. Oil is all fat whilst butter has some water which contributes to a less moist cake. If you prefer to use butter in carrot cake, melt and incorporate.
(Yields One 9" cake or 12 cupcakes)
1 cup all purpose white flour
1 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/4 teaspoon cloves powder
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg powder
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup walnuts (chopped)
1/2 cup raisins or sultanas
2 cups shredded carrots (lightly packed) - 4 to 5 medium-sized carrots
2/3 cup oil (canola or vegetable)
Peel carrots, trim off the ends, wash, pat dry and then grate using a box grater. Pulse in a food processor to smaller shreds.
Grease and dust a 9" cake pan and line only the bottom with parchment paper. For cupcakes, line a muffin tin with paper baking cups.
Preheat oven to 300 F or 150 C.
Sift the dry ingredients; flour, salt and spice powders.
Using an electric hand beater, beat eggs in a bowl. On low speed, incorporate the sugar till creamy and then trickle the oil down slowly. Add the vanilla extract and then the dry ingredients in batches.
Fold in the carrots along with the walnuts and raisins.
Pour batter into the prepared cake pan or using an ice-cream scoop, divide batter into cupcake liners.
Bake until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, around 40 to 45 minutes for the cake and 35 minutes for the cupcakes. (Do not over bake. Remember the baking temperature is 300 F or 150 C.)
Transfer to a wire rack to cool before frosting.
Once cake is cooled, invert on a board and peel off the parchment paper. Use a plate and invert the cake with the right side up.
Cream Cheese Frosting
4 ounces (113 grams) cream cheese (softened)
2 tablespoons butter (softened at room temperature)
2 cups confectioner's sugar (icing sugar)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sift the confectioner's sugar.
In a bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter with an electric hand beater. Add the confectioner's sugar and vanilla extract. Beat until light and fluffy ensuring to scrape down the sides with a spatula.
Frost the cake or cupcakes as desired using an icing spatula or piping bag.
Decorate with carrots made out of marzipan.
- Cake recipe will yield one 9" cake or 12 cupcakes.
- Frosting recipe will cover one 9" cake or 12 cupcakes. This frosting is stiff enough and if desired, reduce the amount of confectioner's sugar but the consistency will be runny.
- For a lemon flavour frosting, replace vanilla extract with 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice. Add some grated lemon zest.
- Addition of walnuts and raisins in the cake batter is optional.
- Use spice powders as indicated or omit as desired.
- The cake and cupcakes were baked at a low temperature to maintain moistness, even rising and browning.
- Cake was done at 40 to 45 minutes while the cupcakes were ready at 35 minutes.