My mom makes the best carrot cake evah. I don't think I have enjoyed any other carrot cake as much as I've enjoyed hers. The ones that you get in Ottolenghi is a close second, although sometimes I hate biting into all those walnuts and coconut slivers. And the ones you get in bakeries and such, are somehow not moist enough and I hate the marzipan toppings they come with. So whenever I crave a good ol' carrot cake I resign to using mummy's recipe which never fails.
Ro hates a carrot cake where you bite into small pieces of carrots and says he cant eat a cake made of vegetables. So that's one of the reasons why I go back to making mummy's cake where she kinda makes a puree with the carrots and uses that in the cake. This makes it incredibly moist and you don't see or bite into carrot pieces, but still end up with a nice carrot flavour. But me being me, soon gets bored with the same ol' thing and I firmly believe in the saying 'variety is the spice of life.' So recently when I craved some carrot cake, I started going frantic searching for recipes online.
Needless to say, the search ended up in a plethora of recipes leaving me thoroughly confused. I wanted a simple recipe which used basic ingredients and was easy to put together. This recipe is just that and more because it tastes fabulous. I would have personally preferred it to be a bit more sweeter, but I still enjoyed the cake nonetheless. Ro for that matter couldn't even make out it was carrot cake until I told him it was and of course he made a fuss about it. But I was glad to see him going for a second piece after all that drama. The cake keeps well for a couple of days at room temperature in an air tight container, that is if you can manage to stay away from it.
I love the carrot cake-cream cheese combo. Well I like it more for the cream cheese, I must say. Its one frosting I absolutely love, and know to make and so it somehow makes its way through to almost all the elaborate cakes I bake. This time I didn't want to over do it with frosting since it was just for our use, and its more forgiving on the hips. So if you want to go all out, double the recipe, make it into a layer cake, dab loads of cream cheese (recipe here) and make a deal out of it. You will thank me for it, trust me :)
On a completely different note, I would love to thank my friend W for putting together the header for me. I bug him for all my doubts regarding logos and html codes and such and he's really good at it. The deal was I'd bake him some goodies in return for the header. A cake coming your way W :)
Plain flour- 1 cup
Baking soda- 1 tsp
Salt- 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon- 1 tsp, powdered
Nutmeg- 1/4 tsp, grated or ground
Ginger- 1/2 tsp, powdered or grated
Granulated sugar- 1 cup
Vegetable oil- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp
Carrots- 1 1/2 cups, peeled and finely grated
In another bowl beat together, with a wire whisk or wooden spoon, the sugar and vegetable oil till well blended.
Add in the eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition.
Add the flour mixture and mix well so that no traces of flour is seen.
Finally, fold in the grated carrots.
Line a 12 hole cupcake pan (or cake pan) and pour the batter in, till about 3/4th full.
Bake in an oven preheated at 175C for about 15 to 18 minutes or till a skewer comes out clean.
Take them out of the oven and leave aside to cool for five minutes after which you can transfer them on to a wire rack till completely cool.
While they are still slightly warm, roll them in caster sugar or dust some powdered sugar on top for added benefit.
Notes: I would probably add 1/4 cup more of sugar because I love a sweet cake. In this case I'll probably avoid rolling/dusting sugar once the cake is done.
I used the fine grater on my grater box which yielded really fine carrot slices and once the cakes were done, you couldn't find traces of carrots (which was a good thing, if you ask me). The process is a bit more tiresome, but if you don't mind pieces of carrots in your cake, then go ahead and grate it bigger or whichever size you prefer.
I used mini bundt pans and got 6 of them. I had to bake it for about 20 minutes though
If you like walnuts and raisins, add about 1/2 a cup of coarsely chopped walnuts and 1/4 cup raisins along with the carrots and fold it all together.
If you are frosting the cake, do so only after the cakes have completely cooled down.
Also, you wont be able to store them at room temperature if using cream cheese frosting. Store it in the refrigerator and use it within 2 days, after which the cream cheese goes bad.