Carrot cake that's fragrantly spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg and topped with a mascarpone cheese frosting. The dates and ginger add incredible flavor!
It's easy to make. All you need is a couple of ingredients, nothing over the top, cake or hand mixer and a little of your time and you can enjoy the best, moist carrot cake! It's a show stopping dessert, a crowd pleaser, a 'time alone' me and a cup of tea type of cake, it is in-fact simply beautiful.
Again, very easy recipe. Have 3 bowls ready because we are going to have;
- the wet ingredients
- dry ingredients
- and the goodies ie carrots, nuts, etc.
We will mix them separately and all you do then is get them all together into one bowl and into the oven trays. Whether you are using a cake stand mixer, electric hand held mixer or a bowl OR a whisk and wooden spoon we want to use a spatula when we do the folding of the ingredients. Okay, let's start with the ingredients.
Cake flour - I know there are a lot of recipes that call for AP which is All Purposes Flour however depending on where you are in the world it can prove challenging to find all purpose flour. In a nutshell, cake flour is perfect for a lot of recipes making the cake light and airy.
Salt, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger - The salt gives the sweetness balance and the spices add flavor and fragrance.
Baking Powder - We don't want to make a cake from scratch and it doesn't rise so yes baking powder for the cake rise!
Sugar - for sweetness and to make it moist. Brown and white sugar are in this recipe and I used castor sugar but you can also use granulated sugar.
Eggs - like most of the key ingredients are very important for structure, color and flavor.
Essence - purely flavor.
Oil - I am sure there are a number of oils you can use for a carrot cake I don't know because whenever I am baking any cake that needs oil I go with vegetable (canola) oil. Don't leave it out it keeps it soft and moist.
Carrots - You can use your food processer to grate or whichever way you prefer just as long as you grate them. I love my hand held regular grater but it's just so much faster in a food processor so if you have one, use it.
Pecans, Raisins - those are pretty much standard in a carrot cake recipe but I've tweaked mine a bit and used part raisins, cranberries and dates. Cut them into small bits or roughly chop depending on how you feel about fruit pieces in your cake batter.
Crystallized ginger - this is completely optional! There are many recipes online that use crystallized ginger for carrot cake including the wonderful Nigella Lawson which I thought was such a wonderful touch. I added it to the cake batter as well as in the cream cheese frosting. keep a little of the nuts and ginger aside for the finishing touches because it looks beautiful and tastes incredible!
LET'S MAKE THIS CARROT CAKE
This carrot cake is made in a cake stand mixer however I've also made it in a bowl, electric hand mixer, whisk and a wooden spoon so no excuses let's do it!
Add all the sugar (both) into the cake mixing bowl that you're going to be using/the bowl on your cake mixer stand. Add the oil, essence, eggs and start your cake mixer on low speed or mix by hand/electric hand mixer.
In a separate bowl over a sift, add the flour, baking powder, bicarb, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt and sift.
In a different bowl add the carrots, raisins, dates, walnuts, ginger, (a little flour to lighten the load, about a tablespoon and half) That's a tip I got from the wonderful Barefoot Contessa.
Widget not in any sidebars
THE BAKING TINS
I used 2 x 20 cm tins and it worked out beautifully, the cake was nice and high, fluffy moist and delicious! Should you use baking paper for the tins? Yes please do! Can you imagine going through all these steps and then you can't get the cake out the tins? Not pleasant so what I do is spray the bottom, lay the baking paper down and spray over the paper. That way I am confident the cake is coming out without any hitches.
DIVIDING THE BATTER
When you divide the batter try to get the tins filled as evenly as possibly. You can eye ball the amounts or you can use a cup size measurement and then work from there. It wont be accurate but it will be pretty close.
COOLING THE CAKES
You know how you have to 'rest' a roast chicken after it comes out the oven? These cakes are the same. When you take the cakes out let them cool before you remove them from the tins. From the tins onto a rack to cool even further before frosting.
CARROT CAKE FROSTING
Who doesn't love a well frosted cake when the frosting is thick and creamy but also soft and light. I went with mascarpone cream cheese frosting and the recipe is below in the recipe card. Adding cream into the frosting is absolutely not optional it is necessary! It's the cream that gives it that smooth finish. If you've made my Chocolate Cake With An Easy Chocolate Ganache Frosting or my 4 Layer Ombre Birthday Cakewith a crème fraiche frosting then you know that I always add cream for a luxurious finish.
MORE CAKE RECIPES
- 4 Layer Ombre Birthday Cake
- Easy Pecan Nut Chocolate Cheesecake
- Cheesecake, Baked Crust And A Creamy Filling
- Melt In The Mouth Fluffy Blueberry Ladle Pancakes
- Chocolate Cake With An Easy Chocolate Ganache Frosting
quick tips & SUGGESTIONS
- Read the post and recipe
- Get all the ingredients out and ready before you start
- Eggs - room temperature
- Prep your tins - parchment paper and baking/cooking spray
- Measurements, bowls, utensils
Those are the basics and the rest you will have read, recipe below. Enjoy the recipe!
YOU CAN ALSO PIN THIS RECIPE HERE
My Homemade Carrot Cake
- 200 grams Brown sugar 1 cup
- 100 grams Castor sugar ½ cups
- 1 cup Vegetable oil canola
- 2 Tsps Baking powder
- 1 teaspoon Bicarb
- 2 Tsps Cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon Nutmeg
- ½ cup Walnuts leave a little for the topping
- 50 grams Dates chopped into small pieces
- ½ cup Seedless raisin mix
- 325 grams Flour 2 ½ cups
- 3 cups Grated carrots
- 2 Tbsps cake flour
- 2 Tsps Vanilla essence
- 1 teaspoon Fine salt
- 250 grams Mascarpone cream cheese
- 1 ½ cups Icing Sugar
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream add a tablespoon if you like it a bit more smooth & creamy
- ¼ cup roughly chopped walnuts & crystalized ginger for topping optional
- Preheat the oven to 177 Degrees Celsius. Prepare two 20cm tins by spraying them both with cooking/baking spray, line them with baking paper and another quick spray on top.
- Into the 1st bowl if mixing by hand or into the cake stand bowl add the castor sugar, brown sugar, oil, essence, eggs and mix on low speed. Set aside.
- In another bowl over a sift add the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, bicarb, nutmeg and salt. Sift gradually and then with the mixer on low add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
- In another bowl add the grated carrots, raisins, dates, nuts, ginger and the flour. Pour it into the cake batter and use a spatula to mix thoroughly.
- Divide the batter into the prepared tins trying to get an equal amount in both. Bake at 177 Degrees Celsius for about 30 minutes and you can see the top of the cakes are set. At 25 minutes check the cakes by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake, if it comes out clean take them out to cool. If the toothpick is still slightly damp give them another 5 minutes. Cook the cakes, remove the baking paper and move them to a cooking rack to cool further.
- While the cakes cool, make the frosting.
- In the bowl of a cake mixer or in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer beat the mascarpone cheese for a few seconds. Add the icing sugar using low speed and add it gradually (so it doesn't splatter everywhere). Beat till smooth for about a minute.
- Add the cream and vanilla essence and beat for a few more seconds. Finish off with the ginger pieces if adding any.
- Use a cake knife or spoon to level half the frosting on one cake, place the 2nd cake on top, more frosting/icing and finish off with nuts and minced or crushed crystallized ginger.