I’ve been making this lovely moist carrot and walnut cake for longer than I care to remember. As a single layer cake, it’s not quite as guilt-inducing as those towering triple-layered confections, despite its luscious creamy frosting.
This is a more modest looking cake but there’s absolutely nothing modest about the taste and best of all, it’s very easy to make.
CARROT & WALNUT CAKE with a MAPLE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
6 fl oz (175ml) of canola or corn oil
6 oz (150g) of sugar (caster sugar in the UK, regular in the US)
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
4 oz (100g) of walnut pieces, chopped (plus 8-10 walnut halves for decoration)
8 oz (250g) of ready-peeled carrots, chopped
6 oz (150g) of all-purpose (plain) flour
1 teaspoon (5ml) of bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon (5ml) of baking powder
1 teaspoon (5ml) of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon (5ml) of salt
For the frosting:
3 oz (85g) of full-fat cream cheese at room temp
2 oz (50g) of butter at room temp
2 oz (50g) of powdered sugar
1/8 cup (30ml) of maple syrup
8-10 walnut halves for decoration
Oil a 9 inch (22-23cm) loose-based cake pan and line it with baking parchment. Lightly oil the parchment.
Preheat the oven to 350F / 180C.
Put everything except the walnuts into a food processor and blend thoroughly, until the carrots are finely chopped. Fold in the walnuts then spoon the mixture into the prepared cake pan.
Transfer to the center of the oven and bake for approximately 1 hr 15 mins. Check after 1 hour as ovens vary – press gently in the center of the cake, it should spring back and have begun to shrink from the sides. Cool in the pan for 5 mins then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter together until fluffy then add the maple syrup followed by the icing sugar. You can adjust the quantities of maple syrup to sugar depending on how maple-y you want it to taste.
Spread the frosting over the top and sides of the cake and decorate with walnut halves.
The cake keeps well but I’d cover and refrigerate it due to the frosting…however, I like to serve it at room temperature.