I know, I know. First of all I claim to have invented The Best Flapjack Recipe in the Whole Wide World. Ever. And now I’m making such claims over carrot cake? Get my ego!
Just in case these claims are unfounded, I challenge all you bakers out there to a ‘Carrot Cake Off’ :)
May the best cake win!
So, what makes my carrot cake the best? Chopped up dates and hazelnuts add texture, moisture and sweetness to the cake, whilst the lemon frosting cuts through the richness like Zorro’s sword, leaving the palate cleansed and deeply satisfied.
I admit, the frosting was a happy accident as I can’t tolerate cream cheese, but am OK with butter. Who’d have thought lactose intolerance had its upside!
So dear friends, get your pinny at the ready. Let’s cook!
- 175 g sugar
- 170 ml vegetable oil or melted butter
- 3 large eggs
- 225 g carrots grated
- 100 g dates chopped
- 85 g hazelnuts
- 175 g plain flour
- 2 teaspoons bicarb of soda baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Zest of 1 large orange
- 85 g butter softened
- 175 g icing sugar
- Zest and juice ½ lemon
Preheat oven to 180/160 fan/350/gas4
Whisk the sugar, oil and eggs together then mix in the carrots and dates.
Crush the hazelnuts by pushing down on them, with your palm onto the flat side of large knife. If you use a food processor instead, you just want them broken, not powdered as they add a wonderful texture to the cake.
Add the nuts, flour, bicarb, cinnamon and orange zest to the egg mixture and mix together gently, until all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
Scrape into a greased & lined 7"x7" baking tin, flatten with the back of a spoon and bake for 30-35 minutes until firm and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Lift out of the tin and let cool on a cooling rack.
In a food processor (you can do it by hand but do soften the butter first!) mix the butter until soft. Slowly add the other ingredients and continue mixing until blended well.
Spread over the top of the fully cooled cake.