Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake is one of the most well known bakes and it’s no wonder why. It’s packed fully of tasty flavours and different textures, and wrapped up in what has to be one of my favourite frostings ever – cream cheese buttercream. I could eat the stuff straight from the bowl! I thought it was about time I shared my favourite carrot cake recipe. As I’m not a huge fan of walnuts, I use pecans in my recipe, but of course if you like walnuts they can easily be swapped. To save time I use a food processor to grate my carrot, so if you have one with a grating attachment it’s a real time saver. Carrot cake is also a delicious way to use up leftover carrots!

Jump straight to the recipe!

I started by mixing both flours, the baking powder and bicarb, the mixed spice and the light brown sugar together in a large bowl.

Then I added the vegetable oil, eggs, orange zest, orange juice and grated carrot.

I folded in the pecans and sultanas, and divided the mixture evenly between two lined and greased 8″ cake tins.

After 35 minutes in the oven they were golden brown, I left them to cool on wire racks.

To make the frosting I mixed together the butter and icing sugar, then added the cream cheese and mixed until it was smooth.

Carrot Cake

I placed one of the sponges onto a cake stand and piped just less than half of the frosting over it. Then I topped it with the second sponge, then piped the remaining frosting on top. I decorated the carrot cake with fondant carrot shapes, orange zest and chopped pecans.

Carrot Cake

This carrot cake is absolutely delicious! The texture of the fruit and nut packed sponge pairs so well with the smooth cream cheese buttercream. It’s a dream combination and one that I am happy to enjoy on a regular basis!

    

I’m linking this recipe up with Recipe of the Week hosted by A Mummy Too, Cook Blog Share hosted by Everyday Healthy Recipes, Baking Crumbs hosted by Only Crumbs Remain, and Fiesta Friday hosted by Food Eat Love and The Frugal Hausfrau.

5 from 4 votes
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Carrot Cake

Servings 12

Ingredients

For the sponge

  • 200 g Self raising flour
  • 115 g Wholemeal plain flour
  • 265 g Light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • 3 tsp Mixed spice
  • 325 g Carrots grated
  • 265 g Vegetable oil
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 Orange zested and juiced
  • 95 g Pecans chopped
  • 95 g Sultanas

For the frosting

  • 250 g Butter or baking spread
  • 500 g Icing
  • 200 g Full fat cream cheese

For decoration

  • Fondant carrot decorations
  • Orange zest
  • 4 Pecans chopped

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark, and grease and line two 8 inch sandwich tins

  2. In a large bowl, stir together both flours, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, mixed spice and light brown sugar

  3. Add the vegetable oil, eggs, orange zest, 2 tbsp of the orange juice and the grated carrot

  4. Mix in the pecans and sultanas

  5. Divide the mixture evenly between the cake tins

  6. Bake for 35 minutes until golden brown and a thin skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove them from the tin and leave them to cool on wire racks

  7. To make the frosting mix together the butter and icing sugar using an electric hand mixer, then add the cream cheese and mix until smooth

  8. Place one of the sponges onto a plate or cake stand and spread or pipe just less than half of the frosting over it

  9. Top with the second sponge, then pipe or spread the remaining frosting on top

  10. Decorate with fondant carrot, orange zest and chopped pecans

  11. Store any remaining cake in the fridge for up to 3 days

You can find more of my Cake recipes by clicking here!

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Carrot Cake Baked Donuts (Vegan)

Carrot Cake Baked Donuts (Vegan)

Strange as it may sound, I didn’t used to like carrot cake. Nowadays, I absolutely love the stuff! I find the spiced sponge and creamy frosting rather irresistible. I’ve made non-vegan baked donuts several times, and I really wanted to try a vegan version, so carrot cake immediately sprung to mind. Baked donuts are like little cakes as they are baked in the oven in a donut tin. I’ve spiced these carrot cake baked donuts with cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg and drizzled a sweet glaze over the top. They are truly yummy and will delight vegans and non-vegans alike. These carrot cake baked donuts are dairy and egg free, and they could be nut free too if you use soya milk rather than almond milk and don’t add the chopped pecans on top. No one needs to miss out on yummy donuts!

Jump straight to the recipe!

To start, I placed all of the dry ingredients into a bowl except the bicarbonate of soda.

In another bowl I whisked together the oil, almond milk, vanilla and cider vinegar. Then I added the grated carrots.

I combined the wet and dry ingredients, then added the bicarb last.

I put the batter into a piping bag and piped it into my donut pan which I’d greased with dairy free butter.

The donuts baked for 15 minutes until they were risen and golden. Using a butter knife I gently loosened them around the edges, then tipped them out onto a cooling rack. I quickly washed the tin and did another batch.

For the glaze I mixed together the icing sugar with the milk and dipped the donuts in. I sprinkled the pecans on while the glaze was still wet.

Carrot Cake Baked Donuts

These carrot cake baked donuts came out beautifully risen and soft. In my recent vegan baking experiments, the one thing I’ve really struggled with is baking sponges but I think I’ve finally got it! The sponge is not overly sweet to make up for the super sweet and sticky glaze that’s drizzled on top – it provides all the sweetness you need.

Carrot Cake Baked Donuts

These donuts are really good freshly made, but if you can manage to wait till the next day they go super moist and sticky – which is how I like my donuts!

          

I’m linking this recipe up with Cook Blog Share hosted by Everyday Healthy Recipes, Recipe of the Week hosted by A Mummy Too, Bake of The Week by Mummy Mishaps, Free From Fridays hosted by Le Coin De Mel, and Fiesta Friday hosted by Everyday Healthy Recipes and Indfused.

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Check out my other baked donut recipes!

5 from 4 votes
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Carrot Cake Baked Donuts (Vegan)

Servings 12

Ingredients

For the donuts

  • 160 g Self raising flour
  • 80 g Wholemeal flour
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • 100 g Light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Mixed spice
  • 1/4 tsp Ground ginger
  • 100 g Carrots grated
  • 200 ml Almond milk or other dairy free milk
  • 30 ml Vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp Cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp Baking powder
  • Dairy free spread for greasing

For the glaze and decoration

  • 200 g Icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp Almond milk or other dairy free milk
  • 50 g Pecans chopped

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas mark 4, grease a donut pan with the dairy free spread

  2. Put both flours, the salt, light brown sugar, baking powder and all four spices into a bowl and stir together

  3. In another bowl whisk together the oil, almond milk, vanilla and cider vinegar. Then add the grated carrots

  4. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk together, then add the bicarbonate of soda and stir in

  5. Put the batter into a piping bag and pipe half of it into the donut pan (or all of it if you have a 12 ring pan)

  6. Bake the donuts for 15 minutes until they are risen and golden

  7. Using a butter knife, gently loosen them around the edges, then tip them out onto a cooling rack

  8. If you are using a 6 ring donut tin, quickly wash the tin and do another batch

  9. For the glaze, mix together the icing sugar and the almond milk. Dip the donuts in to coat the top half. Sprinkle the pecans on while the glaze is still wet

  10. If you can, store in an air tight container and enjoy the next day when they will be super moist! Or just dig right in!

You can find more of my Vegan recipes by clicking here!

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How to Host an Afternoon Tea Party with Cocktails

How to Host an Afternoon Tea Party with Cocktails

It was my birthday at the end of July and as I’m not really into clubs much anymore all I wanted to do was stay in, eat cake and hang out with my friends! So I decided on an Afternoon Tea Party & Cocktails. We all got dressed up, I made a table full of goodies, and we spent the day eating cake and drinking tea, then as the evening came, we hit the cocktails, played games and had a brilliant time! I wanted to create this guide to help you have a great afternoon tea party too!

I started a few days in advance by making these fruit scones. I put them in the freezer to keep them fresh, then took them out the night before the party. If you have any gluten free guests try this scone recipe from The Gluten Free Alchemist, or for vegan guests try this recipe from Wallflower Kitchen.

I also made my own raspberry jam to go on the scones, which I made a few days in advance too. And of course the scones were not complete without clotted cream! So I made sure to get a couple of tubs in for the party. If you don’t want to make your own jam, there are so many quality options in the supermarket now, I would suggest buying a more premium option for the party – it is a special occasion after all!

A classic Victoria Sponge Cake was the centre piece of the table. I made a basic sponge mix and sandwiched the two halves with jam and fresh cream in the middle. You can’t go wrong with a Mary Berry recipe or my Strawberries & Cream Cake is sure to impress!

For the second cake I wanted something a bit different so I made this Spiced Carrot Loaf Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting, it was so yummy! The recipe is from BBC Good Food, I omitted the walnuts and sultanas.

I made some pretty lemon cupcakes and sat them on one of my birthday gifts, a beautiful cupcake stand from Laura Ashley. You can find the recipe below:

Lemon Cupcakes

Servings 12

Ingredients

Sponge

  • 2 Eggs
  • 175 g Caster sugar
  • 175 g Butter
  • 175 g Self raising flour
  • 1 Lemon zested

Buttercream

  • 150 g Butter
  • 300 g Icing sugar
  • 1 tsp Lemon extract
  • Yellow food colouring
  • Sprinkles

Instructions

  1. For the sponge, cream together the butter and caster sugar until soft and fluffy
  2. Add in the eggs and lemon zest and mix well
  3. Fold in the self raising flour
  4. Separate the batter into cupcake cases in a muffin tin and bake at 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool completely
  5. To make the buttercream mix together the butter, icing sugar and yellow food colouring until smooth and the desired shade
  6. Pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes using a piping bag fitted with a closed star nozzle and add desired sprinkles

For savoury lovers and also to provide a break from all the sweet treats, I made three types of finger sandwiches – salmon and cream cheese, cucumber and cream cheese, and ham. They were very popular and I ended up having to make more half way through the day! I also provided some crisps for nibbling on. There are so many sandwich filling options and I’ve listed some more ideas below, don’t forget to check if any of your guests require gluten free bread.

Beef & Mustard

Egg Mayonnaise

Hummus & Roasted red pepper

Hummus & Cucumber

Cheese & Pickle

I bought a good selection of tea to suit everyone’s tastes, I included decaf and fruit teas. I also provided soft drinks and juices. If you have a teapot you can make up a pot of tea for everyone.
 

 

I decorated my table with bunting, fresh flowers and a floral table cloth. I also hired some gorgeous vintage cups, saucers and plates from Tamaryn’s Treasures. They were so beautiful and really made the party special! I loved the one with the gold pattern inside the cup. They really added that vintage afternoon tea party feel to the day. Here are a few other companies that offer the same service, if you Google ‘Hire vintage crockery’ you will find lots of results:

Pretty Vintage (Lincoln)

The Vintage Affair (Buckinghamshire/Berkshire)

Add Vintage (Leeds)

Honey Bees (Leicestershire)

Later on we moved onto cocktails. This is a Cosmopolitan, a delicious mix of vodka, triple sec, lime juice and cranberry juice. Throughout the night I also made lime daquiris, pina coladas and long island ice teas. These are all classic cocktails and the recipes are readily available online, try Social and Cocktail for 100 cocktail recipes.

We played some awesome games. First we played Cranium which is a fairly well known family game, well to everyone except me! I had never heard of it but apparently a lot of people play it at Christmas. Later on we played the hilarious Cards Against Humanity – which I highly recommend. Games are such a great way to get everyone involved and interacting with each other, especially if your guests don’t all know each other well.

 

I looked into hiring people to come and do hair and make up for us, but I didn’t have the budget for this. If it was a bigger event like a hen party I would definitely have hired a professional, but I was lucky enough to have a very talented friend who did everyone’s hair. And I thought we all looked fab! If you can find someone in your local area to come and do your hair and make up, and you have the budget for it, then get on Google and Facebook and have a search. I’ve listed below some I found and the locations:

Bijoux Hair (London)

Hen Heaven (Major UK cities)

Lipstick & Curls (London & Leeds)

The Vintage Beauty Parlour (Manchester)

I had such a fun time and I highly recommend this kind of get together if you can’t be bothered with the hassle of going out (and you love cake!) Staying in is much more fun! I made everything myself for the party, but you could get your friends to bring a bake each to lessen the workload. If you do want to make everything yourself, the freezer is your friend! You can freeze the cakes (undecorated) and the scones in advance. I hope you have fun! Let me know in the comments if you have any other tips for the perfect afternoon tea party!

Carrot and Orange Cake

Carrot and Orange Cake

I made this Carrot and Orange Cake for my mum for Mother’s Day. She has been trying new cake flavours recently, so I wanted to make her something a bit different to give her inspiration. Traditionally carrot cake has walnuts in it, but she doesn’t like them (and neither do I) so I decided to change the traditional recipe and add the zesty sweetness of an orange syrup instead. I avoided carrot cake for years because I don’t like cooked carrots. However, I tried some last year and was pleasantly surprised at how nice and non-carrot tasting it was. I put the recipe for this Carrot and Orange Cake in the card I gave to my mum in case she wanted to try it again herself!

Jump straight to the recipe!

In my mixer I mixed up eggs, light brown sugar, vegetable oil and vanilla extract.

I used kitchen towel to press the excess water out of the grated carrot, before adding it to mixture and folding in with a spatula.

I sieved in self raising flour, wholemeal self raising flour, cinnamon, ground ginger, and tsp nutmeg. Once you’ve sieved in these ingredients, tip in any bran that is left in the sieve from the wholemeal flour.

Finally I added the zest of one orange, and folded it all in.

I divided the mixture between two lined and greased 8″ cake tins, and baked them for 25 minutes.

I juiced the orange I had zested for the sponge and mixed in caster sugar until dissolved.

When the cakes were done, I poked a few holes in them using a skewer then spooned the orange juice all over them. I left the cakes to cool in their tins to let the orange juice fully soak in.

To make the buttercream I mixed together butter, cream cheese, icing sugar and marmalade.

I spread it in the middle and over the top of the cake.

I chose to decorate the top of the Carrot and Orange Cake with butterfly sprinkles. The colour and shape is perfect for Mother’s Day and for a fresh spring feeling. The Carrot and Orange Cake was really moist and delicious, my mum really liked so I was pleased! The buttercream was very tasty too!

I hope you and your mum’s all have a lovely Mother’s Day!


Carrot & Orange Cake

Servings 12

Ingredients

For the sponge

  • 200 g Carrots grated
  • 3 Eggs
  • 225 g Light brown sugar
  • 225 ml Vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 175 g Self raising flour
  • 100 g Wholemeal self raising flour
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp Ground nutmeg
  • 1 Orange Zested and juiced
  • 1 tbsp Caster sugar

For the buttercream

  • 50 g Butter or baking spread
  • 100 g Cream cheese
  • 300 g Icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp Marmalade

For decoration

  • Sprinkles of your choice

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4, and grease and line two 8" cake tins

  2. In a bowl mix together the eggs, light brown sugar, sunflower oil and vanilla extract

  3. Use some kitchen towel to press any excess water out of the grated carrot, then add it to the mixture and fold it in

  4. Add the self raising flour, wholemeal self raising flour, the zest from the orange, cinnamon, ground ginger, and nutmeg. Mix it all in with a whisk until combined

  5. Divide the mixture between the two cake tins and bake for 25 minutes, or until a thin skewer or cocktail stick inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean

  6. While the cake is baking, mix the orange juice with the caster sugar until the sugar dissolves. When the cakes are done, poke a few holes in each sponge using a skewer, then spoon the orange juice mixture all over it. Leave the cakes to cool in the tins and let the orange juice fully soak in

  7. To make the buttercream mixed together the butter, cream cheese, icing sugar and marmalade

  8. Spread the buttercream over one of the sponges, top it with the other sponge, then spread the rest of the buttercream over the top of the cake

  9. Decorate with sprinkles as desired

You can find more of my Cake recipes by clicking here!