Mini carrot cakes

Carrot cake may have just become my new favorite type of cake (I’m a huge fan of chocolate cake!). This recipe is by Rachel Allen and is the second recipe I have tested from her latest book Bake. This one didn’t disappoint and was equally as delicious as her bagel recipe. The cake’s were moist and had just the right mix of raisins and walnuts and a really good spiced flavour to them. It certainly went down well after Sunday lunch round at my boyfriends parents.

This is the first carrot cake recipe I have baked (& I have only eaten carrot cake once before this). I offered to make a birthday cake for my boyfriend’s sister’s birthday a few weeks back and she chose carrot cake. There was no doubt in my mind that I would have to try Rachel’s recipe as we both had seen her bake this on her TV show and it looked both simple to make and delicious to eat! What more can you ask from a cake recipe or any recipe for that matter!

My only worry was that whilst discussing my plans for my long weekend one of my colleagues told me how carrot cakes can go so horribly wrong (even the birds wouldn’t eat her last attempt!). With this in mind I decided to make mini cakes using a muffin tin so that I could sneakily try one before the birthday meal (to make sure there were no nasty surprises once the cake was cut!). Fortunately Rachel didn’t let me down and there was no need for a last minute dash to the supermarket for a ready made carrot cake on the way up!

Carrot Cake
Makes 12-14 muffin sized cakes

140ml vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
2 eggs
200g soft light brown sugar
300g grated carrot, (grated weight)
100g raisins
75g pecans or Walnuts, chopped (optional)
180g self-raising flour
1 pinch salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (I left this out as I had none in but the cakes still tasted fantastic)
1/2 tsp mixed spice

  • Preheat the oven to 150C (reduce by 10% for fan assisted)/gas 2.
  • Beat the eggs in a large bowl, then add the oil, brown sugar, grated carrot, raisins and chopped nuts.
  • Sift in the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and spices. Stir well to mix.
  • Line a muffin tin with paper cases and spoon the mixture into them.
  • Cook for 20-25mins or until until a skewer inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Mascarpone frosting with Vanilla and Orange.
Adapted from Rachel Allen’s recipe.

125g Mascarponne cheese (straight from fridge)
140g icing sugar, sifted
few drops of vanilla extract
Zest of half an orange

  • Use a wooden spoon to combine all the ingredients well until a smooth icing forms.
  • Use a palatte knife to spread each cupcake with the frosting.
  • Decorate with walnut pieces.

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