Sunday, 8 February 2015

Carrot Cake Tray Bake Recipe

I thought I might try a bit of a healthy cake this week for the kids to have as a snack, although I'm not sure carrot cake is overly healthy! But it is mightily light, moist and tasty! I'm sure it's better than a chocolate biscuit? Anyway, I'll stop worrying about health benefits this week, maybe next week, I'll try a healthy version and I'll let you know how it goes. But so far, this Carrot Bake Tray Bake is a hit!

I haven't used a cream cheese topping, just a simple orange icing. I thought it can be used sparingly, so the kids still think they are getting icing - just not too much.

This cake is super easy to make. You don't have to mess about creaming butter and sugar together - just a bit of gentle mix and your away.

You can substitute the cherries and cranberries for raisins if you like. These were the only dried fruit I had left in the cupboard, but they give the cake little bursts of tangy sharpness. Also, if you're not a nut fan - just leave them out, but I think the walnuts make this cake.

  • 175g light muscovado sugar
  • 175ml sunflower oil
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 140g grated carrots (about 3 medium)
  • 50g dried cherries & cranberries
  • 50g walnuts, broken up
  • grated zest of 1 large orange
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp grated nutmeg (freshly grated will give you the best flavour)

For the frosting

  • 175g icing sugar
  • 1½-2 tbsp orange juice


Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4/fan 160C. Butter and line the base and sides of an 24cm square cake tin with baking parchment. 

Mix the sugar into a large mixing bowl, with the oil and eggs. Lightly mix with a wooden spoon.

Stir in the grated carrots, cherries, cranberries, walnuts and orange rind.
Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices, then sift into the bowl. Lightly mix all the ingredients – when everything is evenly amalgamated stop mixing. The mixture will be fairly soft and almost runny.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 40- 45 minutes, until it feels firm and springy when you press it in the centre. 
Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn it out, peel off the paper and cool on a wire rack. (You can freeze the cake at this point too.)
Beat together the frosting ingredients in a small bowl until smooth – you want the icing about as runny as single cream. Drizzle over the cake letting it drip down the sides.
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