I can’t believe I hadn’t made a carrot cake before this, but I think this might become more of a regular feature at the flat. There was a little cheating in using a food processor (which I like to think contributed to the dates being more evenly distributed throughout the cake), but you can very easily just use a whisk and bowl (which will probably save you cleaning up a million parts). The great thing about this cake is that it’s got carrots and fruit in, so you’ve got plenty of goodness in every bite. A great morning tea!
The recipe is out of “Combined,” a local cookbook full of family recipes. Kudos to Abby Taylor and Caren Butler for the recipe – this cake is also served at the Empire cafe on Madras Street. The only thing I’d caution about this cake is that it really does taste more like a banana-carrot cake. I suppose you could experiment adding more carrot, and taking out the banana, if you don’t like banana cake.
makes one 8″ cake
1/2c raw or brown sugar
1/2c vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 banana, mashed
1 c firmly packed grated carrot (125g)
1/2c – 1c chopped dates, soaked in hot water (or 1/2c drained crushed pineapple)
3/4c self raising flour (or 3/4c + 1tsp baking powder)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4c coconut thread
1 Tbs ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground mixed spice/allspice
Cream cheese icing
This is pretty soft and not “grainy” like most icing…but use whatever you feel like!
1c (250g) cream cheese, softened (heat on low microwave setting for about 5 mins to start)
50g butter, melted
1/2c caster sugar
fine zest of 1 lemon
Preaheat oven to 175C (350F). Whisk sugar, oil and vanilla to combine. Beat in eggs one at a time until creamy and slightly frothy. Add carrot, banana, and drained dates, then add flour, salt, baking soda, coconut and spices. Stir to combine, and pour into an 8″ springform cake tin or large loaf pan and bake approx 30-40mins, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out relatively clean. Cool completely before icing.
To make icing, beat all the ingredients until creamy (you want a proper beater for this). Top the cake with the icing, and garnish with chopped or sliced nuts.
The recipe also works for muffins – just decrease cooking time, and check every 5 mins according to your muffin tray size.