This is my favourite-ever carrot cake recipe, it’s full of delicious flavours and good things, and is not too sweet. Although I love a big round carrot cake with a delicious cream cheese topping, sometimes you want something less fiddly and quicker to make, and perhaps something without a load of extra calories. This recipe is so delicious it absolutely does not need the topping – so I bake it in a loaf tin and enjoy it in slices, fruit loaf style – you don’t even need a plate!
- 175g carrot (this is approximately 2 large carrots)
- 2 large eggs
- 70g soft dark brown sugar
- 75ml rapeseed oil, or other oil (suitable for baking) of your choice
- 100g self-raising wholemeal flour (or plain wholemeal flour with 1 tsp baking powder added)
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 50g desiccated coconut (or 50g of ground almonds if you are baking for coconut-haters)
- 75g raisins
- Preheat oven to 190C (180C fan) or gas mark 5 and line a 1lb loaf tin (a rectangular loaf tin approx 19cm x 12 cm x 6.5cm) with baking parchment.
- Scrub (and peel if they are older carrots) then finely grate the carrots.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together with an electric whisk until they are very thick and creamy.
- Whisk in the oil, pouring it slowly in a thin stream.
- Add all the remaining ingredients and stir until evenly combined.
- Put the mixture into the prepared tin and bake until golden brown on the top and firm to the touch. This takes about 35 minutes – check after 30, and if the cake still seems a little gooey to the touch but quite brown on top, cover with foil and bake for 5-10 minutes more.
- Take out of the tin immediately and leave on a wire rack to cool.
The cake will keep in a air-tight container for about 3 days.
Pretty simple, I am sure you will agree. Do let me know if you give it a try, I’d love to hear how you get on with it.
Here’s a quick and delicious fresh fruit cake for you to try. I think of it as rather a traditional recipe – I’ve retrieved it from the notebook of recipes my mum collected together, and I remember it being a family favourite when I was kid. There are no fancy ingredients – it’s the flour, butter, sugar, eggs, milk and fruit type recipe that I still think can’t be beaten.
It’s completely delicious as a sweet treat that you’d have on the tea table with a lovely cuppa, but you can also serve it warm with cream or crème fraîche. The base of the cake is rather like a rich sweet scone (the British version!) than a sponge, so it doesn’t keep terribly well. If you won’t get through it all on the day that you make it, I would pop it in the freezer for a time when you need a treat.
It’s a very practical cake recipe because it starts with store-cupboard ingredients and you can use up whatever soft fruit you have lying around, as long as you have around 250g in total. I had a couple of slightly wrinkly peaches and a handful of raspberries that needed eating up, so went with that fantastic fruit combination, but cherries, blueberries, loganberries, tayberries, gooseberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, nectarines and strawberries are definitely all options.
Peach and Raspberry Traybake Cake
- 150g self raising flour – I use 50/50 wholemeal and white. If you don’t have SR flour you can add 2 level teaspoons of baking powder to 140g plain flour
- pinch of salt
- 60g butter, from the fridge, cut into small pieces
- 50g granulated sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tablespoons of milk
- 2 peaches peeled, stoned and chopped into bite-size pieces
- 100g raspberries, prepared and washed
- Heat oven to 190C (180C fan), Gas 5.
- Line a 18cm square (7 inch square) loose-bottomed cake tin with baking parchment. Grease the tin a bit so that the baking parchment won’t move around when you put the mix in the tin later.
- Put the flour and salt in a large bowl and add the butter (in small pieces). Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips – or you can use a food processor or mixer of course.
- Stir in the sugar, then take out 2 tbsps of the flour/butter/sugar mixture and set aside to use later.
- Stir the beaten egg and milk into the remaining flour and sugar mixture. It should be the consistency of very thick sponge mix or very wet scone mix!
- Spread the mixture into the tin, making the centre slightly indented so that it doesn’t rise too much in the middle when baking.
- Sprinkle the fruit over the base mixture, followed by the reserved crumble mix.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the top is light golden and the cake is slightly risen. You can test the middle of the cake with a skewer – if it comes out clean of dough, then the cake is cooked.
- Cool in the tin for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack.
- Serve warm with softly whipped cream or crème fraîche, or cold with a cuppa..