This is a tough post. Being just my second post, I didn’t want to be too grim, but equally I can’t ignore what today is. Today is 4 years since my family and I lost my wonderful Dad. It’s obviously a tough day for all of us.
Dad wasn’t much of a cake person – I mean, he’d eat cake when it was put in front of him, but he didn’t necessarily have a favourite. But almost every year for his birthday, my Mom would make this absolutely amazing carrot cake – a recipe passed to her from my Dad’s Mom – for Dad to take to work for his colleagues. And Dad joined in with the rest of us devouring the extra squares Mom had made for us. Oh, it was divine.
When I thought about what cake to make this year, I just couldn’t get that cake out of my head. That decadent cream cheese icing, that beautiful moist sponge… mmm. So, I asked my wonderful Mom if I could have her recipe to give it a go, and got special permission to share it here. As is my style, I put the mix into cupcake cases instead of doing a full cake. I hope they live up to her own wondrous creations!
I love how simple this recipe is. I had a look around online and in my various recipe books before I asked Mom for her recipe, and there were so many ingredients in a lot of them, it was off-putting. Why chuck lots of extra stuff in when a simple recipe does it all anyway?
As the recipe my Mom bequeathed unto me was originally for a cake rather than cupcakes, I had to play it by ear a little for baking times. I started with 22 minutes, but they were still decidedly squishy and pale, so I put another 10 minutes on the timer. They still sprang back when touched, but were much firmer with a gorgeous golden top. I have included both sets of instructions for anyone who would prefer to make a full cake.
I have made one major change, however, to the icing. I almost doubled the amount of icing sugar than stated in my Mom’s recipe. This gives a much thicker icing – I don’t know if it was me, or what, but Mom’s icing was always perfect, but when I made it using the quantities she told me, mine was runny and kinda gross-looking. So I added the extra icing sugar, and then a few drops of lemon juice to cut through the sweetness.
Danish Carrot Cake recipe
Makes 1 6x8inch cake, or 14 cupcakes
For the cake:
- 140g butter, melted
- 170g carrots, finely grated
- 115g seedless sultanas or raisins
- 200g self-raising flour
- 200g caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 level tsp baking powder
- 1 level tsp cinnamon
- 1 level tsp salt
For the icing:
- 50g butter
- 85g full fat cream cheese
- 200g icing sugar
- Half a tsp of vanilla essence
- A few drops of lemon juice
- Pre-heat the oven to 160°C
- Put all of the cake ingredients into a large bowl and beat together
- Spoon the mixture into a well greased 6x8inch tin, or 14 cupcake cases
- Bake for about 45 minutes (cake) or 30-32 minutes (cupcakes) until the cake is firm to the touch and golden brown
- Leave until cool before turning out or tin or removing from muffin tray
- For the icing, beat the butter until smooth and creamy, then slowly add in the cream cheese, beating until fully combined. Sift in the icing sugar bit by bit, stirring after each addition to keep smooth. Add a few drops of lemon juice and the vanilla essence and beat together.
- Spread the icing on the cake, or swirl onto the cupcakes with a palette knife.
If you like, you can add candied peel or fondant carrots for decoration, but I prefer them plain and simple.
So, until next week folks, happy baking!