Carrots are one of my least favourite foods by far. I've been working through my intense dislike for them, because I'm totally an adult. I've been able to include them in soups and stews for many years with no fatal consequences. A friend taught me about honey glazed roasted carrots...and that upped the game further. But of course it was my beloved who has forced me all the way to the dark side to indulge his love of carrot cake. Carrots? In a cake? Whhyyyyooooohhhwhhhyyy? I love cake so much, why would he pursue this travesty?
Long story short, I researched the heck out of recipes for carrot cake. Made my concessions to the inclusions (yes Catherine, carrot cake must in fact have carrots in it) and exclusions (raisins are NOT mandatory). I remembered what I liked about carrot cakes I had eaten in the past (an absence of extreme chunks of carrot was a highlight) and set about trying to replicate it. Folks, this is true love.
Is he looking adoringly at me or the cake? I think both.
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups finely grated carrots (the small section on the grater works best)
125 grams butter, softened
250 gram block of cream cheese, softened
500 grams icing sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup finely chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 160C (fan forced). Prepare your bundt pan as you would normally. A lot of recipes call for buttering and flouring, but my bundt pan just needs a spray of cooking spray to release cakes like a champion. Do what you know works.
In a large bowl, mix the sugar together with the oil, eggs and vanilla until it is all fully incorporated. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. My new trick is to use a balloon whisk on the dry ingredients rather than putting them through a sifter...but I am a very impatient baker. Do whichever suits your baking style.
Add the flour mix in to the wet mix and combine well. Add the carrots, and mix until it is all incorporated evenly.
Pour in the cake mix to your prepared bundt pan, and ensure it is evenly spread out.
Bake for approximately 50 minutes, checking and turning at the half way point.
When it is done, let it cool for about five minutes on a rack in the pan and then turn out to cool completely.
For the frosting, cream together the butter and cream cheese until very smooth and kind of fluffy. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar, blend well. Incorporate the pecans which should be very finely chopped (I blasted mine in the food processor). Frost the bundt cake once it is completely cooled.
Best to keep this cake in the fridge, not that it lasts very long!