There are a few reasons I have never made carrot cake before, but now that I have, I am going to make it again, and again. I told my niece I had made carrot cake – she is 3 years old and her reply “I don’t like it but I have never tried it”. Maybe I can get her to try some next time I see her. This recipe is Jo’s and is her favourite.
- 375 g flour
- 10 mls baking powder
- 10 mls bicarbonate of soda
- 5 mls ground cinnamon
- 3.75 mls fine salt
- 375 g fructose
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 375 mls Canola oil
- 5 mls vanilla extract
- 750 mls grated carrots, loosely packed
- 250 mls chopped pecan nuts, loosely packed
- 250 mls chopped pineapple, loosely packed
for the icing:
- 250 g firm cream cheese
- 125 g unsalted butter
- 500 g sugalite
- 5 mls vanilla extract
- preheat the oven to 180° Celsius
- butter and flour either 1 x 25cm tube pan, or 3 x 23cm sandwich tin, or 1 large deep sandwich tin
- in a large bowl sieve together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and salt
- add the fructose
- make a well in the centre and add the eggs, oil and vanilla essence
- combine well
- stir in the carrots, nuts and pineapple
- mix well
- for the tube tins, bake for 1 hour 15 minutes
- for the small sandwich tins, bake for 45 minutes
- for the large sandwich tin, bake for 1 hour 30 minutes
- allow the cake to cool completely before turning out and icing
to make the icing:
- cream the cheese and the butter together
- slowly beat in the sugalite
- add the vanilla essence and combine well
- ice the cake and decorate with nuts
Ingredients for my carrot cake:
- Flour – in South Africa flour, refers to cake flour. This is not the same as All Purpose Flour in America but you can use it gram for gram with whatever is the equivalent in your country.
- Baking powder – make sure your baking powder is fresh otherwise the results will not be perfect. Rather do not buy in bulk as expiry dates could be close to purchase dates.
- Bicarbonate of soda – Please do not substitute this in a recipe. It causes a very specific chemical reaction which is easy to see when you make honey comb.
- Cinnamon – I use a lot of ground cinnamon so I buy this spice already ground. If it has no smell when you open the bottle, throw the spice away.
- Salt – I only buy Oryx Desert Salt as it is sustainably sourced. It tastes like real salt which you don’t find in cheaper versions. I prefer to spend more and use less.
- Fructose – I am sucrose intolerant and use fructose in my recipes where possible. You can replace the fructose, gram for gram with sugar.
- Eggs – In South Africa extra-large eggs weigh between 59g and 66g. I use free range eggs, and always in this weight range. When separating my eggs I do them one at a time. This way I never end up with egg yolk in the whites. If I am not using the egg whites for the recipe I store them in the freezer in bags. Be sure to write on the bag how many egg whites are in each one. Defrost your egg whites in the fridge overnight.
- Canola Oil – I use this oil as it is neutral in taste, and the canola is farmed very close to where we live. I make sure that I choose locally pressed oil from a company I trust. If you prefer not to use canola oil then use sunflower oil, or something similar.
- Vanilla extract – please rather by what you can afford, as long as it is an extract, rather than using the essence which is full of colouring and flavouring, rather than being made from vanilla pods.
- Carrots – I buy carrots without the tops on as this is what is available to me. If you buy carrots with the tops, reserve them to make a bone broth or carrot top pesto. The only reason I peel mine is because the dogs love carrots, otherwise I would not bother.
- Pecan nuts – I prefer these to walnuts, which I find soapy. But you can substitute them in the recipe if you cannot find pecans, or prefer walnuts.
- Pineapple – to test if the pineapple is good to use, tug on one of the leaves. If it comes off the pineapple is perfectly ripe. Just make sure it is still firm.
- Cream cheese – I buy full fat cream cheese and the best quality I can afford.
- Butter – I always use unsalted butter in my recipes if it is available in the shops. If not, be sure to keep in mind that you need to reduce the amount of salt you use in a recipe.
- Sugalite – I no longer use this product and now substitute for fructose