I made a carrot cake several months ago and was saving it until C came up as our letter for Alphabakes - it turns out I was waiting quite a long time! I can't take credit for the decorations unfortunately - the little carrots were made by my great friend Dr. Oetker. The cake is all my own work though!
I got the recipe from BBC Good Food - click on the link to see what ingredients you need. It is pretty simple to make as it is meant to be kind of lumpy so you can't go wrong!
Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a deep 20cm cake tin. Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk with a fork. Add the vegetable oil and whisk again.
Grate the carrot.
Place the grated carrot, raisins, walnut pieces and orange zest in a large bowl. Pour in the egg and oil mixture.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour, mixed spice, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Stir in the sugar.
Add the wet carrot mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well to combine.
Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake for about an hour until a skewer comes out clean.
Cool in the tin for 10-15 mins then turn out and cool on a wire rack.
To make the frosting, beat the butter and icing sugar then add the cream cheese and beat again. The BBC recipe says to use caster sugar, but I prefer to use icing sugar.
Spread around the sides and on top of the cake once it has cooled.
Using a packet of chopped mixed nuts, stick handfuls of nuts around the side. It's easiest if you do this while the cake is on a large piece of greaseproof paper to catch the nuts which don't stick. Use your hands to pat the nuts on.
When I was in Germany I found a packet of Dr. Oetker marzipan carrot decorations in the supermarket. I've never seen them in the UK; has anyone else come across these? Carrots like this aren't hard to make but a ready made pack would definitely be helpful if you are pushed for time, and of course they are all exactly the same size and shape.
I placed the carrots around the top of the cake, after making sure the icing on top of the cake was smooth.
I'm sending this to Alphabakes, the blog challenge I co-host with Ros of The More Than Occasional Baker, as our letter this month is C.
I am also sending this to the One Ingredient Challenge, hosted by Laura of How To Cook Good Food, as the ingredient she has chosen this month is walnuts. The challenge is hosted in alternate months by Nazima at Franglais Kitchen.