Sunday, 10 March 2013

Carrot & Orange Cake


I made this cake for my mum for Mother's Day. She has been trying new cake flavours recently, so I wanted to make her something a bit different to give her inspiration. Tradionally carrot cake has walnuts in it, but she doesn't like them (and neither do I) so I decided to change the traditional recipe and add the zesty sweetness of orange instead. I've avoided carrot cake for years because I don't like cooked carrots (I only eat them raw, yes I know, weird). However I tried some last year and was pleasantly surprised at how nice and non-carrot tasting it was. I put the recipe in the card I gave to my mum incase she wanted to try it again herself!


I started by grating 200g carrots. This was almost two medium sized carrots. Grating carrots is a bit of a faff, the bits of carrot fly everywhere. I had it on the floor, stuck to my socks and hands, and all over the work surface. Am I just messy or is this normal?


In my mixer I mixed up 3 eggs, 225g light brown sugar, 225ml sunflower oil and 1 tsp Pinner Vanilla paste until it was lighter, but noticeably thickened.


I used kitchen towel to press the excess water out of the grated carrot, before adding it to mixture and folding in with a spatula.


I sieved in 175g self raising flour, 100g wholemeal self raising flour, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ground ginger, and 1/4 tsp nutmeg. Once you've sieved in these ingredients, tip in any bran that is left in the sieve from the wholemeal flour.


Finally I added the zest of one orange, and folded it all in.


I poured into a lined and greased 22cm cake tin, and baked on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for about an hour. I had to test it a few times as it took longer to cook than I expected.


I juiced the orange I had zested for the sponge and mixed in 1 tbsp caster sugar until dissolved.


When the cake was done, I stabbed a few holes in it using my cake tester (you can also use a skewer) then spooned the orange juice all over it. I left the cake to cool in the tin and let the orange juice fully soak in.


Once the cake was cool I cut it in half and spread fine cut marmalade on the bottom half.


To make the buttercream I mixed together 50g butter, 100g cream cheese, 300g icing sugar and 2 tbsp marmalade.


I spread it over the top of the cake. To be fair you can probably half the amount I made as I had quite a bit leftover. Or for a really rich cake you could put it in the middle with the marmalade!


I chose to decorate the top of the cake with these Just Bake butterfly sprinkles. The colour and shape is perfect for Mother's Day and for a fresh spring feeling. Check out their website for more cupcake decorations.


The cake was really moist and delicious, my mum really liked so I was pleased! Unfortunately I wasn't a huge fan of the marmalade, I found it quite bitter. If I make this again I will use a sweeter marmalade or orange preserve. The buttercream was very tasty though! I think if that went in the middle of the cake as well as on top it would definitely reduce the bitterness of the marmalade.


I hope you and your mum's all had a lovely Mother's Day!


I have entered this recipe into March's Calendar Cakes, hosted by DollyBakes and Laura Loves Cakes. This month's theme is 'Spring Into Action!'

12 comments:

  1. Wow lucky Mum! This looks like a really tasty cake, and I love the orange and carrot combo :-)

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  2. This is a very unusual combination (for me anyway) but it certainly looks lovely. x

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    1. Yes it is a bit experimental, but it's fun to try out new things and you can get great results!

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  3. Looks lovely Kat. I don't like marmalade much either but @janwilson355 kindly gave me this recipe, which I haven't tried yet, but she recommends it for carrot cakes:

    Here's my recipe for Carrot, Orange & Ginger Jam. This only makes a small jar, but it's plenty for sandwiching a couple of cakes (and you can multiply up as required!).

    150g carrots - grated
    Zest & juice of 1 orange
    2 tbspn sherry
    150g jam sugar
    grated fresh ginger to taste

    Put the carrots, orange juice & zest and ginger into a pan with the sherry and simmer till the carrots are soft.
    Add the sugar and dissolve slowly then bring to the boil until setting point is reached.

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    1. Ooo this sounds delicious! Thank you for the recipe!

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  4. Yum...I bet your mum loved this for mother's day! I like the sound of the addition of orange juice and the marmalade layer is a nice twist too! :-)

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  5. Thank you Laura! I'm really glad you like it, I'm always nervous when I try out new ideas.

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