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!'


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

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

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

  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.

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

  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! :-)

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