This is my absolutely favourite Great British cake: the great carrot cake.
I literally fell in love it it from the first bite. What’s not to like? Moist, indulgent and so flavoursome. Ten years ago, when I first tried it, it was a pretty new concept to me to use carrots in a cake. Cake with vegetables? Interesting. And seems pretty healthy too, as the grated carrots and apple add plenty of volume, meaning you don’t need to add so much flour to it. And the addition of spices make it seem sweeter, so you can also reduce the amount of sugar or sweetener in the recipe (I use xylitol in this sugar-free recipe). And let’s not forget the healthy, crunch walnuts. Abundant frosting makes it look even more decadent, but as it’s based on Greek yogurt, it makes it a pretty clean and innocent dessert.
Perfect for the spring celebrations of Easter.
This sugar-free version can be enjoyed in the latter stages of anti-candida diet.
150g wholemeal flour, sieved
75g polenta, sieved
75g walnuts, chopped
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
0.5 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp baking powder
210ml rapeseed oil
250g carrots, grated
2 apples, grated
For the Greek yogurt buttercream
125g butter, softened
75g xylitol, powdered
300g full fat Greek yogurt
finely grated orange zest
12 walnut halves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 180 C/ gas mark 4.
Grease and line three 18cm round bottom-less cake tins with baking paper. If you haven’t got three cake tins, you can bake the cakes one by one.
In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients: the flour, polenta, spices, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, xylitol and chopped walnuts.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and rapeseed oil together. Pour into the flour mixture and fold until combined, without overmixing.
Stir through the grated carrot and apple.
Divide the mixture between the three lined tins and smooth the surface.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until the top feels springy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn out and allow to cool.
To make the frosting, beat the softened butter and half of the powdered xylitol until creamy. Beat in the Greek yogurt and orange zest. Gradually add the remaining powdered xylitol to achieve desired consistency.
Divide the frosting between the three cakes, spreading it evenly over the top of each. Stack the cakes one on top of the other.
Top with the walnut halves and sprinkle with cinnamon.