This easy carrot cake makes a great afternoon tea recipe. The nut-flecked loaf topped with orange cream frosting is a winning combination.
For the carrot cake
- 140ml/4¾fl oz vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
- 2 free-range eggs
- 200g/7oz light brown sugar
- 300g/10½oz grated carrot (grated weight)
- 100g/3½oz raisins
- 75g/2½oz pecans or walnuts, chopped (optional)
- 180g/6oz self-raising flour
- 1 pinch salt
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- ½ tsp mixed spice
For the orange cream cheese icing
- 200g/7oz cream cheese, chilled
- 50g/1¾oz butter, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 50g/1¾oz icing sugar sifted
- 1 orange, zest only
- Preheat the oven to 150C/130C Fan/Gas 2. Oil and line a 900g/2lb loaf tin (approximately 13x23cm/5x9in) with baking paper.
- For the carrot cake, beat the eggs in a large bowl, then add the oil, brown sugar, grated carrot, raisins, and chopped nuts.
- Sift in the remaining cake ingredients and mix using a wooden or large metal spoon until well combined.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin, smooth the surface and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the tin for about 5 minutes before removing. Cool completely on a wire rack before serving.
- For the icing, beat the cream cheese and butter together in a bowl until well combined. Add the vanilla extract, icing sugar, and orange zest and mix until the icing is smooth and thick. Using a palette knife, spread the icing evenly over the cooled cake, dipping the knife into a bowl of hot water if the icing is hard to spread out. Cut into slices to serve.