This is a luscious, moist cake with warming spices, so especially suited to cool weather, though it is popular at any time of the year. I often make it at Christmas parties. I also recently made it for a birthday party in Spain during the Youth in Permaculture meeting. In fact, this posting is inspired by their requests for the recipe…There I used a kind of “fromage frais” instead of cream cheese, and it was delicious. The cake is vegan, and though the frosting is not, I have included a link to a vegan cream cheese frosting as well for my vegan friends!
- 2 1/4 cups flour (whole spelt flour also works nicely)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar (cassonade)
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups sparkling water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
- 2 cups raw, peeled, grated carrots
- 1 cup raisins (optional)
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 175*C. Butter and flour a cake pan, or line with baking paper.
Combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
In a large bowl beat the oil, vanilla and sugar until light and fluffy, and then add the mineral water. Gradually add dry mixture into the wet ingredients. Add carrots. Gently fold in nuts and raisins.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour. Check for doneness. A toothpick inserted should be barely moist when inserted in the middle.
Place on a cooling rack to cook. After 10 minutes invert the cake out on to the cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
Cream cheese frosting:
- 200 grams cream cheese
- 100 grams butter
- rind from one orange
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
Let butter soften. Beat the cream cheese and then add softened butter. Add vanilla extract and then slowly add sifted powdered sugar. Stir in lemon rind at the end. Refrigerate to allow it to become more firm as the butter cools(for vegans, the frosting can be made with vegan margarine and vegan cream cheese, or simply eliminated, dusting the cake with powdered sugar if desired)
*Note for Vegans: As this cake is actually completely vegan, the cream cheese frosting can be eliminated, dusting the cake with powdered sugar if desired or here is a nice vegan option made with cashews!).