Baking is one of the activities that I enjoy a lot. It’s relaxing, fun (especially when everything turns out the way it should) and the end result, be it good or bad, always gives me a sense of satisfaction and leaves me with a smile on my face.
As part of February self-love, I wanted to do more baking and I’m aiming to bake at least once a week. I thought I’d share with you, dear reader, a simple baking recipe a week.
This week, I made carrot cake muffins. You can actually make a cake version instead of a muffin version but our house lacks a cake tin so I thought I’d be creative and create muffins instead.
The first time I made this carrot cake was for my sister’s 20th birthday. She absolutely loves carrot cake and I’d never made it in my life so I thought I’d give it a shot. The verdict was 10 out of 10, which is awesome. And if memory serves me right, I baked it in a loaf tin because we didn’t have a cake tin. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever baked this cake in a cake tin. But at least you know that no matter what you put it in that’s oven proof, you’re going to get the same results!
What I love about this carrot cake recipe is the flavours and textures you get. It’s not just a plain and simple cake; it’s got walnuts and sultanas in it and for the icing, I tend to use vanilla flavoured. Plus, it’s incredibly moist and doesn’t seem to dry out even after a few days.
It sounds very more-ish and that’s exactly the point. It’s not something you’d want to eat everyday, but something you’d want to enjoy every once in a while. If you’re not a fan of sultanas, walnuts, raisins, feel free to either omit these from the recipe or replace them with your dry fruit and/or nuts of choice. I’m sure it’ll come out just as spectacular. With the icing, you can also go plain or even use a lemon flavouring which I’ve tried and loved. If you don’t want icing, that’s completely fine as well as it still tastes delicious (yes I’ve tried it without icing). You do what works best for you.
The best more-ish carrot cake ever
Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 50 minutes
¾ cup self-raising flour
¾ cup wholemeal flour
1 tsp mixed spice
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda
I cup raw sugar or coconut sugar
¾ cup chopped walnuts
2 cups grated carrots (approx.2 large carrots or 3 medium carrots)
½ cup sultanas or raisins
2 tbsp desiccated coconut
3 large eggs
1 cup rice bran oil or canola oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
Cream cheese icing ingredients
50g butter, softened
125g cream cheese, softened and chopped
1½ cup icing sugar
Preheat your oven to about 180 degrees celcius (160 if your oven is fan-forced). Grease your muffin/cake/loaf/whatever tin with spray oil or butter. You can also use muffin cups if you’d like or add baking paper.
Sift the self-rising flour, spices and baking soda into a large mixing bowl. Add the wholemeal flour and sugar on top.
Add the walnuts, carrots, raisins/sultanas and coconut and stir all the ingredients until combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, oil and vanilla. If it comes out all gloopy and gross like this, don’t panic; it means you’re doing it right.
Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
Pour the batter into your tin of choice. Bake for about 40-50 minutes or until cooked (you can tell it’s ready when a skewer/chopstick inserted into the center comes out clean). Remove the muffin/cake from the oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes.
To make the icing, beat the butter and cream cheese together until combined. You then want to stir in the icing sugar, then beat the mixture on high speed until it comes out light and fluffy.
When your cake/muffins have cooled, swirl the icing over the cake. I like to add pumpkin seeds and any remaining walnuts and grated carrot over the top to make it look really pretty. In this instance though, I didn’t have anything left except pumpkin seeds.
I must admit, I’m not the best when it comes to icing anything but I try. I’ve always believed in the saying, it’s not how it looks but how it tastes.
… and trust me this bad boy is effing delicious (lol my hand looks funny).
I hope you give it a try! I’d love it if you’d share your recreations with me by tagging me on instagram (@michellerosewrites).
Do you bake? What’s your favourite thing to bake?