Chocolate Carrot Cake



For The Sponge:

3 large free-range eggs

175g caster sugar

200ml sunflower oil

250g finely grated carrots (about 5 medium)

200g plain flour

3tbsp cocoa powder

1tbsp baking powder

1tsp ground cinnamon

1tsp ground ginger

125g walnut pieces or chopped pecans

For The Filling and Topping:

100g unsalted butter, very soft

100g good-quality cream cheese

½tsp vanilla essence

300g icing sugar, sifted

5tbsp cocoa powder, sifted

2tbsp walnut pieces or chopped pecans to decorate

2 x 20.5cm sandwich tins, greased and base-lined


Heat the oven to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4). Put the eggs and sugar into the bowl of a food mixer and beat, with the whisk attachment, until very light and frothy. Gradually beat in the oil. Using a large metal spoon, stir in the carrots.

Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger into the bowl and stir in. Once thoroughly combined mix in the nuts.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared tins, dividing it evenly. Bake in the heated oven for 25 mins or until firm to the touch.

Turn out the sponges on to a wire rack and leave to cool completely. Meanwhile, make the filling and topping: put the soft butter, cream cheese, vanilla, icing sugar and cocoa into the bowl of a food mixer and beat, on low speed, until very smooth and creamy.

Use about half to sandwich the sponges, then spread the rest on top. Scatter over the nuts.

Tips for making chocolate carrot cake: Be sure to use full-fat cream cheese frosting rather than lower fat alternatives. Reduced and low-fat cream cheese always contains more liquid and stabilisers which will mix with the sugar and turn runny. 

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