Carrot cake is hard to master when baking it from scratch because of its high liquid content from the vegetables.
The watery carrots can leave the sponge feeling sticky and undercooked if prepared incorrectly, and this is often what leads people to bake the sponge for too long.
With the right recipe, however, it can be a simple and enjoyable cake to make, according to Phil Bianchi, food and flavour expert and founder of The Gift of Oil.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, he said: “Before it’s time to bring out the Christmas cake, try this olive oil carrot cake recipe. Using olive oil in cakes makes a very delicate and moist sponge.
“The use of olive oil adds to the flavour of the cake and compliments the carrots rather than overpowering it. Plus, olive oil has great health benefits, as do carrots, so while it’s still a treat it doesn’t feel too naughty.”
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- One cup sugar
- Three peeled & grated carrots
- Half a cup of Sicilian Olive Oil
- One teaspoon of baking powder
- One teaspoon of baking soda
- 85g cream cheese or vegan cream cheese
- Two tablespoons of soft butter or vegan butter
- Two teaspoons of lemon juice
- One and a half cups icing sugar
- One and a half cups of plain flour
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Like most cakes, this carrot cake will bake best in a preheated oven set to 190C. Once the oven has been switched on, grease a cake tin – either a standard loaf size or square traybake with butter or greaseproof paper.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients including the olive oil but excluding the flour and carrot. Before adding the carrot, grate it and then dry it slightly by placing it between two clean tea towels and gently squeezing the water out.
Once all of the liquid ingredients have been combined, add in the grated carrot and then sieve in the flour.
Fold the flour into the mixture gently, taking care not to over-mix it as this will affect the texture once cooked.
Pour the prepared cake batter into the lined baking dish and then place it in the preheated oven, still at 190C.
Cook in the centre of the rack for 30-35 minutes. Phil noted that if the cake springs back when lightly touched, it is ready to be taken out to cool.
For the frosting, mix the cream cheese, butter and lemon juice together and then sieve in the icing sugar slowly. Frost the cake once cooled and decorate with chopped nuts, carrot candies or other toppings.
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