With the barrage of news bulletins and onslaught of social media health advice over the last month, it’s been easy to forget that we are in the lead up to Easter! Normally we’d be gleefully snacking on chocolate eggs and hot cross buns, but with so many distractions it seems to have slipped by the wayside around here. Not today! I believe that the Easter Bunny has a sweet tooth, so in honour of our favourite rabbit (sorry Bugs), today’s recipe is a glorious Spiced Carrot Cake Loaf.
This is the best sort of cake, requiring nothing more than a couple of bowls, a spoon or whisk, and a bit of arm power. Quickly stirred together, it fills the house with wonderfully warming spice while baking and is terrifically moist. Even though it’s full of carrots, we’re not fooling anyone by pretending it’s at all healthy, so I say go the whole hog and top it with lashings of lemony cream cheese frosting and finish it off with a whole tonne of crunchy nuts and a drizzle of maple syrup or honey. Yum!
I’m sure I’m not the only one with a bowl of mixed nuts leftover from Christmas, still in their shells. This is the perfect opportunity to use them up. Because I hate finding ricocheted nutshell all over the house, I put them all in a plastic bag and use the nutcracker in there to keep things tidy. Spiced Carrot Cake Loaf will keep a long time in the fridge, as long as it is wrapped well to stop it drying out. It also freezes beautifully un-iced.
What’s your favourite Easter treat? Do you have any Easter traditions in your family? Let me know in the comments below. Take care out there and happy cooking! x Jay
Let me know if you try this recipe in the comments below, or using the hashtag #daysofjay on Instagram. Happy cooking!
- 250 ml milk
- 100 ml neutral oil, sunflower etc
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- juice of half a lemon
- 300 g plain flour
- 100 g sugar
- 50 g brown sugar
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground allspice
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2-3 medium carrots, grated (250-300g)
- 100 g walnuts, roughly chopped
- for the cream cheese frosting:
- 250 g cream cheese, room temperature
- 75 g unsalted butter, softened
- 100 g icing sugar
- pinch of salt
- zest of 1 lemon
for the topping:
- 125 g mixed nuts, eg: walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, etc, roughly chopped
- physalis, optional
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup or honey
Heat the oven to 180°C / 350° F / Gas 4. Grease an approx 25 x 12 cm loaf tin with oil, then line with baking paper and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients until well combined. In a separate bowl whisk together the dry ingredients, then mix the dry ingredients through the wet until just combined. Add the carrot and walnuts to the bowl and mix through evenly.
Pour into the prepared tin and bake in the middle of the preheated oven for 1 hour until risen and golden brown. Check to ensure it is cooked through by inserting a skewer into the middle of the cake, it should come out dry with perhaps a few crumbs attached. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cake is cooling, make the frosting by whisking the cream cheese and butter until completely combined. Sift over the icing sugar, half at a time, and stir through with a wooden spoon. Stir in the salt and lemon zest. Chill until the cake is cool.
When the cake is completely cool, either pipe or spread the frosting thickly on top of the cake, then top with the chopped nuts and physalis. Before serving drizzle over the maple syrup or honey.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 668Total Fat: 42gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 27gCholesterol: 84mgSodium: 461mgCarbohydrates: 66gFiber: 4gSugar: 34gProtein: 12g
Nutrition information is calculated automatically and isn’t always accurate.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I don’t have a loaf pan! Can I still make Spiced Carrot Cake Loaf?
This sort of recipe, known as a quick bread, is very forgiving. It will bake up nicely into cupcakes, muffins, or a round cake – make sure not to fill the cake tin or form over ¾ full. You will need to adjust timings to suit the size of your cake tin.
I am dairy-free, can I still make this cake?
Yes, for sure! Swap the milk for coconut milk and decorate with a simple lemon icing or leave it plain, dusted with sugar.
I don’t want to make cream cheese frosting, will this cake still work?
It does! Increase the white sugar in the recipe by 50g to make up for the lost sweetness of the topping.
I don’t have all the spices in my cupboard! Can I still make the cake?
Of course! Just use what you have, but cinnamon at a minimum. Allspice can be swapped out for ¼ tsp ground cloves.