Easter Carrot Cake

Easter conjures up images of bunnies which is fitting, I think, for some decadent carrot cake on the day! But not all carrot cakes are created equal. What separates the truly exceptional from the mediocre is the moistness and luxuriousness of the cake. Every time I bake this cake, I make sure I use quality ingredients and give it my undivided attention, so as to not overbake it. This recipe is a combination of several that I have tried and tested and is worth its weight in gold.

Here’s what goes in

  • 2 ½ cups of self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate soda
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of allspice
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger
  • 2 cloves, crushed
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 quarter cup of apricot jam, melted
  • The zest of 1 orange
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups of grated carrot
  • 1 cup of crushed pineapple, drained
  • Half a cup of pecan nuts, chopped

For the Cream Cheese icing:

  • 250g firm cream cheese
  • 250g butter, softened
  • 3 cups of icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

How to do it

Preheat your oven to 180°C and grease and line a Bundt tin with a diameter of approximately 23cm. Using a cake mixer, blend the eggs and sugar together until they are thick and pale yellow in colour. Add the oil and melted apricot jam and stir well. Mix in the dry ingredients and then add the carrot, pineapple, orange zest and pecan nuts. Bake for approximately 45 minutes, but once you’re halfway through, regularly check the carrot cake by inserting a skewer to check its consistency. While the cake is baking, prepare your cream cheese icing. Once your cake is ready, remove it from the oven and set it aside to cool completely before icing it.

To make the icing, combine the butter, cream cheese and vanilla using a hand-held beater. Gradually add the icing sugar and continue to mix until you have the desired consistency. If the icing feels too soft (particularly if it’s a hot day), you can add more icing sugar to ensure it won’t run off your cake.

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