I seriously rate the Hummingbird bakery recipes and especially their carrot cake recipe (their banana and chocolate cupcakes are pretty bad ass too), and personally I havent yet come across a recipe that beats this one. In my opinion the secret is to making this cake a show stopper is really light fluffy icing (its essential that you beat the icing for at least 5 minutes on a high speed to get it really light) and decorate it with a load of nuts and some fresh fruit and if your feeling fancy some spun sugar.
Recipe makes one large cake (I use one cake tin but when the cake has cooled I cut it in half and fill the centre with a thin layer of icing)
300g Soft Light Brown Sugar
300ml Sunflower Oil
300g Plain Flour
1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon, plus extra to decorate
½ tsp Ground Ginger
½ tsp Salt
¼ tsp Vanilla Extract
300g Carrots, grated
100g Shelled Walnuts/ Pecans, chopped, plus extra, chopped and whole, to decorate
Preheat the oven to 170°C.
Put the sugar, eggs and oil in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Slowly add the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt and vanilla extract and continue to beat until well mixed.
Stir in the grated carrots and walnuts with a spoon, then pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Bake in the preheated oven for 20–25 minutes, or until golden brown and the sponge bounces back when touched. Leave the cakes to cool slightly in the tins before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
When the cake is cold, spread over the cream cheese icing. Finish with chopped walnuts, praline and/or toasted almonds.
Cream cheese frosting
300g icing sugar, sifted
50g butter, at room temperature
125g cream cheese, cold
Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.
Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed.
Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy- for at least 5 minutes. Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.