Carrot cake

finished cake

Since having the most delicious carrot cake at Dirty Coffee in Shoreditch I have been wanting to make one equally as good. This amazing recipe has been passed to me from one of my mum’s friends. The cake is everything that carrot cake should be: rich, moist, studded with nuts and coupled with a velvety indulgent frosting.

For the cake:

200g grated carrot

170g soft dark brown sugar

2 large eggs

200g wholemeal self raising flour

3 teaspoons mixed spice

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Grated zest of one orange

115g sultanas

55g desiccated coconut

55g pecan nuts

For the syrup:

Juice of zested orange

1 tablespoon lemon juice

85g soft dark brown sugar

Method:

1) Line and grease 2, 8 inch cake tins

2) Heat oven to 170OC

3) Cook the pecan nuts for 8 minutes then chop coarsely

4) Whisk the eggs, sugar and oil until all of the sugar has completely dissolved. This will probably take around 3-4 minutes

5) Add the flour, mixed spice and bicarbonate of soda into the mixture and fold

6) Add the rest of the ingredients and fold into the mixture

7) Divide equally between two baking tins and cook in the oven for 30 minutes

8) Whilst the cake is cooking make the syrup by whisking the syrup ingredients together

9) As soon as the cake comes out of the oven put holes all over the cakes using a skewer then pour half the syrup mixture over each half

10) Allow cakes to completely cool before removing them from the cake tins

For the frosting:

225g slightly salted butter

70g caster sugar

450g full fat cream cheese

2 teaspoons vanilla essence

Method:

1) Whisk the butter and caster sugar together until light and fluffy

2) Whisk in the full fat cream and vanilla essence

3) Spread over one half and place the other cake on top then spread onto the top (I put a really thick layer in the middle but alternatively you could do a normal middle layer and frost the sides)

I just added a few bits of chopped pecan and orange zest on top to pretty it up a bit.

 

Peanut butter cup cupcakes

Peanut butter cup cupcake

These turned out much better than I expected! I used (and slightly adapted) an american recipe meaning that all the ingredients were in cups not grams. What I hadn’t previously realised was that a cup of flour weighs a very different amount to a cup of peanut butter. Now that I think about it this seems very, very obvious!

Having converted each quantity into grams and ml (has anyone else found that different websites say different things?!) I was sceptical of the final result. The result was however a gorgeous soft cake that filled the senses with the smell and taste of peanut butter with each bite. I’ve received nothing but compliments from baking these and I hope you experience the same results.

(makes 12) 

For the cake:

150g  plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

165g crunchy peanut butter (you could use creamy if you’d prefer)

115g butter (at room temperature)

135g light muscovado sugar

2 medium eggs

1tsp vanilla essence

60ml milk (I used semi-skimmed)

Method

1) Preheat your oven to 180oC

2) Using a whisk, cream together the peanut butter, butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy

3) Beat in the eggs gradually being careful not to let the mixture curdle

4) Beat in the vanilla essence

4) Mix together the flour, baking soda and salt and gradually fold into the mixture, alternating with milk (The mixture does look quite runny, I promise this is fine!)

5) Divide evenly between 12 cupcake cases

6) Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the top has turned golden brown and a skewer comes out clean

7) Allow to cool

For the frosting:

320g icing sugar

65g coco powder

90g butter (at room temperature)

8 tbs double cream

1 tsp vanilla essence

Method

1) Whisk the butter in a bowl until light and creamy

2) Beat in the icing powder and coco powder alternating with the double cream

3) Pipe onto the cooled cupcakes

Much Love

Nikki

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