Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Diet Cake

Well, it's actually just regular carrot cake, with regular, super unhealthy cream cheese icing. But, I applied my have-a-little-of-something-really-satisfying philosophy and made tiny little baby carrot cakes to take to work. In my office at the moment there's a "first to 5" challenge, where anyone who wants to take part weighs in once a week, and the winner is the first person to lose 5kg. So of course, taking cake into the office is the natural response. ;-) But in seriousness, I do firmly endorse allowing little treats - maybe just because I don't have the willpower to remove treats from my diet altogether, no matter how strict I'm being with myself... But I'd like to think it's a healthier and more sustainable attitude to the sweet goodies I love so much.

This is definitely not a healthy recipe, though! Very heavy on deliciousness - though it does have lots of carrot in it, so surely that helps, right? I made what I had in my recipe book as one batch - but I've halved the quantities below, as it really was an enormous amount of cake.

Carrot cake is pleasingly easy to make - the most annoying part to me is grating the carrot, though I guess if it annoyed me enough I could blitz it up in my mini food processor.

I wanted to make individual mini cakes, so that my calorie-deprived colleagues wouldn't be tempted to take too much (plus I knew that way it would go further). Also, I thought they would be really cute. The other bonus was that spreading the batter out over a big baking tray made for very quick cooking - perhaps 10-15 minutes as compared to around an hour for the same batter as a normal, round cake. Definitely a plus for someone who always tries to squeeze too much into their day! I used cookie cutters to cut little circles of cake out (I've saved all the scraps for another project, another day - they're safely stowed in the freezer now).

Of course, carrot cake is naked without cream cheese icing. I loooove cream cheese icing, and can vividly remember the first time I had it - I was at a friend's place (hi Anita), I think for a birthday party, and I couldn't believe how good the icing on the cake was. And I've been a sucker for it ever since.

What little treats do you allow yourself when you're cutting back on calories, or just as a daily indulgence?

Carrot Cake (makes a 20cm round cake, one large flat sheet cake or around 18 cupcakes)
75g butter
1.5 cups raw sugar
250g sour cream
3 eggs
1 cup flour
1.5 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp mixed spice
2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup wholemeal flour
2 cups grated carrots

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Grease or line your baking tin or tray - for a round cake you'll need a 20cm tin.

Beat butter and sugar together. Add sour cream and eggs.

Mix together dry ingredients, then add to wet. Mix in carrots. Pour into tin(s). For a round cake bake for 45-60 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. For a flat cake (like I made) set an initial timer for 10 minutes and check every couple of minutes thereafter.

IcingBeat 150g cream cheese until smooth. Add 2 tsp softened butter and beat until combined. Add icing sugar until you reach a good consistency (approx 350-400g) then add either lemon juice or vanilla essence to taste.


  1. huh - first to lose 5kg - I did it in a day once, nearly 20 years ago - dont recommend it even if that 5kg loss is turning into a useful baker herself. Tip : always make twice as much carrot cake icing as you think you will need because it evaporates from the mixing bowl. [one for you, one for me...]

  2. They look gorgeous! Hmm, I don't really cut down on calories ever, just try to eat a big variety of foods. But avocados always feel like a huge treat :)

  3. Eveything in moderation including moderation I say. I totally reckon if you go cold turkey you end up bingeing out and eating way more "naughty" stuff than you otherwise would have. My archilles heel = icecream. I could eat it for breakfast (and I have!)

  4. Mum, having babies so doesn't count!

    Laura, thanks! And if avocados are splashing out for you that might explain your not needing to cut down. ;-) My treats tend to be a lot unhealthier than avocado!

  5. Oh Nessie, haven't we all? ;-) I love ice-cream, too - especially when paired with a hot dessert, the different textures/temperatures make for perfection, methinks. Have you ever made your own?


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