Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Chocolate Carrot Cake

After a long absence, I’ve decided I need to get back into blogging. There are a lot of exciting things happening in foodland and I need to do something a little more constructive than watching mind-numbing television and something a little less expensive than constantly renovating and improving our home. And I have missed you guys! 
I think I needed a break, because I had gotten to a point where it didn’t matter how many gorgeous and luscious-looking recipes I saw, I wasn’t inspired to try anything new. This recipe broke that spell for me, even though I had to wade through a dodgy Google Translate version to produce it – there was a close call with the raising agent (the ingredient list said yeast, but I trusted my instinct and used baking powder), and I still don’t know if the nut content is supposed to be pecans or walnuts – but it doesn’t really matter, either will be delicious.

I was intrigued by the idea of mixing together two of the best cake flavours – chocolate and carrot – and to be honest didn’t expect too much, as I often find that the pretty (and sometimes no so pretty) pictures which do the rounds on Pinterest fit firmly in the gilded-lily category. And often less is more, even when it comes to food. But in this case – OTT works.

Everyone who has tried it has raved about it and the cake is really easy to make, being a carrot cake made with oil there’s no creaming involved. The icing, which is a little bit tricker but still definitely not rocket science, would benefit from a mixer, electric beaters or at least old-fashioned egg beaters to get nice and smooth – but is worth every bit of washing up you have to do – it is so rich, so creamy, so delicious…

Unfortunately my Pinterest-trawling must have brainwashed me a bit because apparently I forgot how to take photos for a blog - notably, no pretty-cake-at-the-end pictures (I can't decide if it's ironic that I forgot the photos when inspired by someone else's food porn, or if it's a result of the very visual inspiration). So I'm going to make it again, in the next couple of days, and update this post with a picture of the (hopefully) pretty end result then - but in the meantime, here's the recipe - and if you click the source link below you can check out the gorgeous photos which made me want to make it. 

Have you ever translated a recipe, and did the language barrier cause any puzzling moments? 

A hastily made and hastily photographed version of this cake - better than no photo but only just!

Chocolate carrot cake (adapted from Food and Cook) 
100g walnuts or pecans
340g grated carrot
1 tin of pineapple pieces, drained
4 eggs 

200g sugar
100g brown sugar

240ml sunflower or canola oil 
2 tsp vanilla essence
280g flour 

25g cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon

 1/4 tsp nutmeg
270g dark chocolate
170g cream cheese
85g butter (at room temperature) 

240g icing sugar
4 Tbsp cocoa
1/2 tsp salt 

160g sour cream or plain yogurt

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Roast nuts for about 8 minutes, watching carefully to ensure they don't burn. Grate carrot and nuts and set aside with drained pineapple. 
Mix together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.In another bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar until fluffy, then add the oil and vanilla and continue beating until well blended and light.Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix until combined, then add the carrots, nuts and pineapple and mix in. Grease two 22cm round cake tins and divide the batter between them. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
When the cakes are cool prepare the icing. Melt the chocolate, either with short bursts (1 minute then 10 second intervals, stirring in between) or over a double boiler.
Beat the butter and cream cheese together until fluffy. Sift the icing sugar and cocoa in and beat until well combined.
Add the sour cream or yogurt to the melted chocolate and mix to combine, then add to the butter mixture a beat well.

Spread about 1/4 of the icing on one of the cakes to form the bottom layer. Place the second cake on top, and use the rest of the icing to cover the top and sides. Store in a cool place (fridge or cool pantry) and eat within 2-3 days.
  • If you only have one tin you can bake the mixture at once to make one thick cake, but reduce the oven temperature and cook for longer, then cut in half to fill when icing it. 
  • This recipe translates well into cupcakes - bake for 15-18 minutes and pipe the icing on.  


  1. Mrs Cake's motherJune 6, 2013 at 8:18 AM

    Had better finish shelling those walnuts sitting on the dining room seat and venture into the garden for some carrots! It's a shame your father can't grow cream cheese in the garden too..

  2. The walnuts in this one are from your garden! Though I have run out of those now, should have brought some more back with us on Sunday night but didn't think of it. It is a shame about the cream cheese - you could always get a cow? ;-)

  3. Welcome back. And what better recipe to get you back on track! Must give it a go.thanks:)

  4. Thanks topkatnz! :-) Good to see you too.

  5. Welcome back Rosa, this looks intriguing but I'm game for a challenge :o)

  6. You're back! That cake is fabulous - LOVE that icing. I could eat a bowl of it!

  7. Make a bowl just to eat, Libby - surely all that calcium is good for you. ;-)

  8. Welcome back Rosa, looking forward to lots of cake!

  9. I am so glad you are writing again Rosa, I have really missed your posts. Roll on some more good recipes!

  10. Thanks guys - I'll try to keep the posts flowing!

  11. This cake sounds awesome! Nice to see you posting again, I love your down to earth style you're always so good at explaining stuff.


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