Somehow I always feel a bit less guilty when indulging in carrot cake instead of chocolate cake, or any other cake for that matter. The goodness of the carrots, raisins, dates and pecan nuts surely is very good for me, I’d tell myself.And also, cream cheese icing must be full of calcium and general dairy goodness. Well, I suppose the happiness that a slice of carrot cake brings, far exceeds the kilojoules.
So here is my recipe for a delicious, chunky, nutty, moist carrot cake, filled with the fruity goodness of raisins and dates. I top it with a rich cream cheese icing – almost the same that I use for my lemon and poppy seed cake – so versatile and utterly scrumptious. This cake is even better on the second and third day, as it absorbs some of the wetness of the icing over time.Serve on its own, or with a dollop of freshly whipped cream (my mother’s indulgent way).
Sift dry ingredients together, then fold into wet mixture with a metal spoon.
Now fold in raisins, dates, pecans and carrots.
Pour batter into 2 x 20 cm lined cake tins, then bake for 35-40 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
Remove from oven, then let it stand in the tins for about 15 minutes before turning out. Cool completely before icing.
For icing:Beat cream cheese and butter together until very light and creamy – about 10 minutes. Add icing sugar and vanilla and beat for a further 2 minutes until smooth and lump free. Spread on first layer, top with second layer, then ice the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle with chopped pecan nuts.
You might remember a few years ago we did a feature on a mystical cottage owned by nature loving couple, Nelleke Elston and her husband Michael. Apart from living fast-paced creative lives, things have progressed in other ways too.