One of the reasons that my Hummingbird Bakery cakebook is in my top 3 of cookbooks, is that it just always delivers amazing cakes. Always full of flavor, beautiful results and never too difficult to make.
This past Sunday we watched the AFC championship (I’m rooting for the Broncos at the Superbowl this year!) with a couple of friends at our place. And like most NFL get-togethers, I baked a little something.
This time it was a big little something – Carrot cake in three layers. Very yummy and again, not that difficult to make. I have always loved carrot cake,- the natural sweetness from the carrots mixed with the spices and finished with the amazing cream cheese frosting just makes it one of the best cakes out there.
And if you feel more like cupcakes rather than a big cake, you can just use the same recipe.
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
Seeds from 1 vanilla bean
300g Carrots, grated
100g Shelled Walnuts, chopped, plus extra 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 seeds 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 tins ( I only had one cake tin in the size I wanted, 20 cm, so I just baked the cakes in three batches. When the dough was finished I weighed it and split it into three bowls before baking them in the 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.
Cream cheese frosting
600g icing sugar, sifted
100g butter, at room temperature
250g 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.