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Cold Carrot Cake Sweet Enough by Alison Roman (Hardie Grant, £28) Photography by Chris Bernabeo
May 2023
Reading time 2 Minutes
This carrot cake - sans raisins and nuts - is, to me, perfect. If you can believe it, it doesn't really need frosting, although I do understand the sentimental attachment. While the salty vanilla frosting would be excellent, I know what you want is cream cheese frosting, preferably one that doesn't require a mixer (just like this cake).
one 23 cm cake
  • Cooking spray, for greasing
  • 180g plain flour
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric, cardamom or ginger (optional)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 155g light brown sugar
  • 145g sour cream or Greek-style yoghurt
  • 450g carrots, peeled and grated
  • 10–12 Medjool dates (225g), pitted and chopped
  • 55g unsalted butter, melted
  • 50g vegetable or olive oil

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a 23cm cake tin with a round of baking paper and spray with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt and turmeric (if using).

In another large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar and sour cream together until well blended. Add the carrot and dates and, using a spatula or wooden spoon, mix until all the bits are evenly dispersed. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and use a spatula to mix until just combined. Add the melted butter along with the oil and stop mixing as soon as you have a nice, even batter.

Pour the batter into the cake tin. Bake until the top is puffed and golden, and the side pulls away from the tin, 40–45 minutes.

This cake can be eaten now – or, for what I think is the optimal carrot cake experience, refrigerate it until completely chilled before slicing.

Do ahead: The carrot cake can be baked two days ahead, wrapped tightly in plastic and refrigerated. Frosted, it can be loosely covered and refrigerated for up to two days.

For quick cream cheese frosting, combine 225g softened cream cheese, 60g icing sugar and a good pinch of kosher salt in a medium bowl. Use a fork to combine everything (this is why the cream cheese needs to be at room temperature) until smooth, like softened butter. Spread onto the cake and sprinkle with chopped, toasted nuts if you like.

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