Cream cheese icing is a must in our family, and this cake never lasts long as it appeals to everyone’s different tastes. I adapted this recipe from one I was given by my mum’s cousin, and it was called ‘Aunty Emma’s Carrot Cake’. To be honest, I don’t even know who Aunty Emma is, but I know for sure she made a good carrot cake!
For the cake
2 medium oranges (seedless)
1 cup plain flour
1 cup wholemeal flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground cardamom
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 cups grated carrot
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup neutral oil, e.g. canola oil, rice bran oil
extra chopped walnuts and orange zest for decorating
For the cream cheese icing
100g butter, softened
125g cream cheese, softened
2 cups icing sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1. Heat oven to 150°C, and grease a 24cm round cake tin or large Bundt tin.
2. Wash and peel the oranges, leaving the skin on half of one orange. Blend to a purée in a blender or Nutribullet.
3. Sift flours, baking soda, salt and spices into a large mixing bowl. Add all remaining cake ingredients, and with an electric beater, beat on low for 1 minute to combine.
4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for another 2 minutes on medium.
5. Pour mixture into cake tin, and bake for 90 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly touched or a skewer inserted comes out clean.
6. Cool in cake tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cake rack.
7. To make cream cheese icing, mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl with an electric beater until smooth.
8. When the cake is completely cool, smother it with cream cheese icing, and decorate with the extra chopped walnuts and orange zest, if desired.
Extract from ‘Kai: Food stories and recipes from my family table’, by Christall Lowe, photography by Christall Lowe, published by Bateman Books, RRP $59.99, Available now