Success! A carrot cake recipe that works!

I am not a great cake-eating person, although I do enjoy baking, but my favourite is carrot cake. I have had several disastrous attempts at cooking carrot cakes and all have been not only unsuccessful but actually inedible! All the recipes I have tried have oil instead of butter and the result has been a strange textured cake with an unpleasant taste.

My dear cousins have been down to stay and young Jonathon aged 12 is a keen baker so having made a successful sponge with him we set about making a carrot cake from a recipe we found in the Dairy Book of British Food… and it was a success! A great success! Not only was the cake delicious but the topping was delicious too. If I cook it again -or should I say when I cook it again, I will bake it for a little longer as it was a little soggy, only a little mind you. The recipe, which I believe dates from the eighteenth century describes it as ‘moist’ and moist it certainly is.

Carrot Cake

  • 8oz butter
  • 8oz  soft brown sugar
  • 4 eggs separated
  • finely grated lemon rind
  • 20tsp lemon juice (we used more)
  • 6oz self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2oz ground almonds
  • 5oz walnut pieces
  • 12oz carrots, peeled and grated
  • 8oz cream cheese
  • 2tsp clear honey

A greased and lined 8inch round cake tin, oven set at 180° C, 350° F, gas mark 4

  1. cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, add egg yolks, stir in orange rind, and 3tsp of the lemon juice
  2. sift in flour and baking powder, stir in ground almonds and 4oz walnuts
  3. whisk egg whites until stiff and fold in with the carrots. pour into baking tin
  4. cook for 1½hours (we needed to cook ours for a little longer)
  5. leave to cool then turn out onto rack and remove lining paper and leave to cool
  6. to make the delicious topping, beat together the cream cheese, honey and remaining lemon juice, spread over cake and sprinkle with the rest of the walnuts

… and then…

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