Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Carrot, coconut & caraway cake

We've just watched the final of Great British Bake Off so I thought I'd share a cake I made a few weeks ago. I had a few half-dead carrots which needed using up. Yes, I could have made soup or something healthy but cake sounded better!

I didn't want to make a standard carrot cake, though I did use the basic carrot cake recipe from The Great British Bake Off: How to Bake book for the proportion of ingredients. A rummage in the cupboard for flavourings uncovered some desiccated coconut and caraway seeds: the 3 C's of Carrot, Coconut and Caraway had a nice ring to it and so, the cake was born!

It's a thin traybake but that's only because my tin was a little too big. Why is it that I never have the right size despite having a cupboard full of tins?? Not that it made any difference to the flavour. I'd say it tasted even better the day after when the caraway flavour really had time to develop.

The cream cheese frosting caused me a few problems as it just wouldn't set, no matter how long I left it to chill in the fridge. In the end, I abandoned that batch and made another using a different brand. I was also careful not to over mix. The result? A perfect consistency. I'm not sure what the moral of the story is except that I'll use the expensive brand (Philadelphia) next time rather than the supermarket's own!

Hope you enjoy. x

Carrot, coconut & caraway cake

For the sponge:
225g self-raising flour
1tsp baking powder
pinch salt
50g desiccated coconut
1tbsp caraway seeds
1tsp ginger
grated zest of 1 lemon
200g light brown muscavado sugar
150ml sunflower oil
3 large eggs
juice of 1/2 lemon
300g grated carrot

For the frosting:
50g soft unsalted butter
150g icing sugar
200g full-fat cream cheese
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon

To top:
25g toasted desiccated coconut

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160 Fan/Gas 4.
2. Put the flour, baking powder, salt, coconut, spices and lemon zest in a bowl. Add the sugar and mix well, making sure to break up all the lumps in the sugar - I used a potato masher.
3. Beat the eggs with the sunflower oil and lemon juice until well mixed and then add to the flour bowl with the grated carrot. Mix well.
4. Pour into a prepared baking tin and bake in the oven for about 40 minutes. When cooked, leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes and then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.
5. Make the frosting: beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Add the icing sugar and mix well.
6. Add the cream cheese and lemon juice and zest and mix together until just combined. Be careful not to over mix. Chill in the fridge and spread on the cake when the cake is completely cold. Scatter with toasted coconut.

But what about the failed frosting? Well, I didn't like the idea of throwing it away so decided to repurpose it into cheesecake.

Some crumbled ginger biscuits were put in the bottom of a glass ramekin dish. I added 2 beaten eggs to the frosting recipe and the mixture was poured on top of the biscuits to about 3/4 full. For added flavour I put half an apricot in the middle and baked for about 25 minutes.

To be honest, it was a bit overbaked but was still edible and better than being wasted. x


  1. Finished to night, going to miss the bake off, they have been very good this year, by the look of your cake I think you should be on it :)
    AamAnda xx

  2. Oh! I watched The Great British Bake Off with my in-laws when I was in England and I really liked it! Who won? I am dying with the suspense!
    I love carrot cake and yours looks yummy!

  3. That does look good. I'll have to try adding caraway. I've had the same problem with the icing, I think you're right, it doesn't like being over mixed. x

  4. Oh I have loved the Great British Bake Off this year! I watched it with my daughter and we both felt quite sad last night that it had finished! Your cake looks and sounds gorgeous. My husband adores anything with coconut in so I must give this one a go, thanks for sharing.
    Marianne x

  5. It sounds delicious. I often feel like Philadelphia cream cheese is the only way to go, it's just better.

  6. You are so good to have found another use for the frosting that didn't work, I would have thrown it out! The cake looks and sounds delicious, I haven't had carrot cake for I don't know how long, but I am sure that it was much more of a treat than soup would have been! xx

  7. Oh wow, this sounds amazing. I adore carrot cake, but I adore cream cheese frosting even more.

    I've found that when I use low fat cream cheese the frosting is very runny - presumably because there is more water in it - and it's much more successful with the full fat stuff. :-) x