For the cake:
4 carrots, around 500g (1lb 2oz) in total
440g (15½oz) plain flour
1½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
300g (10oz) caster sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
Pinch of salt
300ml (½ pint) flavourless vegetable oil
40g (1¼oz) walnuts, chopped, plus more for decoration
For the mascarpone cream and decoration:
3 leaves of gelatine
250g (9oz) double cream
3½ tbsp almond syrup (such as from Monin)
500g (1lb 2oz) mascarpone
50g (1¾oz) caster sugar
Decorative carrots made from marzipan (optional)
Finely grated orange zest, for decoration
Icing sugar, for dusting
Looking for the best carrot cake recipe? Then this one is a sure-fire hit. This carrot cake recipe is traditional and reliable, and takes about 30 minutes to prepare. Perfect for cake lovers young and old.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4) and place the dessert frame on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Peel and finely grate the carrots for the cake. Combine the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Beat the sugar in a bowl with the eggs, orange zest, and salt using an electric hand whisk on a medium setting for 3 minutes. Trickle in the oil in a thin stream, still beating, then fold in the grated carrots, the flour mixture, and the walnuts. Spoon the cake batter into the dessert frame and smooth it over. Bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 25–30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool on the tray, then release from the frame.
Meanwhile, soak the gelatine for the mascarpone cream in cold water for 10 minutes. Whip the cream in a bowl using an electric hand whisk on a medium setting until it is just holding its shape. Warm the almond syrup in a pan, squeeze out the gelatine and dissolve it in the warmed syrup. Stir the mascarpone and sugar together in a bowl. Stir around 2 tbsp of the mascarpone mix into the syrup mixture, then swiftly combine this with the remaining mascarpone cream. Finally, carefully fold in the cream. Transfer the whole thing to a bowl, cover and refrigerate to set for 2 hours.
Stir up the mascarpone cream with a balloon whisk. Cut the carrot sponge horizontally into 3 pieces and spread the base section with cream. Lay the second section on top and cover with cream. Put the third piece on top, spread it with cream and refrigerate the cake for a further 2 hours. Decorate with marzipan carrots (if using), walnuts, grated orange zest, caramel sauce, and icing sugar.
Bake to Impress by Christian Hümbs. DK, £14.99. DK.com
Main photo: Jan C. Brettschneider