Carrot Cake

A luxurious carrot cake as celebratory as any fruit cake. This one is lightly spiced with nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon and crammed full of luscious ingredients from pineapple and coconut to brown sugar and sultanas. Using both pureed and raw carrots makes the cake delectably moist; you can also use pine nuts instead of the usual walnuts. Delicious with or without its classic vanilla cream cheese icing.

Recipe courtesy of "Allergy-Free Cookbook" by Alice Sherwood, copyright 2007. Used by permission of Dorling Kindersley Limited. All rights reserved.

Carrot Cake

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    1 lb (450 g) self-raising flour 4 oz (115 g) pine nuts, lightly toasted and roughly chopped, if tolerated (optional)
    2 tsp baking powder 4 oz (115 g) sultanas
    2 tsp ground cinnamon 2 oz (55 g) desiccated coconut, if tolerated
    1/4 tsp grated nutmeg 2 oz (55 g) canned crushed pineapple, drained
    1/2 tsp ground allspice finely grated zest of 1 orange
    8 oz (225 g) soft dark brown sugar 8 1/2 oz (250 g) cream cheese
    8 1/2 fl oz (250 ml) flavorless nut-free vegetable oil 1 lb 2 oz (500 g) icing sugar
    3 eggs, lightly beaten 6 1/2 oz (180 g) unsalted butter
    8 oz (225 g) cooked carrots, cooled and pureed 1 tsp vanilla extract
    4 oz (115 g) grated raw carrot


    Prep: 15 min Total: More than 60 min
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    • 1

      Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C, gas 4). Line a 9 in (23 cm) springform tin with baking parchment.

    • 2

      Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Add the brown sugar and mix well.

    • 3

      Add the oil, beaten eggs, carrot puree, raw carrot, pine nuts (if used), sultanas, coconut, pineapple, and orange zest. Mix well. It should be a very thick, wet dough. Alternatively, combine all the ingredients in a food processor and mix thoroughly.

    • 4

      Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin. Place in the oven and bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean and the edges pull away from the sides of the tin, about 1 1/4 –1 1/2 hours.

    • 5

      Cool the cake in the tin for 15 minutes, then release the cake onto a wire rack, remove the paper, and leave to cool. The top may look cracked but it will be covered by the icing.

    • 6

      To make the icing, put all the ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Smooth over the top and sides of the cold cake. To decorate, sprinkle with orange zest and cinnamon. Chill, if necessary, to firm up the icing.

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