Firstly, apologies for the lengthy absence! It’s been a busy — but exciting — few weeks for me. I was in Scotland visiting family for a few days, and then had my lovely friend Virginia staying with me for a while in London, with a two-day trip to Paris thrown in too. In short, there’s been little time for blogging. I hope I was missed.
Whilst in Scotland, my aunt and I made a sugar-free carrot cake for afternoon tea. It worked well in terms of texture, but was slightly on the bland side. So as soon as I came back I attempted it again – and was very pleased with the results. It is not as sweet as most cakes, so if you have a strong sweet tooth this may not be for you, but no one I fed it to seemed to mind and, personally, I preferred it without the sickly aftertaste.
This final product is a cross between my aunt’s recipe, the BBC GoodFood Carrot Cake, and Green Kitchen Stories’ “Healthier” Carrot Cake. Note that the main photo shows cupcakes but the recipe is for a whole cake; unfortunately my camera wasn’t working when I made the whole cake so I have only been able to photograph the more-recent cupcakes. Apologies if anyone feels misled! For cupcakes simply separate the mixture into individual cases and bake for around half the time specified.
- Zest + juice of 1 large orange
- 100g sultanas
- 100g walnuts
- 3 eggs, whisked
- 2 large ripe bananas
- 15 fresh dates, pitted
- 1/4 cup oil (olive, sunflower, vegetable or pretty much any other will work here)
- 1 cup spelt or wholewheat flour
- 3 medium carrots, grated
- 2 x tsp cinnamon
- 2x tsp ground mixed spice
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
for the icing
- 200g full fat soft cheese
- 3 tbsps maple syrup, or more to taste
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (160 fan) and line an 8inch cake tin with greaseproof paper (or just grease it really well with butter or oil).
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and spices.
- In a blender, blend the oil, bananas, orange juice and dates until you’ve got a smooth lump-free mixture.
- Pour the banana mixture and whisked eggs into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix until all combined. Lastly, add the grated carrot, sultanas and walnuts.
- Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 30-40 minutes until cooked all the way through but not overcooked. If the top starts burning before it is fully cooked simply cover the cake in foil and return it to the oven.
- Once cooked, leave the cake to cool completely before icing it. To make the icing, simply stir together the maple syrup and cream cheese and spread on top of the cake.