For a person who’s not a big fan of chocolate, Easter isn’t the jackpot of sweet goodness it is for most people. Surely rabbits could have been linked to this religious holiday with something more believable than chocolate eggs… Anyway, a tentative link begets more tentative links so here’s mine: easter = rabbits = carrots = carrot cake.
It just so happens that I adore carrot cake and have for years replaced the usual Easter chocolate binge with what might just be the best carrot cake in the world. I’ve no idea where the original recipe came from, but I must thank whoever decided pineapple should be put into carrot cake coz it’s the bomb.
2 cups plain spelt flour (barley flour works well also)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
1 ¼ cups brown or rapadura sugar*
1 ¼ cups macadamia or almond oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups grated carrots
1 can (400g) crushed pineapple in juice, drained well
1 cup chopped walnuts
¾ cup sultanas (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease a cake tin and line the bottom with baking paper.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Set aside.
In a separate larger bowl, mix together the eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla by hand. Stir in the oil.
Gradually stir in the dry ingredients, then fold in the carrots, pineapple, walnuts and sultanas (if using).
Pour the batter into the prepared pan – it will be quite runny (like a caramel consistency).
Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a small knife inserted into the cake comes out clean.
You can also use this recipe to make mini cakes using a muffin try
* to make this cake vegan, you can replace the eggs with 2 bananas or, if you don’t want a banana taste, 4 tbsp ground chia in 12 tbsp water and leave to sit for 5 mins before using (= 4 eggs). And if you don’t want to use sugar, use 1 cup of chopped dates soaked in ⅔ cup boiling water for 20 minutes then mashed.
Lemon cream-cheese icing
Carrot cake and a lemon cream-cheese icing go together like red wine and Motown. If you’re not a fan, a simple orange or lemon icing works well. It’s also just as good with none at all.
250g cream cheese, softened
¼ cup icing sugar
2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons lemon juice
chopped walnuts to decorate
Add the cream cheese and lemon into a bowl and mix well with a fork
Add 2 tbsp of the icing sugar and mix well. Then taste and add more sugar according to the amount of sweetness you like – I used less than ¼ a cup of icing sugar and more juice and rind than stated above
Spread over the cooled cake and sprinkle with chopped walnuts for decoration.