by Susan Lodge
The habit of afternoon tea and cake has come back into fashion with a vengeance.
Thanks to the explosion of bake-offs and celebrity chef programmes, baking cakes is big business. Never has the cup cake, Victoria sponge or biscuit been given so many media makeovers — despite the gym gurus and the calorie police. I love cake, but it’s a struggle balancing; bake-offs v gym workout, carrot sticks v carrot cake, bathroom scales v kitchen scales… and so on.
So, here is my favourite cake recipe. It’s full of off happy healthy carrots. And, if you want to implement further calorie control, the cake is equally delicious without the frosting. Great for afternoon tea, morning coffee, or just when you need some T.L.C.
Carrot Comfort Cake
200g or 7oz. just over ¾ cup brown sugar
200g or 7oz. just over ¾ cup grated carrots
2-3 mashed, ripe bananas, depending on size
120 ml of sunflower oil
100g or just under ½ cup sultanas
100g or just under ½ cup chopped nuts, walnuts, pecans, Brazils, almonds - or a mixture of your preference
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
20 cm wide, or 8”, spring based/loose based, round cake tin
Pre-heat oven to 170°C or 340° F
Grease cake tin. If you use a tin without a loose base, cut out a round of greaseproof paper and line the base to prevent sticking.
Whisk the eggs and sugar until thick and creamy. Sift together the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda, and then stir into egg mixture.
Add the nuts, oil, sultanas and carrots and stir well. Finally add the mashed banana and make sure everything is evenly combined.
Pour into the prepared tin. Bake for about 1 hr – 1hr 15 mins.
Test the cake is done by inserting a skewer or thin bladed knife into the middle. It should come out clean.
When the cake has cooled, either dust the top with sifted icing sugar, Confectioner’s sugar, or top with an easy cream cheese frosting (as pictured).
Cream Cheese Frosting
100g or 4oz. cream cheese
50g or 2tbsp. soft butter
200-250g or ¾ - 1 cup icing sugar or Confectioner’s sugar
Beat together cream cheese and butter.
Add enough icing sugar until you reach a soft spreading consistency.
Carefully swirl on top of cooled cake with palette knife.
Susan Lodge’s first publishing success was a story purchased by a major UK magazine. After a drawer full of rejections she described the arrival of the acceptance letter as, ‘A moment of ecstasy’. This breakthrough gave her the confidence to seek and secure a publisher for her historical romance novels. Only a Hero Will Do and Rebellious Cargo.
After working in several cities including London and Bristol, she and her husband moved down to the Hampshire coast to raise their family.
You can find more about Susan and her books on her website and blog. Stay connected on her Amazon page, Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.