Carrot cake is one of my favourite cakes. In the medieval period it was common to use sweet vegetables for desserts. In those days sugar was a rare ingredient. Only in the 18th century sugar became more available.
These days carrot cake is popular. In the United Kingdom it is voted to be the favourite cake of all, in 2011 for the Radio Times. Most likely this revival of carrot cake started in the Second World War with the rationing in the UK.
I used the following recipe from the BBC website for a classic carrot cake.
Ingredients carrot cake
- 450ml vegetable oil
- 400g plain flour
- 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 550g sugar
- 5 free-range eggs
- ½ tsp salt
- 2½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 525g carrots, grated
- 150g shelled walnuts, chopped
- 200g cream cheese
- 150g caster sugar / powder sugar
- 100g butter, softened
I did make a mistake and added the sugar to the dry ingredients. When i just reread other recipes, it was more common to add the sugar to the wet ingredients. Other than that, this is simply mixing all the ingredients together, apart from the carrots and the walnuts. These are added when all the other ingredients are thoroughly mixed. The ingredients for the icing are simply mixed too. Start slowly with this, as the powdered sugar wafts up lots.
I baked two cakes with this mixture. A loaf shape and a round cake mix. The loaf i will take to my mum when i go and see her this Friday. I put the icing in a seperate box for her, this will keep the cake fresh for a longer time.
The use of oil and the carrots gives a moist cake. This also means the cake can be preserved for longer times than other cakes. I looked it up: seven days in the fridge, two days at room temperature. In the freezer up to 6 months. But really, who would want to keep it for so long!