As those who know me on Facebook and Instagram will be aware, I am leaving my job after almost 14 years. I have worked in a number of different roles for the same company but it finally feels like it is time to move on and try something new. So in a month from now I will be starting over. Yikes! When I announced to my team a few weeks ago that I was leaving, their biggest concern seemed to be who was going to feed them. I bake a lot for work. To make them feel better I agreed to bring something in weekly… and to take requests. I have been delving into my old faithful recipes but someone requested a carrot cake recently. I do have a carrot cake recipe but it’s a layer cake and transporting a layer cake across multiple train journeys at rush hour is not easy. Instead I decided to go for a tray bake. It was very popular and I will definitely be making it again.
Carrot cake tray bake
Adapted from Kitchen Sanctuary
For the cake
Juice and grated zest of 1 1/2 large oranges
250g caster sugar
225ml vegetable oil
1 banana, mashed
5 medium eggs
5 medium carrots, peeled and grated
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
100g pumpkin seeds/pecan nuts/walnuts – nuts roughly chopped if using (optional)
For the icing
280g full fat cream cheese
80g very soft butter
300g icing sugar
Grated zest of one orange
Place the raisins, orange zest and juice in a bowl and leave to soak for 2 – 3 hours.
Preheat your oven to 180 C and line a large rectangular cake tin or roasting dish with greaseproof paper.
Place the sugar and oil in a large bowl and beat together well with an electric whisk. Add the banana and beat well again. Add the eggs and beat until well combined.
Stir in the carrots, soaked raisins and any remaining juice and zest.
In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking power, bicarbonate of soda and spices.
Stir the flour mixture into the sugar mixture until just combined. Fold in the seeds/nuts if using. I can’t eat most nuts so I find pumpkins seeds are a good substitute.
Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 40 – 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Once the cake is completely cool, make the icing.
Beat together the cream cheese and butter until completely smooth. Then sieve in the icing sugar and beat until combined. Do not over beat or it can become too runny. Spread the icing over the cake and top with grated orange zest.