I’d like to dedicate this recipe to Aunty K. She was the awesome-est neighbour ever. When we first moved to New Zealand, she was one of the first few people to befriend us. With 2 lovely kids and one more on the way, she welcomed us to the neighbourhood in more ways than one. She was an amazing cooking and of the ilk that everything should/can be made from scratch at home. From Malaysian chilli sauce to steam dumplings to cakes and cookies, we got to try them all.
I’ve always liked cooking and once I started baking, mum left it to me to do so. However, she didn’t like it very much when I spent hours in her kitchen baking a cake which I’d usually take into work as no one at home (but for me) really enjoyed cake that much. So, more often than not, all my baking adventures would move to Aunty K’s house. She was definitely my baking guru. Not only did I watch her and learn but she held my hand through many a disaster. I got a lot of recipes from her that I use 8 years on and will continue to do so. Unfortunately, they had to move so we no longer had them as neighbours.
This carrot cake recipe is Aunty K’s and every time I bake it, it gets eaten within a very very short interval of time, at work and at home. Most recently, my partner’s friend was having a birthday dinner to which we were invited. I decided to take a carrot cake along as a surprise. The original recipe calls for a lemon-cream cheese icing which is delicious but I was trying to be healthy. I used lemon yoghurt instead and served it with the cake. The birthday girl was very pleased and the 10 of us polished it off in a matter of minutes. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a camera to take pictures of the cake while we were eating it. I promise you it was good!
Do try it and tell me how it goes!
150gms standard flour
150gms self-raising flour
230gms brown sugar (approximately 1 loosely-packed cup)
500gms of grated carrot (picture 2)
200ml of vegetable oil (I used 2/3 of a cup of oil)
125ml golden syrup or treacle
1/2 cup of sultanas
4 teaspoons of mixed spice (I used 1 tsp of mixed spice, 1 tsp nutmeg and 2 tsp of ground cinnamon)
1 teaspoon of soda bicarbonate (baking soda)
0. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
1. Sift flour, baking soda and spices in a large bowl and toss the sultanas in the flour mixture (picture 1).
2. Whisk oil, sugar, golden syrup, eggs in another bowl and stir until smooth (pictures 3,4 and above).
3. Add the carrots to the flour mixture until the carrots are well coated in the flour (picture 5).
4. Add the oil-sugar mixture to the flour mixture and mix until well combined (pictures 6 and 7).
5. Pour the cake batter into a lined spring-form baking tray. Lift the tray a couple of centimetres about the table/kitchen top and drop it so as to make the cake flat (picture 8).
6. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the top is brown and a skewer/knife, when inserted into the middle of the cake, comes out clean (picture 9).
7. Let it cool for 15 minutes before turning it over.
8. Serve hot or cold with lemon yoghurt.
1. If you’d like to add a bit of crunch to the recipe, substitute sultanas with chopped walnuts.
2. If you’d like it to be vegan, use egg substitute instead of eggs.
3. If you did want to make a lemon icing, mix 125gms of sifted icing sugar and 20gms of melted butter in a bowl. To this slowly add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and mix until smooth. Pour over the cooled cake and serve.