Autumn carrot cake with prunes and walnuts

Recipe by:

A delicious riff on the usual carrot cake

Autumn carrot cake with prunes and walnuts

SERVES

12

PEOPLE

PREP TIME

20

MINUTES

COOKING TIME

55

MINUTES

CUISINE

COURSE

Baking

Method

  1. Butter and line a deep baking tin (24cm x 32cm/9 1/2 x 11 3/4 inch) and heat the oven to 170°C/325˚F/Gas Mark 3 (Fan - 150°C/300˚F/Gas Mark 2).

  2. Separate your eggs. Put the whites aside to whip up later with the 100g (3 ½ oz) of caster sugar.

  3. In another bowl, add the yolks, whole egg, brown sugar, soft butter, oil, and vanilla extract. Whisk well together and to this add your grated carrots, toasted chopped walnuts, torn prunes and orange zest. Mix well with a wooden spoon and set aside.

  4. In a large bowl, weigh out the remaining dry ingredients and whisk them together well. To this add your wet mixture. Mix together well.

  5. Finally, whip your egg whites with the caster sugar into lovely soft peaks. Fold this mixture into the cake mixture until fully combined. Spoon into your prepared baking dish and smooth the top. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean and the cake has some spring. Allow the cake to cool completely in the tin. Once cool, remove from the tin and place on a serving plate.

  6. To make the icing, whip together the very soft butter and cream cheese. Add the remaining ingredients and whip with the whisk attachment until fluffy. Cover the cake with the frosting.

  7. Decorate with grated walnuts. Alternatively, with a sharp serrated knife, slice the cake into 12 squares before frosting and pipe a wiggle of cream cheese icing diagonally with a petal tip or your favourite nozzle. Then grate a little fresh walnut over the top with a fine microplane zester. Serve on flatted cupcake cases if desired.

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs, separated plus 1 whole egg

  • 100g (3 ½ oz) caster sugar

  • 200g (7oz) light brown sugar

  • 125g (4 ½ oz) unsalted butter, softened

  • 120g (scant 4 ½ oz) oil

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 500g (18oz) grated carrots (700g/1 ½ lbs before peeling)

  • 150g (5oz) walnuts, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped

  • 150g (5oz) Armagnac-soaked prunes, turn into quarters

  • zest of 1 orange

  • 315g (10 ½ oz) plain flour

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • ½ tsp bicarbonate soda

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp Ras el Hanout

  • For the frosting:

  • 375g (13oz) unsalted butter, softened

  • 600g (1 ¼ lbs) cream cheese, brought to room temperature

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 200g (7oz) icing sugar

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

  • 2 walnuts for decoration (untoasted)

Method

  1. Butter and line a deep baking tin (24cm x 32cm/9 1/2 x 11 3/4 inch) and heat the oven to 170°C/325˚F/Gas Mark 3 (Fan - 150°C/300˚F/Gas Mark 2).

  2. Separate your eggs. Put the whites aside to whip up later with the 100g (3 ½ oz) of caster sugar.

  3. In another bowl, add the yolks, whole egg, brown sugar, soft butter, oil, and vanilla extract. Whisk well together and to this add your grated carrots, toasted chopped walnuts, torn prunes and orange zest. Mix well with a wooden spoon and set aside.

  4. In a large bowl, weigh out the remaining dry ingredients and whisk them together well. To this add your wet mixture. Mix together well.

  5. Finally, whip your egg whites with the caster sugar into lovely soft peaks. Fold this mixture into the cake mixture until fully combined. Spoon into your prepared baking dish and smooth the top. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean and the cake has some spring. Allow the cake to cool completely in the tin. Once cool, remove from the tin and place on a serving plate.

  6. To make the icing, whip together the very soft butter and cream cheese. Add the remaining ingredients and whip with the whisk attachment until fluffy. Cover the cake with the frosting.

  7. Decorate with grated walnuts. Alternatively, with a sharp serrated knife, slice the cake into 12 squares before frosting and pipe a wiggle of cream cheese icing diagonally with a petal tip or your favourite nozzle. Then grate a little fresh walnut over the top with a fine microplane zester. Serve on flatted cupcake cases if desired.

Execution Time: 0.321 s