walnut 1

Servings: 8 - 10 Servings

Cook time: 40 Minutes

Difficulty: Medium

    You will need...

  • You will need 3 x 8 inch cake tines!
  • 350g Muscovado Sugar
  • 350ml Sunflower Oil
  • 6 Large Eggs
  • 280g Grated Carrot
  • 200g Raisins
  • grated zest of 1 large orange
  • 350g Plain Flour
  • 2tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 2tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 1tsp Ginger
  • 50g Pumpkin Seeds
  • Handful of walnuts (keep some aside for decoration)
  • Butter Icing:
  • 300g Unsalted Butter
  • 500g Icing Sugar (keep some aside for dusting)
  • 2 tbsp of Milk
  • zest of 1 orange.

Preheat oven to 170oC / Gas 4 and line your baking tins with greaseproof paper. Add the sugar, oil and eggs into a large mixing bowl or your electric mixer.
When lightly mixed, add the carrot, raisins, grated orange, pumpkin seeds and a handful of walnuts.
Next mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices and sieve into the bowl. When everything has come together nicely, stop mixing. It's best to put your mixture into a jug and pour it into the baking tins before putting them in the oven for 40-45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
Once your cakes are cooling on wire racks, it's time to make the butter icing! Mix the butter on it's own for five minutes until it is lighter in colour and very creamy in texture. Gradually add the icing sugar until it has all combined.
Add the milk and the orange zest and beat for a further couple of minutes. Once cakes are completely cooled, level off the layers by removing any peaks in the cake. This makes the cake a lot more level and visually a little more pleasing. You can use a large sharp knife for this or a cake leveller is super easy too, obviously be careful doing this though, there are no fingers in this recipe.
Spoon the icing into a large disposable piping bag and using a large star nozzle, pipe around the bottom layer in a circle and fill into the middle. Place middle cake layer on top and repeat this process.
After placing the top layer of cake down, start piping stars around the outside by squeezing vertically with your piping bag and lifting up into a point. Place walnuts on alternate icing stars and dust with icing! Voila.

walnut 4 On those days where you want something that feels a little less naughty than a giant slab of Bruce Bogtrotter style chocolate cake, you can always rely on the carrot cake. I’m actually not the biggest fan of carrot cake, however I know it’s a lot of people’s favourite (Alfie included) so along with my Mum and a mixture of different carrot cake recipes in books and online, we have come up with the perfect spiced carrot and walnut cake recipe. This has also been tried, tested and completely demolished so it’s fair to say it’s a winner! You obviously don’t have to make this as big, and can split the recipe if needs be, but I think this works so well visually and it feels a bit more special having three layers. It would make the perfect birthday cake for someone who isn’t into something too sweet or sickly. Although the carrot cake isn’t allocated to a particular season, it contains all your favourite seasonal spices and feels quite warming and comforting so does sit perfectly alongside a cup of tea on a dreary day. I’m not sure why I don’t take a shining to the carrot cake, it’s not particularly offensive and i’m sure I used to eat it all the time as a child. I’m thinking that somewhere along the way I discovered it contained a vegetable and I felt as though I had been deceived by the cake gods. Much like the time I realised that rice pudding was made with ACTUAL RICE. Isn’t the mind strange…well, my mind should I say! I’m also not a huge fan of raisins or nuts, so it’s cakes like these that are mostly a last resort for me. It did amaze me however, that I have made many a delicious, gooey cake yet nothing has ever disappeared from my cake stand quicker than this one.

walnut 6 walnut 9 walnut 10 I was so pleased with how this cake came out and it looked so beautiful in it’s cake stand I found myself taking endless photos of it and sending it to everyone who was interested (most of which probably weren’t but I left them no choice haha!). I’d love to know if you’re a fan of carrot cake and if you end up baking this. I wish you all the luck and I can’t wait to see your pictures but most importantly, enjoy it! walnut 12