Big Miss K, aged 10, decided she absolutely MUST make a carrot cake. This was a great idea, I had a work call to make and Little Miss K needed some entertaining so off she went to retrieve her step so she could get up to the kitchen counter and they were off.
Big Miss K is generally self-sufficient and obviously takes after her parents as she is always wanting to do something or other in the kitchen – and she’s definitely a feeder, she just wants everyone to enjoy the things she makes. And enjoy this cake we all have. I had to try it, but only a small slice – if you are following Slimming World then I can only hope you too are a ‘feeder’ and are able to resist it – if you can’t then all I can do is blame Miss K – but look at her proud face, you wouldn’t blame her, would you!
I actually used a square tin to bake one large cake, then forgot after 40 minutes we had to go out so it got 40 mins, then I turned the oven off and left it in the cooling oven to cook through so not actually sure how long it took. I like to bake in one and slice through afterwards into 2 cakes as it stays really moist and doesn’t have dry edges but will put the Mary Berry way of doing it below.
The ‘pimping’ of a Mary Berry recipe is seen by some as sacrilege, but who am I to stop experimentation of a 10 year old. When the suggestion of caramelised chopped walnuts came up I did insist that I had to make that part and like an idiot when I was pouring it onto the top of the cake a piece dropped off so I just picked it up, ouchie, I now have the blisters on fingers to prove that a woman in her 40’s should also not be left alone in the kitchen with caramel – I’m sure Mary Berry wouldn’t have made this error!
‘Pimped’ Mary Berry Carrot and Walnut Cake
- 250ml sunflower oil
- 4 eggs
- 225g muscovado sugar
- 200g carrots, grated
- 300g self-raising flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 75 g walnuts, chopped, plus some to decorate
- 50g butter, at room temperature
- 25g icing sugar
- 250g full-fat cream cheese
- a few drops of vanilla extract
- walnuts, chopped
Preheat the oven to 180C/fan. Grease two deep 20cm round sandwich tins and line the bases of the cake tins with baking parchment.
Put the oil, eggs, and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Whisk until the mixture is well combined, lighter, and noticeably thickened. Gently fold the carrot into the cake batter, then stir in the flour, baking powder, mixed spice, ginger, and chopped walnuts until evenly blended.
Spoon the mixture evenly between the tins. Put the cakes in the oven and bake for about 35 minutes, or until golden brown, risen, and shrinking away from the sides of the tins. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
For the icing: Put the butter, icing sugar, cream cheese and vanilla extract in a bowl and whisk using a hand or electric whisk until smooth and thoroughly blended.
Spread half the icing on one cake, sit the other cake on top, and spread the remaining icing on top to make a swirl pattern.
For the topping: put sugar in heavy based pan and heat until it has turned to caramel, do not stir, thrown in walnuts then when cooled slightly pour over cake – and if you drop any DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT pick them up.