This is a lightly-spiced loaf version of a carrot cake flavoured with orange juice and incorporating sultanas (golden raisins) that's finished with a cream cheese icing (frosting) and which makes an excellent cake to serve with tea or morning coffee.
The use of orange juice both keeps the cake very moist and helps bring out the sweetness of the carrots, whilst the spices give the flavour a little lift and makes this a cake that can easily be enjoyed on its own with tea or coffee.
Carrot Loaf Cake with Vanilla Frosting RecipeServes: 10
Ingredients:85g (3 oz) sultanas
juice of 1 orange
125ml (1/2 cup) sunflower oil
85g (3 oz) wholemeal flour
85g (3 oz) self-raising flour
175g (6 oz) soft light brown sugar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice (pumpkin pie spice)
2 eggs, beaten
175g (6 oz) carrots, scraped and coarsely grated
50g (2 oz) walnut halves, coarsely chopped
For the Frosting:85g (3 oz) full-fat soft cheese
25g (1 oz) butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
175g (6 oz) icing sugar, sifted
Method:Combine the orange juice and sultanas in a bowl. Cover and set aside to soak over nigh.
The following day, sift together the flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda and spices into a bowl with 1/2 tsp salt. Pour in the oil, add the eggs and mix thoroughly to combine before folding in the carrots and walnuts along with the sultanas and their soaking liquid.
Spoon the resultant mixture into a greased and lined 900g (2 lb) loaf tin. Transfer to an oven pre-heated to 180ºC (350ºF, Gas Mark 4) and bake for 60 minutes. Allow to col briefly in the tin then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the frosting, beat together the cream cheese, vanilla and icing sugar in a bowl until smooth then transfer to the refrigerator to chill. When completely cold split the cake in half horizontally. Spread the bottom half with the frosting then sit the other half on top and swirl the remaining frosting over the top.
Decorate with the walnuts and serve.