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Carrot Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Looking for a carrot cake recipe? This one is full of healthy nuts, fruit and vegetables and has a lovely lemon cream cheese frosting

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  • Serves 12-16

  • Prep time 30 mins

  • Cooking time 45 mins

  • Total time 1 hr 15 mins

  • Calories 700-524 per serving

  • Prepare ahead yes

Ingredients

  • 325g (11oz) plain flour
  • 125g (4½oz) wholemeal flour
  • 1tbsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 300g (10oz) unrefined caster sugar
  • 300ml (½pt) light vegetable oil or other flavourless oil
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 100g (4oz) chopped walnuts
  • 100g (4oz) desiccated coconut
  • 300g (10oz) carrots, cooked then puréed
  • 250g (9oz) tinned pineapple chunks, drained and puréed
For the cream cheese frosting:
  • 250g (9oz) Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 200g (7oz) unrefined icing sugar, sifted
  • 1tsp pure vanilla extract juice ½ lemon

You will need:

  • Two 20cm (8in) deep sandwich tins, lightly oiled and the bases lined with baking parchment

Preparation

Carrot cake is one of our all time favourite tea time treats (or low fat desserts if you fancy it after dinner!) and it's so simple to make with this all in one method. Simply beat everything together, get the batter in a tin and let it bake away to become a beautifully soft sponge. The cream cheese lemon frosting is sweet with a slightly salty edge for that really satisfying flavour that you get from a good icing. The combination of the earthy flavour from carrots and the smooth topping makes this cake feel more like a pudding and despite it being not--too-bad for you it tastes rich and indulgent.

It'll keep well in an airtight tin so why not whip one up on a Sunday evening to see you through the week? What's better for getting through the midweek slump than a nice piece of homemade cake?

HOW TO MAKE CARROT CAKE WITH LEMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C, 160 C fan, 350 F, gas 4. Sift the dry ingredients then sugar into a bowl. Add the oil, eggs and vanilla. Beat, then fold in the nuts, coconut, carrots and pineapple. Bake for 45 mins or until lightly browned and a skewer comes out clean. Cool for 3 hours in the tin.

  2. For the frosting, mix everything together and, using a palette knife, spread over one of the cakes before topping with the second one.