I’m not exaggerating when I say that this is the mother of all carrot cakes. It’s one that became a firm favourite in my family home back in the mid-80’s and is simply referred to as THE carrot cake by those who have tried it. The cake recipe came from the Food Aid Cookery Book, which was published during the Live Aid/Band Aid era. I can also tell you for a fact that the name is not just something pulled out of thin air. When on honeymoon in New Zealand I was at a café one day and, to my delight, was presented with a slice of carrot cake that must have been made using the same recipe. I’ve always wondered if the Food Aid Cookery Book people had been there and nabbed the recipe.
The icing is an adaptation of one from Robert Carrier‘s Kitchen. I prefer to use mascarpone instead of cream cheese, as I think it is heavenly.
250g wholemeal flour*
175g Muscovado sugar
175g soft brown sugar
175ml rapeseed or sunflower oil
55ml creme fraiche/sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg
2 level teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
300g grated carrots
75g desiccated coconut
2 tablespoons cream
100g icing sugar
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
*Danish readers, I find the wholemeal (fuldkorns) flour here to be coarser that the one I was used to in Ireland. Therefore I would recommend using 200g Grahamsmel and 50g plain flour instead.
Pre-heat the oven to 150° C, 300º F, gas mark 2. Grease and line the bottom of a 20cm grease-proof tin.
Place the eggs, oil, vanilla, creme fraiche and sugars in a bowl and beat well. Sift the flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, soda and salt into the wet ingredients and combine. Next, add the grated carrot and the coconut, and mix well. Spoon into the cake tin and bake for 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 hours or until a skewer, inserted into the centre of the cake, comes out clean. (If you are using a smaller tin than suggested here, you will probably have to cook the cake for longer). Once the cake has cooled slightly, turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the icing, mix all the ingredients together. Spread the icing over the top of the cake once it has cooled