Chai coconut carrot cake
Prep time: 45 mins
Recipe photograph by Toby Scott
Warming spices and creamy coconut make this our favourite carrot cake yet. Follow our tip to make it gluten free
Prep time: 45 mins
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Nutritional information (per serving)
- zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
- 75g raisins
- 125g desiccated coconut
- 200g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 3 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1½ tsp ground ginger
- 1⁄4 tsp ground cloves seeds from 8 cardamom pods, crushed to a powder
- 1⁄4 whole nutmeg (about ½ tsp)
- 175g light brown sugar
- 175ml sunflower oil
- 3 medium eggs
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 2 carrots, coarsely grated
- 1 apple, coarsely grated, core discarded
- 75g walnuts, chopped
For the frosting
- 100g very soft unsalted butter
- 1 x 280g pack full-fat soft cheese (we used Philadelphia)
- 150g icing sugar, sifted
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- a small pinch of ground cloves
- a small pinch of ginger
- a small pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Step by step
The iced cake will keep for 3-4 days in a cool place. Uniced sponges can be frozen.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. Line the base and sides of 2 x 20cm round sponge tins. Gently heat the lemon juice and raisins in a small pan, stir in the zest, then set aside to cool. Spread out the desiccated coconut on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 4-5 minutes until golden; keep an eye on it as it burns quickly. Reserve 50g for the topping.
- Sift the flour, a pinch of salt, the baking powder, bicarb and spices into a bowl. In a separate bowl or a jug, whisk the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla until combined.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry, with the grated carrot, apple, 75g toasted coconut, the walnuts, raisins and their juice. Stir well, then divide equally between the prepared tins.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- For the frosting, beat the butter until creamy. Add the soft cheese and beat again, then gradually whisk in the icing sugar and spices.
Sandwich the cooled cakes together with a quarter of the frosting and a scattering of toasted coconut. Use a palette knife to spread the rest of the frosting evenly over the top and sides of the cake. Lightly press the remaining toasted coconut onto the top of the iced cake, and up the sides if you like.TipMake it gluten-free
Use gluten free flour and baking powder, and add ½ tsp xanthan gum to the mixture.