Maple carrot loaf cake
Prep time: 25 mins
Recipe photograph by Mike English
Although maple syrup and dates still count as sources of sugar in nutritional terms, this moist loaf is lower in sugar than a traditional carrot cake. Ditching the usual cream cheese frosting and using sunflower oil instead of butter also reduces the fat, saturated fat and overall calorie content
Prep time: 25 mins
See more recipes
Nutritional information (per serving)
- zest and juice of 1 small orange (about 4 tbsp juice)
- 50g sultanas
- 75g walnut pieces
- 100g plain flour
- 100g wholemeal flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground mixed spice
- a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 125ml maple syrup
- 125ml sunflower oil
- 3 medium eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely grated (about 150g grated weight)
- 1 parsnip, peeled and coarsely grated (about 100g grated weight)
- 50g pitted Medjool dates, finely chopped
- 1 ball of stem ginger, chopped
For the topping
- 1 ball of stem ginger, finely chopped, plus 1 tbsp syrup
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 pitted Medjool date, thinly sliced lengthways
Step by step
This will keep for up to 2-3 days in an airtight container, and can also be frozen.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. Line a 900g loaf tin with baking paper. Put the orange juice into a small pan with the sultanas, heat gently to warm through, stir in the orange zest, then set aside to cool and absorb the juice. Spread the walnut pieces out on a baking tray and bake for 5 minutes. Set aside 25g for the topping and roughly chop the rest.
- Sift the flours, a pinch of salt, the baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and spices into a bowl. Tip the bran left from the wholemeal flour into the bowl. In a separate bowl or jug, whisk together the maple syrup, oil, eggs and vanilla extract until combined.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and add the grated carrot and parsnip, dates, stem ginger, the chopped walnuts, sultanas and their juice. Fold together until well combined then tip into the tin.
- Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- For the topping, mix the chopped stem ginger with its syrup and the maple syrup. Brush over the cake. Top with the walnuts and dates, loosely lining them up down the centre of the cake.