Chocolate and cardamom carrot cake recipe

This moreish cake has the best brown butter cream cheese frosting you’ve ever had, tasting like a toasty rich caramel. Kept covered, the cake will keep for 3 to 4 days.

Ingredients

  Metric  Cups  Imperial  For the carrot cake

  • 300 g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 oranges (zest), plus juice of 1 orange
  • 300 g carrots, grated
  • 75 g dark chocolate chips
  • 150 g raisins or sultanas
  • 4 large eggs
  • 400 g light brown sugar
  • 240 ml light olive oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 10.6 oz plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 oranges (zest), plus juice of 1 orange
  • 10.6 oz carrots, grated
  • 2.6 oz dark chocolate chips
  • 5.3 oz raisins or sultanas
  • 4 large eggs
  • 14.1 oz light brown sugar
  • 8.4 fl oz light olive oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 10.6 oz plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 oranges (zest), plus juice of 1 orange
  • 10.6 oz carrots, grated
  • 2.6 oz dark chocolate chips
  • 5.3 oz raisins or sultanas
  • 4 large eggs
  • 14.1 oz light brown sugar
  • 1 cup light olive oil, plus extra for greasing

For the cream cheese frosting

  • 75 g unsalted butter, at room temperate
  • 125 g full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 400 g icing sugar
  • 0.2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2.6 oz unsalted butter, at room temperate
  • 4.4 oz full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 14.1 oz icing sugar
  • 0.2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2.6 oz unsalted butter, at room temperate
  • 4.4 oz full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 14.1 oz icing sugar
  • 0.2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

For decorating

  • 1 handful milk chocolate shavings
  • 1 orange, finely grated zest
  • 1 handful milk chocolate shavings
  • 1 orange, finely grated zest
  • 1 handful milk chocolate shavings
  • 1 orange, finely grated zest

Details

  • Cuisine: British
  • Recipe Type: Cake
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Preparation Time: 25 mins
  • Cooking Time: 50 mins
  • Serves: 12

Step-by-step

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Lightly grease the baking tin, then line with a piece of parchment paper that overhangs the two long sides.
  2. Place the flour, baking powder, salt, ground spices and orange zest into a large bowl and whisk together to combine. Add the carrots, chocolate chips and raisins.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, olive oil and juice from 1 orange, mixing until combined.
  4. Pour the wet mixture in the bowl with the flour and stir together until everything is combined. Pour the cake batter into the prepared tin and spread into an even layer.
  5. Bake for 35–40 minutes, or until the cake springs back to a light touch or a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 20 minutes, then use the lining paper to carefully lift and transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Make the cream cheese frosting. It’s very important that the butter and cream cheese are both at room temperature when combined, otherwise it can be tricky to get the right texture. Place the butter into a small saucepan over a medium heat, stirring frequently. As the butter cooks it will first melt and then sizzle, splatter and then start to foam with little brown flecks. Pour into a bowl and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until the butter is firm. Remove from the refrigerator and beat with an electric mixer, on its own, until soft and creamy.
  7. Place the browned butter and cream cheese into a large bowl and use an electric mixer to beat on medium-high speed for 2–3 minutes, or until smooth, creamy and fully combined.
  8. Add the icing sugar, salt and vanilla and mix on slow speed until the sugar has combined with the butter mixture, then mix on medium-high speed for 4–5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
  9. Spread over the top of the cake and finish with a grating of milk chocolate and the zest of another orange, if you like.
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