Recipes that are delicious and that always work!

You know these recipes are delicious because if I didn't think that they were fabulous . . . I wouldn't be showing them to you. You can also be sure that these recipes work for the same reason! The rest is simply a matter of taste.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Carrot Cake with a Ginger Buttercream Frosting

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I do get sent the nicest things.  The people at Find Me A Gift recently sent me this " I ♥ Cake" cake mold to try out and I have to say I have fallen completely in love with it!  Made from non-stick silicone it measures approximately 10 inches in diameter, yielding six heart shaped servings of delicious cake!

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Yep, you heard that right!.  This cake mold has a unique shape which allows you to cut your cake into heart shaped individual servings.

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Microwave, oven (up to 220*C/425*F), freezer and dishwasher safe this is a food grade, no stick silicone baking pan.   I have to admit this was the first time I have ever used a silicone baking pan.  We were having the Sister Missionaries over for tea and I thought I would bake them a cake in this pan to show them how much we love them.

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I decided on a Carrot Cake, because well . . . who doesn't love a delicious carrot cake???  I don't know anyone who doesn't love a delicious carrot cake!

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Having never baked with a silicone pan before I was a bit nervous.  You are not supposed to butter or line them and I was a bit wary of this . . . would it stick????  I closed my eyes and went with the flow.

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Note, it is advisable to place any silicone bakeware onto a baking sheet for baking as it is very flexible and you may end up with cake batter on the floor!  Thankfully, I was thinking ahead and did just that!  Nobody can accuse me of not being a smart cookie!

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The cake turned out beautifully.   The slices cut into perfect shaped hearts, which were so appealing and the girls were really impressed!

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But it wasn't just the shape of the cake slices with impressed them, I will admit.    They were also very fond of the cake itself . . . dense and moist . . . just what a good carrot cake should be . . .

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With little nuggets of sweet sticky sultana raisins scattered throughout, not to mention crunch little bits of toasted walnuts.   I always toast my nuts before baking with them.  A bit of toasting helps to enhance that beautiful nutty flavour . . . just what you want, and it helps to add to the crunch as well.  At least that's my way of thinking . . .

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Dark and delicious with flecks of carrot throughout, and just enough spice . . . cinnamon, nutmeg . . . vanilla . . . but the flavour doesn't stop there . . .

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There is also a delicious hint of spice . . . ginger to be exact . . . in that lucious buttercream frosting.  I know . . . it's usual to have a cream cheese frosting on a carrot cake, and I do love that as well, but I have never had much success with cream cheese frosting over here in the UK.

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The cream cheese is more liquid than what I am used to and it takes toooooo much icing sugar to make it firm.  I just go with butter cream normally, and today a ginger butter cream, the ginger flavouring coming from the syrup in my jar of preserved gingerroot, but do use powdered ginger if that's all you have.  All in all, with the shape and the cake and the icing . . . everybody was very happy, very happy indeed!

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*Carrot Cake with a Ginger Buttercream Frosting*
Makes one 9 by 15 inch cake
or a 9 inch two layer cake
Rich and delicious and filled with raisins and toasted walnuts.  It's a bit old fashioned, but what works works.  You can't argue with success.   I choose to make a Ginger Buttercream to slather on top of mine because I find the cream cheese over here makes a frosting that is far too runny, but by all means if you have a cream cheese frosting that you like, use it instead.  Just flavour it with a bit of ginger. 

For the cake:
400g of golden caster sugar ( 2cups)
300ml of sunflower oil (1 1/3 cups)
3 large free range eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla paste
280g of plain flour plus 1 TBS, divided
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 pound of carrots, peeled and grated on a box grater
175g of sultana raisins (1 cup)
115g of toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped (1 cup)
For the frosting:
140g of butter, softened (a generous 1/2 cup or 5 ounces)
280g of sifted icing sugar (2 cups)
1 TBS milk
1 TBS syrup from a jar of preserved ginger
(alternately you can use 2 TBS milk and 1/2 tsp ground ginger)  

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Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6.  Butter a 9 by 15 inch cake tin, or two 9 inch layer tins and line with baking paper.  Butter the baking paper.
Measure the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla paste into a large bowl.  Beat on medium high with an electric mixer until light yellow and thickened.  Sift together the 280g of flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, soda and salt.   With the mixer on low, slowly beat in the dry ingredients, making sure they are well combined.   Toss together the sultanas and walnuts with the 1 TBS flour.  Fold this into the cake batter along with the grated carrots. Spread the batter into the prepared pan (s). 

Bake for 10 minutes and then lower the oven temperature to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4 and bake for 30 to 35 minutes longer, or until the top springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pan (s) for ten minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to finish cooling if using round pans.  If you are using a 8 by 15 inch pan, allow to cool in the pan placed on a wire rack until completely cool.
To make the frosting beat all of the ingredients together until the mixture is creamy.   Spread this on top of the cake.  Serve at room temperature. 

Many thanks to the people at Find Me A Gift for sending me this fabulous cake mold.  I just know it is sure to become one of my absolute favourites!  You can purchase this cake mold on their site HERE for £14.99.


  1. That is a fun mould. In general I can take or leave sweet things, but carrot cake, I love. The added treat of ginger in the icing means I am so going to make this.

  2. You know me and hearts..
    SO so cute!!!

  3. This looks like a lovely cake for upcoming fall!

  4. so pretty and so delicious... it's been so wonderful to see everyone's different versions of this cake and you're so right about placing it on a baking sheet as it's impossible to handle otherwise!... I love your creamy frosting too, simply gorgeous!

  5. Hi, Finally, it's not that I don't like carrot cake....I am not crazy about cream cheese frosting! So, whenever I make it I use buttercream just like you did. I will be adding bits of finely chopped crystallized ginger to it (as I usually don't buy the stem ginger in syrup). Can hardly wait for a nice fall day to make this. Thanks.
    I wrote a blog about English Tarts that you might find interesting. Here's the link

  6. Ooooh - I do like the sounds of this cake - especially with the toasted walnuts (I always toast my nuts before baking too - well that sounds very silly!!) and ginger in the icing - must make this soon - thanks so much for the recipe.

  7. What a cool mold! Perfect for Valetine's Day or any day for that matter. Carrot cake is my favorite and yours sounds and looks delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

  8. look beautiful and delicious dear marie!!XX


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