Grate the carrots. You may need more/less than I mention - enough for 1.5 cups of grated carrot.
In a large bowl, mix the eggs and sugar. Whisk them until the sugar has completely dissolved.
Gradually add the oil into the mix and whisk after each addition.
Once you obtain a homogeneous mixture, add the grated carrots, walnuts, raisins, and vanilla extract. Mix well.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger powder, and salt. Then add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix well.
Preheat the oven to 170ºC/338ºF (fan-assisted) and grease a 20cm/8" round tin. Alternatively, you can use a square tin of 17 to 20 cm / 6.6" to 7.8"; bigger baking tins will result in a thinner cake.
Pour the cake mixture into the greased tin. You can also use a layer of parchment paper to line the cake pans too.
Bake for about 30 minutes until the top turns golden brown and it's cooked through. You can check with a wooden skewer if the cake has cooked through - it should come out clean.
Allow the cake to cool down completely on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, prepare the cream cheese frosting. I do this while the cake is baking and allow it to chill until ready to frost.
Beat the butter until it's fluffy and light. Then add the cream cheese and powdered sugar. Beat until it's all well incorporated and you achieve a creamy texture.
Place the frosting in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before you spread it on the cake.
Once the cake has cooled down and the frosting has chilled, you can proceed with decorating the cake. First spread the frosting over the cake. You can go for a fluffy messy look or for a more smooth look. Then add your favorite toppings (optionally). I love adding edible flowers and some chopped walnuts.
How To Store:
Any leftover carrot cake can be stored covered in the fridge for up to five days. I love to allow it to come to room temperature before serving.I sometimes purposely make this a day in advance as I love how the flavors develop, and the frosting begins to seep into the cake for a super moist and delicious treat.You can also freeze the unfrosted cakes for between 2-3 months. Simply double wrap it tightly in some plastic wrap, eco-wrap, aluminum foil, or an airtight freezer-safe bag, to maintain texture and avoid freezer burn. Allow it to thaw overnight then frost before serving.
The Sugar: Brown sugar is key to a carrot cake packed with delicious flavor and wonderful moistness. I’ve tried many versions mixing granulated with brown sugar using just granulated white, etc. But this sugar with this amount has always led to the most flavorful, moist version.
Oil: Use any mild-flavored oil. This is needed for a tender, moist, soft cake. I have previously tried to reduce the oil content and use some unsweetened apple sauce. It does work, but it can affect the flavor, so I prefer to stick to a neutral oil or only omit a little oil for applesauce.
The flour: I use all-purpose flour for this recipe. If you’re gluten-free, you can use a GF flour blend – though you may need to add a little extra moisture to the cake, so it doesn’t end up dry. Each flour will react differently regarding moisture levels.
Golden Raisins & Walnuts: If you're anti 'chunk' in your cakes feel free to omit these. you can also swap the walnuts for pecans.
When measuring out the flour, it’s best to spoon it into your cup and level off rather than pack it into the measuring cup. Otherwise, measure the ingredients for accuracy.
One of the main things many people have issues with is how to make cream cheese frosting with the correct consistency. Always use block cheese ( not tub!) and feel free to chill the frosting in the fridge to help it thicken up before piping/spreading.
You can use a food processor to chop the carrots into a crumb consistency. This will distribute evenly throughout the batter for lighter results. I’ve tried both ways and prefer the grated chunkier bits but feel free to experiment.
To make carrot cake cupcakes. Just fill the liners 2/3 of the way and bake ( 350f/180c for 18-20 minutes, then use a toothpick inserted to the middle, to make sure they’re cooked through ( it should come out dry or slightly crumbly but not wet) and cook for longer if needed.
Rather than making a layer cake, you can also make a sheet cake with the cream cheese frosting topping.
For a nut-free version, omit the nuts.
Feel free to omit the raisins too. You could also swap these with some dried apricot or chopped pineapple – just be aware not to add too much additional moisture into the batter.
For a lighter frosting, you can make an orange icing with a combination of a little orange juice, zest, and powdered sugar until you achieve the correct consistency.
Feel free to add some shredded coconutfor added texture. Around ¼ cup will work well – be aware that coconut soaks up moisture, so too much will cause dry out the cake.