Sunday, 8 December 2013

Carrot sandwich cake

I love carrot cake but it dawned on me recently, in one of my ‘thinking about cake’ moments that you don’t usually see it served as a sandwich cake.  It’s usually a traybake or cupcake.

The thought was tucked away in the part of my brain given over to storing cake related matters (about 3/4s of my brain) and resurfaced when I was browsing in a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern grocery store and came across carrot jam.  It’s a sweet jam for spreading on toast or teacakes, not a savoury sort you’d serve with cold meats or other words, perfect for being the filling in a sandwich cake.

Personally I love a carrot cake with raisins but, as I was serving this when raisin-haters were present, I stuck with walnuts.  You can easily substitute raisins for walnuts, or use a mixture of the two.

A classic cream cheese frosting is all that’s required to cover the cake.  It is the perfect accompaniment for carrot cake so why change it?  The sponge is incredibly light and carries the satisfyingly thick and tangy frosting perfectly. 

It’s a good time of year to make carrot cake – it has Christmas spicing but no Christmas connotations so the ‘bah humbug’ brigade cannot object to it or moan about Christmas starting too early.  I think of it as Christmas by stealth!


For the sponges:
225g self raising flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon (not a typo) mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
175g golden caster sugar
3 eggs
200ml sunflower/vegetable/light olive oil – any oil suitable for baking
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
50g walnuts – finely chopped (You can use raisins instead if you prefer)
225g carrots (about 3 medium carrots) –grated
To sandwich: carrot jam, or apricot if you prefer

For the frosting:
350g cream cheese – I used Philadelphia
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
160g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To decorate: walnut pieces


Preheat oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

Line two 20cm round, loose bottomed sandwich tins with baking paper.

Mix together the flour, baking powder, mixed spice, ginger and sugar in a large bowl.

Add the eggs, oil and vanilla and stir until well combined.

Stir in the walnuts and grated carrot.

Spoon into the prepared baking tins.  The mix will be quite runny and will find its own level.  It won’t look like a lot of batter but don’t worry, it rises considerably during baking.

Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cakes comes out clean.

Leave to cool in the tin for 20 minutes, before turning the cakes out and leaving to cool completely on a wire rack.

The sponges can be made a day ahead and stored in an airtight tin.

Now make the frosting: beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth and whippy.

Add the icing sugar and vanilla and beat again until smooth.

Place one sponge on the serving plate and spread over the jam of your choice.  You can also use a little of the frosting too, if you wish.

Place the other sponge on top.

Spread the icing over the top and sides of the cake.

Decorate as desired with walnut pieces.

Store in the fridge until required – take out of the fridge 20-30 minutes before you wish to serve.

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.



cupcake girl said...

ahhh I'm a fellow raisin hater so I'm glad you left it out. love carrot cake i think its best in sandwich form too....that way you get double helping of yummy cream cheese frosting. Delicious looking cake CC.

Gloria Baker said...

Look delicious I love carrots cake!!

Cakelaw said...

It looks great to me! I love raisins in carrot cake - pooh poh to the raisin haters. Carrot jam - must look out for that one.

Maggie said...

Carrot cake is a favourite of mine and I like to think it's healthy! I have never heard of Carrot Jam before what a great addition to the cake.

sensibilia said...

Awesome find, carrot jam!

And you know, the reason why I'm always tempted by carrot cake in teashops is because it is usually presented as a huge luscious slice, wedged together by creamy frosting. Traybakes are more homestyle, as you say. So a recipe to make this sandwich treat at home is a delight!

Sally Sellwood said...

Mmmm - looks utterly delicious. Love the idea of that carrot jam.

Izzy said...

Carrot jam… I'd never heard of it before, what a wonderful filling for a carrot cake! I used to really dislike carrot cake but my sister recently made a wonderful one and now I love it!

snowy said...

I love carrot cake, and it's a great idea to make it as a sandwich cake.
It looks delicious.

Kimberly said...

Perfect for Christmas :)

Kate@whatkatebaked said...

Carrot jam? In true Victor Meldrew style I've been grumbling "well well well...whatever next!" ... But such an inspired addition to the classic carrot cake

Charlene F said...

I love the picture of your cake cut in the middle and I've never heard of carrot jam before, I bet it tasted delicious x

Kezia said...

Carrot jam sounds actually quite nice! And your cake looks so delicious! I love carrot cake, especially with walnuts on top!

Jo said...

Carrot jam? That's a new one for me! Fantastic looking cake CC, a good generous layer of cream cheese icing. Funnily enough I don't think I've tried a carrot cake with raisins and I'm a raisin fan.

I am also blessed/plagued(?) with many "thinking about cake" moments :)

Baking Addict said...

Ha ha Christmas by stealth - love it! I've never seen carrot jam before. Your carrot cake looks gorgeous.

shri said...

love the idea of christmas by stealth CC. am not so sure about carrot jam though. i have a wonderful carrot cake recipe that i usually make as a've just inspired me to include jam in the middle with the cream cheese next time. pineapple jam maybe?

my recipe has coconut flakes and pineapple chunks (cut small) as well as walnuts and raisins (that's something for you to store in the cake related matters section of your brain)

btw, when i was in uni in wales, we used to get a delish apple crumble at the refractory. I've looked and looked and can't come up with any recipe that does my memory justice. Could you do one sometime please... when you're not in stealth christmas mode...

Choclette said...

Haha Christmas by stealth - love it. Looks delicious as always.