I have used this recipe in both it’s formats, as is originally in The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook as cake but also as cupcakes (which were easier to sell for fundraising).
Makes 10-12 slices / 12 cupcakes
300 g soft light brown sugar
300ml sunflower oil
300g plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus extra to decorate
½ teaspoon ground ginger (I don’t use ginger in mine)
½ teaspoon salt quarter teaspoon vanilla extract
300g carrots, grated
100g shelled walnuts, chopped, plus extra, chopped and whole, to decorate
Two quantities cream cheese frosting
Three 20cm cake tins base-lined with greaseproof paper
Preheat the oven to 170°C(325°F) Gas 3.
Put the sugar, eggs and oil in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (I use a handheld electric whisk) and beat until all the ingredients are well incorporated (don’t worry if the mixture looks slightly split). Slowly add the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt and vanilla extract and continue to beat until well mixed.
Stir in the grated carrots and walnuts by hand until they are all evenly dispersed. (I used a wooden spoon – I didn’t really see the need to use your hands).
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tins and smooth over with a palette knife. Bake in the preheated oven for 20- 25 minutes, or until golden brown and the sponge bounces back when touched. Leave the cakes to cool slightly in the tens before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Tip: I baked the whole mix in one tin which produces a much higher cake and will also need about 50 minutes – I think the cake stays softer inside instead of having 3 ‘crusts’. I kept it as one cake but you can also use a wire cake cutter to slice it in half (or in 3 if you’re brave 😉 ).
When the cakes are cold, (put one on a cake stand and – I just use the plate I will have the cake on in the end or start in the carry case/ box) spread about one quarter of the cream cheese frosting over it with a palette knife. Place a second cake on top and spread another quarter of the frosting over at top with the last cake and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides. Finish with walnuts and a light sprinkle of cinnamon.
Alternatively, for cupcakes, distribute the cake mix into cupcake cases and bake for 20 minutes (check with a skewer – when it comes out dry the cupcakes are ready). We decorated them by finely slicing a carrot and cutting little triangles out of each slice – for the ‘leaves’ we used a little piece of walnut.
This recipe is from my Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook.