Wholegrain spelt and carrot cake

Wholegrain spelt and carrot cake

By
From
The Tivoli Road Baker
Makes
one 22 cm (8¾ in) round cake
Photographer
Bonnie Savage and Alan Benson

We are increasingly using wholegrain flours in our baking, for better flavour and nutrition. I absolutely love carrot cakes and was keen to try a wholegrain version. The chopped walnuts add texture, and the honey aromas will drive you crazy with impatience while the cake is baking!

This cake is great for occasions when you need to work ahead, as it is even better the day after baking. It will keep well for a few days in an airtight container.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

Cake

Quantity Ingredient
5 eggs, at room temperature
300g honey
200ml light olive oil
250g wholegrain spelt flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
350g carrot, grated
160g walnuts, roughly chopped

Cream-cheese icing (frosting)

Quantity Ingredient
60g icing (confectioners') sugar, sifted
60g butter, diced and soft
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped (or 1 teaspoon vanilla paste)
375g cream cheese, roughly chopped, room temperature
120g thick cream
walnuts to decorate (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F). Grease the tin and line it with baking paper.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs and honey for about 10 minutes, until light and fluffy. Keep whisking and add the oil slowly, as though making a mayonnaise, until emulsified. The batter will thin slightly, so don’t panic if it doesn’t continue to thicken.
  3. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon together in a large mixing bowl. Add to the egg mixture in three batches, folding gently between each addition until incorporated. Add the grated carrot and chopped walnuts in three batches, folding gently between each addition until incorporated. Use a spatula to scrape around the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure they are evenly distributed through the mix, and don’t sink to the bottom.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and reduce the oven temperature to 160°C (320°F). Bake for about 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave the cake in the tin for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
  5. To make the cream-cheese icing, cream together the icing sugar, butter and vanilla in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until pale and smooth. Add the cream cheese a little at a time, continuing to mix at medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the cream and mix until thoroughly combined and you have a spreadable consistency. Be careful not to over mix it, otherwise it will split.
  6. When the cake has cooled, cut it in half horizontally and place the bottom half onto a serving plate. Fill the cake by spreading it with half the cream-cheese icing, and then replace the top. Cover the top with the rest of the icing and decorate with walnuts, if desired.

Bakery Notes

  • If you can’t find wholegrain spelt flour, any wholegrain flour will work beautifully. Plain flour will also work well, although you will need to adjust the ratios in the recipe slightly. Use 300 g (10½ oz) plain flour, 4 eggs and 185 ml (6 floz) light olive oil instead of the quantities listed.
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