If you have a little, rather unusually, time on your hands and fancy baking a cake – then do have a go at this one.
The shops seem to far better stocked now and hopefully you will either have many of the ingredients in the cupboard or be able to source them.
This recipe has been a part of my collection for decades; but as so many people ask for it –here it is again, being one of Merrow Savouries’ most devoured cakes and one we have baked for our guests on countless occasions. So if you have enjoyed it at one of our functions – why not make it yourself?
You will need…
250g self raising wholemeal flour
1 level teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
350g soft dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons mixed spice
½ teaspoon salt
50g desiccated coconut
2 level teaspoons mixed spice
300g grated carrots
175ml sunflower oil
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons good vanilla essence
If you are confident to start tweaking the ingredients, the recipe does lend itself to adaptation and ‘needs must’ at this difficult time – you could omit the cream and use more oil; or omit the coconut altogether or use raisins or mixed dried fruit instead of the sultanas. Or use cinnamon or nutmeg instead of mixed spice. Or juggle the sugars and use muscovado for a richer cake or a light brown sugar one for a lighter cake, or better still combine the two.
- Place all the wet ingredients (the oil, cream, eggs and essence) into a bowl and beat together.
- Then sieve the dry ingredients (flour, salt, mix spices and bicarb) and fold that into the wet mixture with the sugars.
- Then stir in the carrots, fruit and coconut.
That is it…could not be easier
Spoon the mixture into a lined 20cm square cake tin and bake at gas 2 or 150’C oven for about an hour and half. Don’t overcook it as it will be dry. If you think it is cooked place a clean knife in the middle – if it comes out clean it is cooked, if it has a little sticky mixture on it – pop it back for 10 minutes.
NB. if you have a larger tin or are using a tray, the cooking time will be less.
Now for the topping, mmmmmm – simply cream together 100g of full fat cream cheese with 50g of soft butter and 100g sieved icing sugar and either the juice of half a lemon or my favourite – a tablespoon of freshly squeezed orange juice, or use half orange and half lemon for a ‘st clements’ top. Either way do sieve the icing sugar, otherwise the topping will have lumps it in. And you do want a creamy topping, not a lumpy one! But, if you cannot source topping ingredients just enjoy the cake as it is.
Once the cake is cool – smooth over the creamy topping and ‘fork up’ into peaks. Cut into squares.
Put the kettle on and enjoy – perhaps even leave a piece in a bag on a neighbour’s doorstep, ring the bell, run and let them open to a lovely surprise!