The Carrot Cake Chronicles

28 February 2012

Post image for The Carrot Cake Chronicles

I can’t say that I have always been a fan of carrot cake. Growing up, the idea of a cake with a vegetable component didn’t sound very appealing to me. And coupled with the fact that most carrot cakes I had tried were on the dry, dense and healthy-tasting side, I couldn’t really understand what all the fuss was about. But in recent years, fellow foodie friends have steered me onto the path to carrot cake heaven with their favourite recipes, and now I am a true believer.

I gladly present to you three tried-and-tested recipes …

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream-Cheese Icing by Nigella Lawson

How could one possibly resist one of these little beauties? Small and dainty, snow-capped with a luscious cream-cheese frosting, these carrot cupcakes are elegant in looks but not pretentious in taste.

I have a fond affection for Nigella’s baking bible, How to be a Domestic Goddess, and this recipe is one which I have returned to on many occasions. The cupcake is light and sweet, simply fragranced with a touch of cinnamon and citrus zest. And decorating these petite cakes with a cream-cheese frosting and miniature carrot gives me the temporary thrill of participating in the current cupcake revolution, except that I am cheating with shop-bought marzipan carrots and there is no requirement to learn any piping skills. These cupcakes may not land you a spot on Cupcake Wars, but they certainly bestow the maker with a certain sense of pride and achievement.

One oddity about this recipe is that Nigella calls for the zest of half a lemon and half an orange or satsuma in the cake batter, and then for lime juice in the cream-cheese frosting, thus requiring you to use three different citrus fruits but not the whole of each fruit. I would recommend simply using the zest of either a whole lemon or a small orange and, to that end, using the juice of your chosen fruit in the cream-cheese frosting. A small simplification on my part but one which makes me feel better about reducing waste in the kitchen.

The addition of walnuts (a whopping 100g in this recipe) is arguably not a necessary inclusion in this cake. Having made these cupcakes with and without the walnuts, my preference would tend towards the latter. Sure, the walnuts add some texture and depth to the cake, but I find that they can overpower the delicate flavour of the carrots, quickly turning what could be a moist and sweet cupcake into something resembling more like a nut bread. This is not a criticism – hubby commented that he liked the addition of walnuts because the cake was then “not too moist”. One guest didn’t even realise that it was a carrot cake – not even the marzipan carrots gave it away!

Despite this recipe being one of my favourites from How to Be a Domestic Goddess, if I had to offer one criticism, it would be the cream-cheese frosting. No matter how many times I have followed Nigella’s recipe, my frosting has always turned out to be thin and runny, thus requiring more cream cheese to thicken the mixture. Maybe it is the brand of cream cheese I am using (Philadelphia) or the type of icing sugar available where I live. What has worked for me recently has been to simply beat the cream cheese until smooth, and to then add some icing sugar, tablespoon by tablespoon, until the desired sweetness is achieved, balanced by a squeeze or two of lemon juice.

That aside, these little carrot cupcakes are a delightful treat.

Carrot Cake with Orange Cream-Cheese Icing by Rachel Allen

One of my favourite past-times is chatting online with my foodie friends. We talk about a whole manner of things, mostly food-related, frequently veering off-topic but somehow always circling back to the matter at heart. Recently, the folks were sharing photos of their pantries and a competition ensued over who had the smallest kitchen, with delightful photos uploaded to give everyone a glimpse into the lives of a friend in a distant land. It’s great when a group of like-minded people, complete strangers in the real world, can bond so quickly over the topic of food. Sadly, my recent work commitments have meant less play time at the computer, something which I hope is only temporary. But I draw much knowledge from my foodie friends and am always grateful for their recipe ideas and tips. Some time ago, a discussion was held on favourite carrot cake recipes, and one recipe which got a frequent mention was Rachel Allen’s version from her book, Bake.

Rachel Allen is an Irish culinary figure whose cookbooks exude charm, simplicity and warmth. Some love her, some hate her. Others have never heard of her. I find her books to be a welcome addition to my kitchen; her homely and family-friendly recipes resonate with me, something which I think is important when choosing a cookbook. In my case, I have chosen all 8 of her cookbooks, each one as delightful as the next. Whether you are a working professional or a stay-at-home parent, her pared-down recipes help you to get a tasty dinner on the table without too much fuss. Her baking recipes, in particular, are among my favourites and this carrot cake is no exception.

It might then sound strange to start with a critique of this recipe, but if you fall within the category of those who eat with their eyes, you would be disappointed to find that this is a rather soft and delicate cake, such that a piece of cake is likely to hit the plate in pile of crumbles rather than as a neat, solid slice. This could be due to me leaving out the nuts from the cake which would otherwise lend it some stability, or perhaps warm weather could be a contributing factor since I have only ever made this cake in spring/summer? But plate presentation aside, and onto the positive aspects of this recipe, this is perhaps one of the best carrot cakes I have ever eaten. Despite what you see in the list of ingredients, the cake is surprisingly light and moist, redolent with a lovely mix of ground spices which makes it a perfect pairing with a cup of tea.

The orange cream-cheese icing lends an appropriate sweetness to the cake, but similar to Nigella Lawson’s recipe discussed above, it is a rather soft and runny icing and I would suggest fiddling with the recipe a little to get the desired texture and sweetness. Also, unless you like to be generous with the icing, I would suggest halving the amounts specified for the icing as I have always found that the recipe produces more than you would need for one cake.

Bake is a wonderful collection of sweet and savoury recipes for the passionate baker, and this recipe alone makes the book worth a place on your bookshelf.

Carrot Cake with Orange Cream-Cheese Icing
Recipe adapted from Bake by Rachel Allen

For the cake:
2 eggs
140 ml (5 fl oz) vegetable oil
200 g (7 oz) light muscovado sugar or light brown sugar
300 g (11 oz) grated carrots
100 g (3.5 oz) raisins
75 g (3 oz) pecans or walnuts, chopped (optional)
180 g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice

For the orange cream-cheese icing:
250 g (9 oz) cream cheese (cold, from the fridge)
50 g (2 oz) butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
275 g (10 oz) icing sugar (or to taste)
zest of 1 orange

To decorate:
marzipan whole carrots or chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F). Grease and line a 13 cm x 23 cm loaf tin (5 x 9 inches).

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a KitchenAid, beat together the eggs, oil and sugar until it is pale and thick. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, ground cinnamon, nutmeg and mixed spice. Mix until well combined. Stir through the carrots, raisins and nuts (if using). The batter will be quite liquid but don’t worry about this. Pour the batter into the loaf tin and bake for about 1 to 1.25 hours, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for about 5 minutes before removing it to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the cream-cheese icing, beat the cream cheese and butter together in a medium bowl. Add the vanilla extract, icing sugar and orange zest and mix to combine. The icing should be quite thick. Spread the icing over the cooled cake and serve as is, or decorate with some marzipan carrots. You could also sprinkle over some chopped walnuts.

Carrot Cake by Betty Bossi

It came as a bit of a surprise to me to learn that carrot cake was popular in Switzerland, mostly because I always associated this succulent cake with the US, the land of indulgent and tempting sweets. But according to Alan Davidson’s The Penguin Companion to Food, the origins of carrot cake can be found in Europe in the Middle Ages when carrots were used as a sweetener in cakes and desserts, with a revival in Britain after World War II when the Ministry of Food distributed recipes for carrot cakes and puddings. Perhaps it was the Americans who corrupted the austere reputation of carrot cakes by introducing the wonderful pairing with cream-cheese frosting? Whilst those on the other side of the pond (and Down Under) prefer the sweetened and frosted versions of carrot cake, the Europeans are a bit more subdued, preferring most of their cakes un-iced, nevermind with a cream-cheese frosting.

Having said that, the Swiss do have a tendency towards the twee. If you have noticed a common theme throughout these photos, it would be the presence of these ever-so-cute marzipan carrots which are traditionally used to decorate carrot cakes. There are many rules in Switzerland, and this particular cake-decorating rule is one which I am happy to abide by. Commonly found in the supermarkets, you can purchase these marzipan decorations as little whole carrots or carrot halves, depending on your preference for sugar.

In Switzerland, the region of Aargau used to be the main source of carrots for the country and several versions of “Rüeblicake” abound, Rüebli being the Swiss-German word for carrot. But the recipe which has been frequently recommended to me, one which has been passed down from generation to generation, comes from Kuchen Cakes & Torten by Betty Bossi, a character I have mentioned previously in my earlier post on Swiss Christmas Walnut Cookies. I was first introduced to this cake by my charming Swiss neighbour who regularly cooks from her tattered, but much loved, editions of spiral-bound Betty Bossi cookbooks. After dinner one evening where she had effortlessly created an eggplant curry with coconut relish, she brought out this cake, still warm in its loaf tin, and proceeded to cut generous slices as her guests looked on eagerly, secretly hoping they would get a piece with a marzipan Rüebli. One can only warm to the notion of a tried-and-tested family favourite and I, ever the shameless recipe requester, was excited to recreate this classic cake at home.

This is a fairly substantial carrot cake, in part due to the ground almonds which contributes to its density, but the ground almonds also keep the cake wonderfully moist, meaning that the cake will keep well for up to a week and even improve after a few days. But if I were to compare it to the other two recipes above, this Rüeblicake is perhaps something I would more prefer to sit down to at breakfast than for dessert, if you know what I mean. It is nevertheless an enjoyable recipe, a wonderful introduction to Swiss baking.

Rüeblicake
Recipe adapted from Kuchen Cakes & Torten by Betty Bossi

350 g (12.5 oz) plain flour
7 g (2 teaspoons) baking powder (usually 1 sachet, if they are sold in sachets where you live)
250 g (9 oz) raw sugar (or light muscovado sugar, light brown sugar, or caster sugar)
1 pinch of salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
2 pinches of freshly ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
250 g (9 oz) carrots, grated
250 g (9 oz) ground almonds
zest and juice of 1 lemon
200 g (7 oz) butter, melted and cooled
4 eggs
Marzipan whole carrots, optional

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease and line a loaf tin. The recipe calls for a 30 cm long loaf tin which may not be commonly found outside of Europe. My suggestion is to use whatever loaf tin you have, making sure that when you fill the tin, leave about 2.5 cm (1 inch) between the batter and the top of the tin. Use any remaining batter to make small muffins. I found this recipe to be enough for a loaf tin measuring 13 x 23 cm plus one mini-loaf.

In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a KitchenAid, mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, ground cardamon, ground nutmeg and ground cinnamon.

Add the carrots, ground almonds, and the zest and juice of the lemon.

In a separate bowl, beat together the melted butter and eggs. Then stir this mixture into the batter.

Pour the batter into the loaf tin and bake for about 65 minutes, or until a cake skewer comes out clean. If you are using marzipan carrots, remove the cake after about 50 minutes and insert the marzipan carrots into the cake as in the photo. Return the cake to the oven and bake for a further 15 minutes, or until a cake skewer comes out clean.

This cake keeps pretty well for about a week, either wrapped in foil or under a covered cake dish.

The Verdict

It wasn’t initially my intention to prepare a post with three carrot cake recipes. With a hectic full-time job, it has been a little tricky fitting in time here and there to work on my blog. So faced with a back-log of recipes and photos to publish, I found it intriguing that I had a couple of carrot cake recipes in the pile. It wasn’t obvious to me before, but clearly I am fond of carrot cakes. But which one?

None of the above-mentioned cakes made me not want to eat more. But one which I feel has been a cherished contribution to my repertoire would have to be … Rachel Allen’s carrot cake.

Although I ought to update the photo for this particular cake … the ones above were taken about a year ago and they are a bit “in-your-face”, me thinks! I had made the cake to take to a friend’s place for afternoon tea and, therefore, didn’t have the liberty to cut and slice the cake for a photo session (which incidentally took place in the few minutes before I had to head out the door).

Despite this course of carrot cake sampling, I have already made notes of a few new carrot cake recipes to try in the very near future. But if you have a favourite carrot cake recipe which you would like to suggest, I would love to hear from you!

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Jo 28 February 2012 at 11:13 pm

Thanh – what a happy post, a veritable Rhapsody in Orange! I’m a big carrot cake fan but haven’t made one in a long time. Again, ugly are demonstrating psychic ability as I’ve been toying with the ever more difficult question – which carrot cake to bake now?! I’ve made the first two recipes, obviously not your third one but it does appeal to me, loving all tags almond. I think a better recipe for a carrot cupcake comes from Eat Me by Xanthe Milton and its called “Bollywood Cupcakes” and is heady with plenty of spice, nuts, sultanas and a moist, damp crumb. Lush stuff. I’ve said this next thing over and over but I’ve made RA’s carrot cake from bake but her carrot and pecan tray bake recipe (also in Bake) to me, is better yet and now the only one of the two I make. I am a pecan fiend but it’s not just the pecans – the texture is fabulous too. As for new recipes to try, I’ve been eyeing up Dan Leppard’s that Sam raves over, a new Mary Berry one in the last Delicious magazine and also one in RVCH. One day, when I need a giant cake, I’ll make the American Master Chef guy’s one from season two (sorry I can’t recall his name but I’ve saved the recipe!) as it looked spectacular on the show.

Goodness, anymore would think I had a serious carrot cake problem after that comment lol! ;)
Fantastic post Thanh – love the playful photos, esp the middle cake and I did LOL at you saying it was too in your face as I loved it the most! :D

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eat, little bird 29 February 2012 at 10:24 pm

Oh I like the sound of the Bollywood Cupcakes! And I do recall you championing Rachel Allen’s carrot tray bake. That sounds like a delicious recipe too. Looks like you’ve also got quite a few carrot cake recipes lined up, LOL!

P.S. If the photos of the middle cake are your favourite, I won’t re-take them :-) Which gives me a chance to perhaps try a different recipe!

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Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious 28 February 2012 at 11:28 pm

I wasn’t much of a carrot cake fan either growing up. It is weird, putting veggies into baked goods, like zucchini muffins or something but they’re actually all delightful treats.

All 3 recipes look fabulous. I will have to try all of them, but I think I’m particularly excited about the carrot cupcakes. I need smaller food items to help me portion control, or I would actually eat an entire cake!

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eat, little bird 29 February 2012 at 10:29 pm

Hi Chung-Ah,

Oh, the thought of using zucchini in cakes is how I initially felt about carrot cakes. And then there’s beetroot … I guess I have to try out some recipes to find out what it’s all about!

The cupcakes are definitely great for portion control. And if you are using marzipan carrots, it also means you are guaranteed one with each cupcake :-)

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Caroline 29 February 2012 at 5:16 am

It used to strike me as odd as well, growing up. A cake made of carrots? Didn’t help that I didn’t like carrots either! I tasted my first one in Scotland. A good one, and it changed my mind for good! My favourite is Rachel Allan’s cake as well and in fact, I am baking that for husband’s work as its been requested, yup, that popular.

I loved reading this post Thanh, and of course, one that digs deep into several recipes for the same type of cake is always good, as someone else has done the work!!

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eat, little bird 29 February 2012 at 10:36 pm

I bet your husband’s work mates all wish their wives could bake like you! How lucky they must be that you bake for them so often :-) I think you were amongst those who recommended this cake to me, so I have you to thank for introducing me to yet another fabulous recipe!

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Heather 29 February 2012 at 6:06 am

While reading through your post, I had one question in mind, which was quickly answered in ‘the verdict’. I was curious how you ate all 3 cakes before being completely sick of carrots, but a backlog of recipes makes sense. Last week I made 2 banana bread loaves, and for some reason the sour cream did not evenly spread, therefore I had huge white lumps throughout my cake. A bit disappointing. I love love love carrot cake. I will have to give those 3 recipes a go. I love adding a little pineapple to my cake :)

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eat, little bird 29 February 2012 at 10:42 pm

LOL! I should confess that I am capable of baking the same cake back-to-back, just to test in close succession which is the best recipe. But thankfully I wasn’t too obsessed with carrot cake to do that.

Shame to hear that your banana bread didn’t work out but I hope it still tasted okay. One thing I can’t bear is wasting good ingredients.

So you add pineapple to your carrot cakes?? That sounds really interesting as I love pineapple cake! I will have to keep an eye out for some carrot cake recipes with pineapple …

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Anita Menon 29 February 2012 at 7:58 am

Wonderful round up of carrots in baking. Loved the beautiful cup cakes. i have seen that one in the Domestic Goddess but always flipped past it. Next time I am going to see if I can make them since my family loves carrot cake

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eat, little bird 29 February 2012 at 10:45 pm

I think it’s easy to overlook this recipe in HTBADG because there is no accompanying photo, but it is definitely one worth making :-)

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Jennifer (Delicieux) 29 February 2012 at 8:06 am

I loved reading about your carrot cake adventures – two recipes by two of my favourite cookbook authors and one new to me. I love Rachel Allen and am surprised that anyone could dislike her. I have her Entertaining At Home book and it’s one of my favourites. I am yet to add Bake to my collection, but it’s certainly on my wishlist.

I love your gorgeous carrot decorations too! I especially love how you buried them in the last carrot cake.

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eat, little bird 29 February 2012 at 10:53 pm

I’m also surprised that some people don’t like Rachel Allen, but I guess we all have our personal preferences. I have Entertaining at Home and have ear-marked so many recipes but am still yet to cook from this book … hopefully soon! I highly recommend Bake and I hope you will add it to your collection soon :-)

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Reem | Simply Reem 29 February 2012 at 10:02 am

Thanh, I have to say i don,t think I have seen better looking carrot cake or cupcake…
This post was itself such a nice read, I must say I learned a little bit more about carrot cake today…
Delicious!!!

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eat, little bird 29 February 2012 at 10:55 pm

Thanks, Reem! After having tried three carrot cake recipes, I hope I was able to share something useful :-)

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Sam-I-am 29 February 2012 at 2:47 pm

Hi Crème!
I LOVED this Chronicle (what an original post!) and read it with great interest and pleasure! I loved how you approached each recipe and gave, what sounds like, very good tips for each! Of the three, I have tried Rachel Allen’s only, and shock, horror, I did not like it! :( I must give it a another go, but it just did not appeal to me. I think it’s is because I am so in love with Dan Leppard’s version from ‘Baker and Spice’ that I cannot see beyond it! (Spoken like a woman really in love!). I ask you to please give it a go, as I respect your opinion greatly!
Here is the recipe:
http://throughtheovendoor.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=1728&p=21856&hilit=my+favourite+carrot+cake#p21856
And here is a photo of it I took a while back (it must be said that this recipe yields a handsome tall cake!):
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001610500936&ref=tn_tnmn#!/photo.php?fbid=166637920066557&set=a.111650005565349.12973.100001610500936&type=3&theater
Still, your post is so beautiful to look at and easy to read, that I look forward to every installment!

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eat, little bird 29 February 2012 at 11:00 pm

Hi Sam! I’m so glad you enjoyed this post :-) I thought of you when I was writing this post as I have Dan Lepard’s carrot cake on my list of things to bake. And since everything you have recommended has always turned out brilliantly, I’m sure I won’t be disappointed by this recommendation. It’s next on my list!

Incidentally, I saw that Baker & Spice is available again on Amazon and I’ve been thinking of ordering it … :-)

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Sam-I-am 29 February 2012 at 11:54 pm

It would be a good buy Creme, especially for someone as talented as you! The Date Shortbread Bars are from there after all! Still, of all the cakes, the carrot one was the most successful in my experience, the other three were ok. But a beautiful book all the same. I love your photography Creme and your posts are always educational. Great idea in comparing 3 different recipes for the same type of cake!

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eat, little bird 1 March 2012 at 7:07 pm

Thank you, Sam! Your words of encouragement are always comforting to me :-)

So … the book has been ordered!!! I think it would be worth it just for the Date Shortbread Bars but even NYinRome recommended this book for the carrot cake, so I think it is a must-have for me :-) Will let you know when it arrives!

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Liz Headon 1 March 2012 at 1:50 pm

Carrot cake was unknown to me too as a child, but I’ve loved it ever since I discovered it. Like you I find I often have problems with the icing – all too often I’ve made quite an expensive cream cheese mixture only to find it is more like a sauce than the topping in the illustration, even if the cake is kept in the fridge.

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eat, little bird 1 March 2012 at 7:22 pm

Oh I’m glad to hear that someone else has my frustrations! But if you try my method next time, Liz, hopefully that will work for you. I basically beat the cream cheese (cold in the fridge) in a bowl until it is smooth, and then I slowly beat in a few tablespoons of icing sugar until I get the desired sweetness and texture. I find the icing sugar makes the cream cheese turn liquidy, which is why I go slowly with it. The advantage of doing without the cream-cheese icing is that the cake keeps for longer … out of the fridge :-)

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The Food Sage 2 March 2012 at 1:30 pm

I’ve always been partial to the cream cheese frosting on carrot cake. And i love the amount you have pooled on top of the cup cakes. Count me in! Carrot cup cakes, here i come!

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eat, little bird 4 March 2012 at 12:22 pm

Oh yes, once you’ve tried carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, going without makes it taste like a totally different cake!

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Jesica @ Pencil Kitchen 5 March 2012 at 7:17 am

I, too, have the same notion towards carrot cakes. Or any cakes that contain roots/vegetables. Such as Zucchini bread. But sometimes, when i happen to find really good looking ones, (tender moist and not pale) I tend to think “people don’t make these enough”. They are classic and yours are beautiful!

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eat, little bird 20 March 2012 at 6:56 pm

Hi Jesica,

Looks like I will have to brave up and try other vegetables in baking, like the zucchini bread you mentioned. I’ll keep you posted!

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At Anna's Kitchen Table 17 March 2012 at 11:51 pm

Ah, a carrot-cake-fest!! Interesting…I must admit to needing cream cheese frosting with mine Thanh :)).
Have you ever heard of mother Berta’s carrot cake? Now, that recipe is ‘to die for’! I’m sure you’d find it if you googled. It contains pineapple and coconut too. Very yummy.

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eat, little bird 20 March 2012 at 6:59 pm

Thanks for the tip, Anna! I will look up Berta’s carrot cake … the addition of pineapple and coconut sounds really delicious!

I must also admit to being a fan of the cream-cheese frosting, but if I am eating cake for breakfast (which I often do!), I don’t feel so guilty if the cake is sans frosting, if you know what I mean ;-)

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unsorsoallavolta 25 March 2012 at 11:07 am

waiting for my rhubarb to be ready for your freshly posted tea cake (which looks super-delicious!!!), I’ll give a try to one of these… I think I’m going with either Nigella’s or Rachel Allen’s one… I’ll let you know about the results ;-)

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eat, little bird 25 March 2012 at 11:44 am

Oh wonderful!! I’m glad to hear that you might try one or two recipes from my blog :-) I will anxiously await to hear which carrot cake recipe you will make!

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unsorsoallavolta 30 March 2012 at 12:41 pm

coming back just to say that I tried Nigella’s muffins with Allen’s icing and they were wonderful! the cakes are already perfect if you want to have a simple snack. the icing adds that little something that makes you say “yum! delicious!” unfortunately I had friends for supper and I had no time to take a photo of the cakes before they were all eaten up! :-)

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eat, little bird 30 March 2012 at 3:36 pm

Oh how wonderful to hear that you tried Nigella’s recipe! And that you made Rachel Allen’s icing! Best of both worlds, I think ;-) I agree that these cupcakes are great as a snack – the icing makes them just that little bit more special :-) Thanks for popping back to let me know that you tried these cupcakes! I’m always happy to hear that I may have inspired someone in the kitchen :-)

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unsorsoallavolta 30 March 2012 at 12:43 pm

just to point out …”unfortunately” above only refers to the fact I had no time for the photo, not to the friends, obviously…! I realized the sentence could have been a little odd, sorry

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eat, little bird 30 March 2012 at 3:38 pm

LOL! Not a problem at all :-) I know how it feels when you have guests over and you’re attention is focused on making sure everyone is fed, rather than taking photos. How lucky that your friends were welcomed with your homemade treats! There’s always another time for photos ;-)

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Quynh Anh 11 April 2012 at 11:02 am

The cake and also the muffin look cute! :)

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Jean 15 March 2013 at 1:26 pm

I had to come up with a swift, low-key but attractive and of course delicious bit of bakery last week as a matter of semi-emergency. I flicked through HTBADG, and then was so delighted to discover on FB that you had made and reviewed these. I rose happily at 5 am and launched into carrot-grating, secure in the knowledge that the cupcakes would be a success, and so they were! Thanks, babe!

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eat, little bird 19 March 2013 at 3:44 pm

I’m happy to hear that these cupcakes worked out for you! It’s a great, yet simple, carrot cake recipe. And because the recipe comes from Nigella, you can trust that it will turn out nicely :-)

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Robyn 6 March 2014 at 10:30 am

Love your blog! We share a love of baking and also many of the same cook books.
After reading your Carrot Cake Chronicles, it reminded me of this web article: http://www.goodfood.com.au/good-food/top-10-cook/found-australias-best-carrot-cake-20131116-2xn4m.html
A most touching story where a 90-year-old widower wrote to The Age Newspaper’s Epicure section. ”I am 90-year-old bloke with a passion for carrot cake. My late wife used to make them for me as long as I grated all the carrots. Any suggestions where to buy a really good one? B. Balding.” This led to a hunt for ‘Australia’s Best Carrot Cake”.
The winning entry comes from a gorgeous cook book – The Monday Morning Cooking Club, which is in my collection. I have since made the cake and, yes, it is certainly yummy!

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Eat, Little Bird 6 March 2014 at 10:38 am

Thank you for sharing this link! How sweet that The Age instigated a search for the best carrot cake in response to this widower’s letter. I haven’t heard of the Monday Morning Cooking Club but I am now very intrigued to try their recipe. Since this post, I have actually tried quite a few more carrot cake recipes with a “Part II” of the Carrot Cake Chronicles in mind … hopefully I will get that post together soon :-)

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