This Little Pig is not really a sweet toothed swine. When asked if it wants sugar in its coffee, This Little Pig likes to reply with originality and humour by cheerily saying “no thank you, I’m sweet enough!” Hilarious, we know. However, This Little Pig often takes its granny out for a coffee and cake and because Grandma Olive loves a good carrot cake, this fine swine has probably tasted more carrot cakes than the average piglet. A carrot cake connoisseur, one could almost jest.
It got to the stage where This Little Pig started muttering, “surely they can’t be that hard to make, they are in every blinking café in Perth.” And thus, the search for the perfect carrot cake recipe began. What you see below piglets, is a combo of several tested recipes combined, with the best traits kept in and the worst traits (i.e. walnuts) kept out. It is moist, zingy and completely delightful when you get the odd bite of zesty ginger. Try this out for a friends birthday treat or on a lazy Sunday and be flabbergasted or gob smacked (what wonderful words) that a. you made this delightful cake and b. you got a serve of veggies in, whilst eating cake (haven’t run that one past Amelia the dietitian so don’t quote This Little Pig on that hee hee).
Carrot, Ginger & Orange Cake w Candied Topping.
Feeds: Lots of greedy piglets – makes a double layer cake.
Prep Time: 30 Mins. Cooking Time: 45 Mins.
The Cake - Ingredients of Delight:
5 Cups x grated carrots (around 4-6 carrots)
½ Cup x crystallized ginger
1 x Orange
2.5 Cups x Plain flour
1 Tbs x Baking Powder
1 Tsp x Baking Soda
1 Tsp x Salt
1 Tsp x Ground Ginger
1 Cup x (120g) Butter (at room temperature)
1.5 Cups x Castor Sugar
4 x Free Range Eggs
2 Tsp x vanilla Extract
2/3 Cup x Milk
The Frosting - Ingredients of Delight:
100g x Butter (at room temperature)
250g x Cream Cheese
50g x Icing Sugar
1 Tsp x Vanilla Extract
The Garnish - Ingredients of Delight:
¼ Cup x Chopped Crystalised Ginger
1 x Orange
50g x Brown Sugar
+ the orange you zest for the cake mixture.
Method of Delightful Cake:
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
- Grate carrots (4-6ish carrots/5 cups worth). This Little Pig definitely recommends using a food processor, unless you have a goal to have wonderful biceps, in that case use a very blunt manual grater and you will be rewarded with tired but firm bingo wings by the end of grating 6 carrots this way.
- Finely dice all of your crystalised ginger (3/4 of a cup) – putting aside ¼ of a cup for your garnish at the end. Zest the skin of your orange (1) – put the orange aside to use in your garnish section.
- Sift your plain flour (2.5 cups) into a medium sized mixing bowl. Sprinkle over your baking powder (1 tbs), baking soda (1 tsp), salt (1 tsp), ground ginger (1 tsp) – just the ground ginger not the crystalised one piglets - and your orange zest. Mix well.
- Chop your butter (120g) into small squares and then in a separate large mixing bowl, beat your butter (with an electric mixer) for around 2-3 mins or until creamy.
- Gradually add in your sugar (1.5 cups) and beat until well combined – around 2-3 mins – until it turns into a nice breadcrumb looking mix.
- Crack your eggs (4) in, one at a time and add your vanilla essence (2 tsp) and beat well.
- Using a low setting on your beater, add around 1/3rd of your flour mixture and beat until just mixed. Add half of your milk (75ml of 150ml in total), then add another 1/3rd of your flour and mix, then the rest of your milk and finish with the rest of the flour. Mix well.
- Sprinkle in your chopped ginger (1/2 a cup) and your lovely grated carrot (5 cups) and mix through well.
- Grease your cake trays (around 22 cm pans).
- Evenly divide your mixture between two pans and make sure the top is smooth and even. Place in oven for 30-45 mins or until they are golden brown and the centre is firm to pat.
- Once cooked, remove and allow to cool completely before creating frosted magic all over it.
Method of Delightful Frosting:
- Chop your butter (100g) into small squares and then in a medium sized mixing bowl, beat your butter (with an electric mixer) for around 2-3 mins or until creamy.
- Pour in your icing sugar (50g), cream cheese (250g) and vanilla extract (1 tsp) and beat until mixed well and light and fluffy.
Method of Delightful Garnish:
- Cut the orange, that you zested for the cake mixture, into quarters.
- Cut your other unblemished orange into 1 cm thick circles.
- In a medium sized pot, on a medium heat (very medium times), heat your brown sugar (50g) until it has melted and become a lovely liquid. Stir constantly.
- Squeeze your zested orange quarters into the sugar – don’t panic piglets, it will curdle momentarily and then will return, once heated to a caramel liquid, continue to stir.
- Now reduce to a low heat and gently place your orange circles into the caramel liquid. Cook on each side for 1 minute and then remove to drain.
Putting The Luscious Cake Together:
- Take ONE of your cake bottoms and if he is not flat on top, grab a sharp knife and shave some of the top off so that he is lovely and flat – ready for the next layer to sit on it easily.
- Take half of your cake frosting and lavishly apply to the top-side of your newly flattened cake base.
- Now gently place your next cake base on top.
- Use the rest of the cake frosting and lavishly apply to the top – this is your time to get swirly and creative piglets.
- Finish by laying (however your creativeness chooses) the caramelized orange slices on top and then finish with lashings of chopped crystalised ginger.
- Serve with a flamboyant and confident hand gesture. Delicious. Oink.