Carrot cake is always a popular favourite and there are many variations to make. Back in the 1980s when I worked in a lovely daytime cafe in Godalming, Surrey, I used to make large trays topped with a rich cream cheese topping. In that decade a cake with vegetables was quite a strange thing! Nowadays all sorts of vegetables end up in a cake be it for health or flavour reasons.
Using vegetables in a cake keeps it moist and helps reduce the addition of too much sugar as they contain natural sugars.
The other day, wanting to make a carrot cake, i found myself short on carrots…. but I did have a sweet potato and a parsnip needing to be used up. So this is the recipe I created, and I think the colour and flavour is even better than my original carrot cake recipe.
What do you think?
Sweet-car-par Cake with a Citrus Cream Cheese Frosting
- Makes 1 large cake 20cm x 30cm or 12 large muffins
- 250 g wholemeal plain flour
- 175 g dark brown sugar
- 175 g light brown sugar
- 75 g dessicated coconut
- 90 g grated carrot
- 90 g grated parsnip
- 90 g grated sweet potato
- 3 large eggs or if you have some egg yolks over from making meringues and don't know what to do with them, I have successfully made this cake using 3 egg yolks and 1 whole egg
- 1 tsp/5g bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp/5g ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp/5g ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp vanilla essence
- 50 g cream cheese or greek yogurt
- 175 ml sunflower oil
- Optional extras - handful of raisins sultanas or walnuts
- 100 g full fat cream cheese
- 50 g unsalted butter
- 50 g sifted icing sugar
- Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
- Pre-heat oven Gas Mark 3/150C
- Place the eggs, sugars, oil, vanilla essence and cream cheese or yogurt in a large mixing bowl.
- Whisk well until creamy - about 2 minutes.
- In another bowl sift together the flours, spices and bicarbonate of soda.
- Gently fold into the wet mixture, mixing well.
- Combine the grated vegetables together and add to the mixture with the coconut.
- Spoon into the cake tin or muffin cases.
- Bake for 45 minutes- 1 hour for the cake and 30-35 minutes for the muffins.
- When the cake is cooled, turn out. Mix the topping ingredients together until smooth and spread thickly over the top.