carrot cakeCarrot cake had been on my mind for what seemed like ages. There are a few recipes I love (Tessa Kiros makes a great carrot cake), but I had yet to create my own. I wanted it to be perfect. Not too heavy (no thick frostings) and it needed to be beautifully fragrant. The type of cake that the neighbors can smell you baking if you open your windows nice and wide.
Perhaps the reason it took me so long to come up with my own recipe was because of that silly quest for perfection I struggle with. (Still working on that.) Last week, however, I decided to experiment. If the results were not as good as my favorites, so what? I could always try again. Learn from my mistakes.
With no expectations, I scribbled a recipe in an old notebook, tied on an apron and set to work. The results were pretty good. Not perfect, but good enough for me to share with you. Who needs perfection anyway?
This cake is light and fresh, and it tastes of autumn and good things. A cake you’ll want to savor with a crisp lemon tea and a good friend.
PS: In case you’re wondering, it’s ‘Frenchified’ because I used those gorgeously aromatic French gingerbread spices for pain d’épices.

Happy baking!

Frenchified Carrot Cake
Serves 8

  • 250g all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp pain d’épices spices
  • 3 eggs
  • 120ml sunflower oil
  • 140g light brown sugar
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 210g grated carrots

For the glaze:

  • 150g powdered sugar
  • 4 tbsps lemon juice

Preheat oven to 180C. Butter a 23 x 23 cm square baking pan and line the bottom with baking paper. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and French gingerbread spices. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, oil, brown sugar and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients and the grated carrots to the dry and combine well. Transfer the mixture to the prepared cake pan and bake for approximately 30 minutes. Leave to cool completely. To make the glaze, combine the sugar with the lemon juice and drizzle over the cake.

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