Easter time certainly calls for cake. What better to eat with a hot, steaming mug of tea this virtuous and delicious carrot sponge with a maple whipped yoghurt icing?!
Light, spongy and undoubtedly delicious, I favour this above many other cakes because it makes use of a veg that is often neglected among others, in my fridge drawer. I also feel that I am also doing good for my body, fitting in a bit of carroty goodness whilst I indulge my sweet tooth.
If you were to pop over to my house right now, and indeed anytime before easter, you are likely to see some form of this proudly perched on my cake stand because I am in fact having a love affair with this carrot cake (as this picture denotes.) True, it is also most likely to be half demolished from my drinks party guests, or my midnight munchies (I couldn’t even keep my assistants off before we got to photographing it) but I love it all the more, even when it is squashed and no longer pretty.
Naturally I created this cake to be a lighter, less butter laden sort then you might be familiar with. To do this it is a simple swapping out of a little butter for yoghurt, to keep the cake light and moist without making it heavy. If you are looking for dairy free alternatives, I find coconut yoghurt and milk tend to make the cake dense, so go for a light tasting olive, or coconut, oil and a dairy free yoghurt alternative.
Carrot and Pecan Cake with Maple Icing
For those that want to be a bit more adventurous, I also make this recipe with beetroot and parsnip too, or a mix of both, depending on what I have to hand. If you try it with either, I recommend adding an extra tablespoon of sugar, because both tend to be less sweet than carrots
Makes one 18cm round cake
- 100g butter, plus extra for greasing
- 50g yoghurt
- 150g coconut sugar
- 3 free-range eggs
- 200g white spelt flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp grated nutmeg
- Zest of 1 orange
- 100g raisins
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and grated (approx 180g)
- 100g pecans, toasted and roughly chopped, plus extra to decorate
For the Maple Icing
- 250 g thick greek yoghurt
- 4-5 tbs maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 180C
Grease and line two 18cm sandwich tins with baking paper.
Melt the butter in a small pan over a low flame, then add it to a large bowl with the coconut sugar and eggs. Mix well, with a whisk, until the ingredients are thoroughly combined and the mixture has almost doubled in volume.
Sift together the spelt flour, baking powder bicarb of soda, salt and spices and then fold very gently into the liquid mixture, being careful to knock as little air out as possible. Fold in the remaining ingredients and divide the mixture between the tins.
Bake for about 30 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Then leave the cakes to one side to cool to room temperature
Meanwhile, gentle mix the icing ingredients and refrigerate. When the cakes are cool enough to ice, remove from the tins, top one with half the icing, and then the other cake. Frost the top, and decorate with the remaining pecans and dusting of cinnamon