I’ve already mentioned that German Coffee Cake was the ‘go-to’ cake for picnics and other large gatherings throughout my childhood. My memory is that this cake would probably have been a runner up, but was more common for my mum to make as a birthday cake as the icing makes it slightly more celebratory – that was our view anyway!
This is a simple carrot cake – no nuts, no dried fruit, few spices – but has a lovely light texture and relative lack of sweetness that offsets the luscious icing beautifully. I’ve reduced the sugar and oil quantities slightly over time as I think some of the early ‘healthy’ cakes overdid these to make up for the (perceived) lack caused by adding vegetables and not using butter. It also works well substituting half wholemeal flour.
As I’ve said, this is another of the large, feed-a-crowd cakes that seem all too common in my family, but you could certainly halve the recipe and bake in a 22cm (9”) square pan. On this occasion, we actually made a ring cake that took about 35 min, and some cup cakes that took about 15 min, to feed the tribe of grandchildren currently staying at my parents’ property and helping with the baking…
Classically this is served with a cream cheese icing, and I’ve included the recipe below as well, but this time we served it with a mascarpone glaze, made with my mother’s homemade mascarpone.
Cinnamon Carrot Cake
- 300g SR flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 350g sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 eggs
- 250ml flavourless oil (macadamia is good, and sunflower or grapeseed would also work)
- 3 c grated carrot (approx 3 large carrots)
- 250g mascarpone
- 60g soft butter
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- zest of 1 lemon
- 160g icing sugar
Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan forced). Grease and line a large baking pan – I use this one. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Stir through grated carrot, breaking up any clumps. Whisk eggs and oil in a jug, and add to dry ingredients. Stir until thoroughly combined. Alternatively, you can also combine all ingredients in a large food processor on medium speed just until smooth.
Bake for approximately 50 min until a cake tester comes out clean. Leave in the pan until cold.
For the glaze, beat mascarpone and butter until smooth, add vanilla and zest and beat in sugar until a smooth and thick pouring consistency. Pour over the cake to serve.
Cream Cheese Icing
- 250g cream cheese
- 60g butter
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla
- approx 200g icing sugar (depends on how thick and sweet you want the icing)
For the icing, cream room temperature butter and cream cheese until smooth, add vanilla, and beat in icing sugar until smooth and fluffy. Cover cake roughly with icing.