This recipe is from our friend Rosie’s mum, from the Wadestown School Cookbook (Wadestown being a suburb in Wellington, New Zealand). When Rosie was a teenager she started making this carrot cake too. It was always her favourite cake growing up – she used to eat the raw mixed ingredients – and it’s such an 80s cake. I remember carrot cake being ubiquitous at cafes and patisseries when I was a kid, but I haven’t seen one gracing a cake display cabinet since forever.
Carrot cake is wholesome, and is perfect for a starving afternoon snack. When Rosie was making this as a teen in New Zealand she would bake it for her older brothers. They’d just moved out of home, first year out of school, and lived in scummy student flats. Rosie describes their flats as ‘dens’. I can imagine a pretty fourteen-year-old Rosie walking into these dirty, boys-y, empty fridge-d flats with this amazing baked cake. Real food! A teenage Rosie with her pretty blond hair, pale skin and ‘rosy’ red cheeks herself a picture of wholesome.
Kate Ford, The Wadestown School Cookbook
2 cups raw sugar
2 cups mixed flour (white and wholemeal)
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
4 cups carrot, grated
1 cup vegetable oil
4 free-range eggs
50g cream cheese
1 cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
A fancy variation on this icing is to use one tub of marscarpone with icing sugar sifted in to taste. This won’t keep as long though, and the cake should be refrigerated.
Preheat oven to 180C. Sift together all dry ingredients. Add carrot and oil and mix. Add eggs one at a time, beating the mixture well. Bake for 40 mins in a 30cm x 20 cm tin (this is quite a tall cake!). Ice when cool.