Friday 26th June is my birthday! So I’m celebrating by posting 3 birthday cake recipes this week.
The first one uses my favourite cake at the base and the decoration simply follows the theme through. I love carrot cake, there’s something so magical how wonderfully sweet the carrots make the cake and a tangy cream cheese frosting just makes it even better.
The idea behind this cake was that carrots were meant to growing out a field of cream cheese icing with carrot cake soil. To create the grass effect, you could use the #233 piping nozzle to create the grass effect but if you do not have that nozzle at home, there are some great substitutes:
- Pass the icing through a potato ricer or a garlic press
- Spread out the frosting, and use a toothpick to create peaks
- Make your own #233 nozzle using this brilliant guide by Ann Reardon from How to Cook That
You can find out how to make fondant carrots with your own fondant by clicking here.
I use a large roasting tin (14in x 10in x 2in) to bake the cake meaning it only takes 15 minutes to bake. You can use a smaller tin if you prefer but remember to adjust the baking time.
50ml sunflower oil
150g granulated sugar
1 tbsp runny honey
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon
200g self-raising flour
250g carrot, coarsely grated
40g mixed peel
4 pieces of crystallised ginger, finely diced
60g flaked almonds
150g full-fat cream cheese
100g icing sugar
100g white chocolate, melted but cooled
Green food colouring paste
12 fondant carrots, which you can find out how to make here
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line the roasting tin with a large sheet of baking parchment, making sure there is enough excess so the cake can be easily removed from the tin.
Put the margarine, oil, sugar and honey into a large bowl and using a wooden spoon, beat until the margarine turns a few shades lighter and it is fluffy. Add the eggs one by one beating well so that the eggs are completely incorporated after each addition. Then fold through the flour, mixed spice and cinnamon, working quickly and being careful not to overwork the batter. Put the grated carrot and all the dried fruit, nuts and ginger into the batter, folding through.
Turn out into the cake tin, scraping down the bowl completely and levelling out the cake batter so it is even. Bake for about 15 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack and cooling completely.
For the cream cheese icing, beat together the cream cheese with the margarine until soft and light. Sift in the icing sugar and beat for 5 minutes until the icing is smooth. Pour in the cooled white chocolate and work through. Add some green food colouring paste so that the icing turns a bright vibrant grassy green. Transfer into a piping bag fitted with a #233 nozzle (or whichever method you are using) and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
When you are ready to assemble, pipe the green cream cheese icing over the top of the cake. You’ll notice my handmade #233 nozzle didn’t work perfectly so it looks like I will have to invest in a #233 nozzle however you can spread it out if you prefer, which I ended up doing instead. Top with the 12 carrots and the remaining stalks.