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This is a classic cake that is simple yet rich, you can have it as your teatime cake, without frosting. Doubles up as a birthday cake or a showstopper for your next festive meal!
- 150 grams all purpose flour
- 50 grams almonds with or without skin, ground to a powder
- 1/2 tsp ginger powder
- 3/4 teaspoon mixed spice (1/4 tsp each of clove cinnamon & nutmeg powder)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 175 grams unsalted butter at room temperature
- 175 grams soft brown light or dark-muscovado sugar * see notes
- 3 eggs at room temperature
- 100 grams carrots grated 1 loosely packed cup
- zest/grated rind of 1 orange
- 1/3 cup unsweetened orange juice
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature
- 280 grams cream cheese
- 150 grams confectioners' icing/powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup or more crushed walnuts
Grease a 9" round pan with butter and dust some flour. You can also line it with baking parchment if you wish. Keep it aside. Preheat oven to 170 degrees.
Sift the flour with the almond powder, ginger, clove, cinnamon & nutmeg powders, baking powder, baking soda and salt together into a bowl. Repeat one more time to make the cake fluffier. Keep aside.
Beat the butter & sugar until light & fluffy. Add in the egg one at a time and beat until the mixture looks creamy
Blend in the orange zest, juice and the grated carrots.
Now add the flour mixture in parts & gently fold until all the flour has been incorporated.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and level up the surface. Tap twice to remove any excess air bubbles.
Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or till the skewer inserted comes out clean.
Remove & cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Then turn out the cake on a wire rack and cool completely.
When the cake has cooled, slice it horizontally into two halves. Keep aside.
Prepare the frosting by mixing the butter, icing sugar and cream cheese together until blended. Then beat using a whisk till the mixture is smooth & fluffy and no lumps remain.
Dab the centre of a cake stand/serving tray with a little frosting to keep the cake in place.
Place one layer on top of it and cover the surface with 1/3 of the frosting. Place the second layer of the cake over it and cover the top and sides with the rest of the frosting. Level up the surface.
Decorate the entire surface with the crushed walnuts. Serve immediately. The cake tastes good even when served slightly chilled, for about 30-45 minutes.
If you do not have soft brown sugar, you can use caster sugar. The cake may be a tad sweet but the cream cheese will balance it.
If you prefer a sweeter cake you can add 25 grams of white sugar to the brown sugar and beat it along with the butter.
The butter & eggs should always be at room temperature otherwise the batter resembles curd like consistency. The flour should be sifted with baking powder from a height as this also ensures that the cake turns out fluffy.
The picture of when I first baked this cake in a microwave with convection 10 years ago!
Second attempt – when I made the cake using white sugar