This carrot cake recipe is a classic that perfectly balances moistness and flavor. It is lightly spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon, allowing the flavors of dried fruits and nuts to shine through. Best of all, it’s super easy to make and lasts for days when properly stored. This recipe is adapted from First Crack Your Egg!, a cookbook inspired by the BBC2 series Kitchen Criminals. You can thank Angela Hartnett, owner of the delightful Nonna’s in London, for the carrot cake recipe.
¾ cup sugar
1 cup whole wheat flour plus ½ cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 ¼ cup mixed raisins and nuts (walnuts or pine nuts work well)
2 cups grated carrot
1 teaspoon baking powder or baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons nutmeg
1 ½ teasoons cinnamon
Grease and flour a 9-inch round cake tin. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and oil together. Mix in the flour, spices and baking soda (or baking powder) to create a batter. Fold in carrot, raisins and nuts until evenly distributed; the batter will be thick. Pour the batter into the cake tin, being careful not to fill it more than two-thirds full since the cake will rise as it bakes.
Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees F or until well risen. Insert a toothpick or knife into the center of the cake and remove it; if it’s clean the cake is done, if not continue baking another five or ten minutes and repeat the toothpick test.
Chef Hartnett suggests keeping the cake in an airtight tin for three or four days before eating it. I wasn’t able to wait that long and the cake tasted delicious the day it was baked! To serve, dust lightly with confectioners sugar. You can also serve it with whipped cream on the side, but my favorite accompaniment is mascarpone whipped with a touch of sugar and vanilla.