If you have read the previous post about ‘my first year blogging’, then you must already know a little about this cake.
I usually cook, take photos, write a post and then publish it on the same day or the day after. This post is different, though. I made this cake and took the photos a little while ago. The reason why I made this cake, for those who are still wondering, is to celebrate my blog first anniversary which was in June. I wish the blog was available at that time, as we could have celebrated together. But unfortunately, it was undergoing some major renovations, and so I couldn’t post for a while! But the good news is that it’s up and running now with a new design (I hope you like it), and I made sure this was the first recipe I share with you. Now that it’s too late for an anniversary celebration let’s consider it a celebration of the new blog design.
I don’t have any of this cake in the fridge right now, but if you would come over for a visit anytime, this is the cake I know I will be making for you. I just looooove it! I have made it several times now, and everytime I make it I like it even more.
The thing about carrot cake, is that although the name sounds like it’s a very healthy cake (come on, it has carrots in it!) unfortunately, it’s usually not even close! Don’t get me wrong, a carrot cake is a beautiful cake, but the amount of refined sugar often added to the cake batter and the frosting can sometimes turn me off a little. So I have been working on a recipe for a Carrot cake that is just as nutritious as it sounds. It took me three trials to get the texture and the taste just right! And I was blown away by how deeeelicious it turned out to be!
So here I have replaced the butter with a better fat which is coconut oil (you won’t even notice the difference in taste), and replaced the refined sugar with pure natural maple syrup, and the natural sugar from the apples also helped with the sweetness. The walnuts give the cake a unique texture ( so don’t chop too much), and the almond meal adds some extra moisture. The spices in this cake are cinnamon and ginger which give this extra kick of flavor. Last but definitely not least, is the mouthwatering salted caramel drizzle made out of COCONUT BUTTER!! It honestly took this cake to a whole different level of deliciousness. I couldn’t stop drizzling!
This cake might look a bit overwhelming to you in the pictures because of the layers, but in real dimensions, it’s actually not a big cake at all, and so it’s easy to handle and frost. You can make this cake smaller by only going two layers instead of four, especially if this is the first layered cake you make, and honestly, it will look just as good. (note: the batter ingredients in the recipe below calls for only two layers, so to make four layers you will have to make the same batter twice).
I think decorating a cake always comes down to your own taste as well as your mood at the time. For this cake, I preferred to keep it simple, so I’ve decided to go naked with a caramel drizzle on top. But you may like to decorate it with edible flowers, sprinkle it with shredded coconut or crushed walnuts, whatever you like, it’s totally up to you. I would love to see your additions to this gorgeous cake, so please if you ever make it, don’t forget to share a photo with me either on social media or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
To assemble the cake and frost it, follow these few simple steps
- Trim off the round top of each cake using a serrated bread knife to make them as flat as possible.
- Stack your cakes on top of each other without the filling in between, just to check if they are stable enough. *Tip: to achieve a better stability and a smoother finish, stack them by placing the first bottom layer with its trimmed side up and the last top layer with its trimmed side down, the layers in between doesn’t matter that much. Adjust trimming if needed for more stability.
- Unstack your cake, bring your prepared filling, shredded coconut, a spoon and a spatula close to your working space to start stacking.
- Place first layer trimmed side up on a board or straight on your cake stand, then add a generous amount of filling in the centre (making sure you have equal amounts for each layer), spread evenly and gently with a spatula to cover the cake. add the second layer of cake and press down gently. Repeat with the filling.
- Sprinkle the shredded coconut on top of the cheese filling covering the second layer. Continue stacking. (I added shredded coconut only once in the middle)
- Place the last layer on top, trimmed side down for a smoother finish.
- Add a generous amount of filling on top and smoothen the surface using a spatula, let the extra frosting hang over the sides of the cake and use it to fill in any gaps all around the sides of the cake, especially between layers.
- Add some extra frosting to the sides of the cake and smoothen the surface as much as you can using the flat side of the spatula (you are not after a perfectly smooth frosted cake here, so don’t stress!). I used a metal dough cutter towards the end as I liked how it was easy to hold and it removed any extra unneeded frosting from the surface of the cake. (wipe off any extra frosting that remains on your spatula and start smoothing again to get a cleaner finish).
- Clean up around the cake if you are not transferring the cake to a clean cake stand. I prefer to transfer the cake since it’s not a big or a heavy one. I used a wide flat cooking utensil and slid it under the cake, then carefully transferred it to a cake stand.
- Drizzle the prepared Caramel on top and leave some extra for serving.
If you like this cake go a head and make it for your loved ones or share the recipe with some one who you think can wake up one morning and decide to make it for you 🙂
- CAKE BATTER for a 2 layered cake: (*multiply by 2 if you are making a 4 layered cake)
- 2*18cm round cake tin
- baking paper
- 4 organic or free range eggs
- 2 tablespoons raw soft brown sugar
- 200 ml pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 170 g melted extra virgin organic coconut oil, (not warm, just melted), extra for greasing
- 1 and 3/4 cups (175g) spelt flour, sifted
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 cup almond meal
- 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 2 large carrots, finely grated
- 2 apples, peeled and finely grated
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut (to add between layers)
- CHEESE FILLING: (* filling ingredients are enough for the 4 layered cake, if you are making a 2 layered cake then half each ingredient)
- 500 g ricotta cheese
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 150 ml light cooking cream
- SALTED CARAMEL DRIZZLE: (save some for serving)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons coconut butter (not coconut oil) alternatively use organic unsalted butter.
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon raw soft brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of cinnamon (1/4 teaspoon)
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
- Grease two 18cm round cake tins with a little coconut oil and line the bases and sides with baking paper.
- Place the eggs in the bowl of your electric mixture and beat on medium speed for about 2 mins or until frothy and slightly thicker.
- Add the maple syrup and brown sugar and keep beating until thick and pale in color.
- Gradually add the melted coconut oil while still beating, then add the vanilla extract.
- Stop beating.
- Add the bicarb soda and baking powder to the flour and mix to combine.
- Add the flour mix to the egg mixture in the bowl and fold in until combined
- Mix in carrots, apples, walnuts, almond meal and spices (ginger,cinnamon) until combined
- Divide the batter equally between the prepared tins, shake and tap the tin gently on a flat surface to level the batter.
- Bake for 40-50 mins or until a wooden skewer comes out clean when inserted all the way into the centre of the cake.
- Cool in tins for at least 20 mins before turning out on a board or a wire rack.
- REPEAT previous steps for the next 2 layers.
- Place the cheese and light cream in the bowl of your electric mixer and beat on medium- high speed until thick and creamy (about 3 mins), add vanilla and maple syrup and beat for a few more seconds to combine.
- Add the maple syrup and brown sugar to a small pan on medium heat and move the pan around to dissolve the sugar.
- as soon as it starts bubbling, put the heat down to low and add the coconut butter
- Using a whisk,beat the mixture until all lumps disappear
- Add the cream and beat gently on low heat for 2 mins or until it starts thickening.
- Add salt,vanilla and a pinch of cinnamon
- Turn the heat off and stir to combine.
- Leave to cool down completely.
- To assemble the cake: follow the step-by-step tutorial with pictures in the post above.
- This batter recipe will make a 2 small cakes for a 2 layered cake. Make one more batch if you wish to make a 4 layered cake.
- Don't worry if your batter is not runny, this is how it should be with all the dry ingredients you have added.
- Leave the caramel to cool down completely before drizzling on the cake. It gets thicker once cooled, which will make it hold on to the cake more (you want that!)
- The filling recipe is for the 4 layered cake. Make half the amount of filling if you are making a 2 layered cake.
- prepare filling and caramel while cakes are baking to save time.