The carrot cake bet.

Remember, blurb at the bottom!


  • 140ml vegetable oil;
  • 2 free-range eggs;
  • 200g light brown sugar, or demerara sugar;
  • 300g grated carrot (grated weight);
  • 100g pecans, chopped;
  • 180g self-raising flour;
  • A pinch of salt;
  • 0.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda;
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon;
  • 0.5 tsb freshly ground nutmeg;
  • 0.5 tsp mixed spice.

For the cream cheese icing:

  • 200g full fat cream cheese;
  • 50g icing sugar, sifted;
  • 50g unsalted butter, room temperature;
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract.


  • Preheat oven to 150°C / 130°C fan.  Oil and line a 900g loaf tin.
  • Beat the eggs in a large bowl, then add the oil, the sugar, the carrot, and then the nuts.
  • Sift in the remaining ingredients, then thoroughly mix together.
  • Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 1hr 15 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool and get on with the icing.
  • For the icing, beath together the ingredients until smooth.  Wait until the cake is cool and spread the icing over the top using a palette knife. If it is difficult to spread, then run the knife under some hot water to warm it up.  Or just eat the icing from the bowl.

For the fear of circular cake-tin-based bakes…

…as in my experience, these rarely go well.  I seek comfort in a loaf tin, and I don’t even know why.  It might be simply because the very first cake I ever baked which turned out alright (a tea-loaf) was born out of one.

This cake was born out of a bet at work (you can read more about it here).  Basically, I moved out of my private office in the autumn, as we had become a smaller team.  My colleague said that if I lasted a year outside the comforting loaf tin that was the Director of H.R. office, she would bake me a carrot cake.  If I left the desk within that time, I owed her one.  As it turned out, I resigned to take on an amazing project, and therefore she won by default. 

This carrot cake, baked last weekend, was a somewhat selfish test-run of the cake that will be awarded to my colleague.  First try was the charm, but either way we were keeping this baby in the apartment.  Adapted a little from a BBC recipe, the carrot cake was easy to bake and bloody delicious.  We still have some left, and it is still retaining an amazing taste and perfect moisture.  The original recipe called for raisins, but The European despises them so they were omitted; I chucked in an extra 25g of pecans instead.

The carrot cake loaf fed us – or is feeding us – well for working-from-home elevenses as well as supper.  I am sure my colleague will be as happy as we are, though I am especially sad that I did not win the bet, as I know she would have done better.  She is an amazing baker.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s