This recipe is a slight twist on a much-adored classic, with fresh ginger adding a fresh zing to balance the sweetness of the cream cheese frosting. The perfect sweet to enjoy on a leisurely afternoon with a cup of tea.
200g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp fine sea salt
175g soft light brown sugar
2 large free-range eggs, at room temperature
200ml vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
250g carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
100g walnut pieces, roughly chopped, plus extra for decorating
100g unsalted butter, softened
100g icing sugar, sieved if lumpy
1 tsp cornflour
100g cream cheese
1 tbsp coarsely grated fresh root ginger
Preheat the oven to 170C and grease the sides and line the base of a 20cm/8in springform cake tin with baking paper.
Mix the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, ground ginger and salt together in a bowl.
Beat the sugar, eggs and oil in another large bowl until they are completely mixed together, then gradually add the flour mixture. At this stage the mixture may seem alarmingly stiff, but the carrots will loosen it up. Beat in the carrots and then fold in the walnuts until everything is evenly combined.
Spoon into the prepared tin. Don’t worry if it looks as if you haven’t got enough batter, as the cake will rise well as it bakes. Smooth the top and bake for 45–55 minutes. When it’s ready, the cake will be set and golden brown on top, beginning to shrink away from the edges of the tin and a cake tester will come out with just a few crumbs stuck to it. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool in its tin.
Meanwhile, to make the icing, beat the butter and icing sugar together and when combined, beat in the cornflour, followed by half the cream cheese. Once that’s incorporated, beat in the remaining half. Be careful not to over-beat or the icing will get too runny. Squeeze the juice from the grated ginger into the bowl and mix in, discard the ginger flesh. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge.
When the cake is completely cold, take the icing out of the fridge for about 20 minutes. Beat briefly to make sure it’s smooth. Remove the cake from its tin and place on a plate or cake stand. Spread the icing on top, swirling it a little, then sprinkle some chopped walnuts on top.