carrot cake

I make this carrot cake without sugar, it’s based on Ottolenghi’s carrot and walnut cake, but I’ve simplified it. You can make it with sugar, or coconut sugar or xylitol (and you really can’t tell there’s no sugar in it if you go down that route) It’s just as delicious with or without. My friend Ralph took it to work and people couldn’t believe that there was no sugar in it because it was so delicious!


Serves 10.


160g self raising flour (or I use 160g wholemeal spelt with 2 teaspoons of baking powder)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
200g mild olive oil
250g Xylitol or coconut sugar or Stevia (or normal sugar if you prefer) (Xylitol can be dangerous to pets if consumed)
50g chopped walnuts
50g desiccated coconut
140g grated carrots
2 egg whites
Pinch of salt

Maple frosting
175g cream cheese or vegan cream cheese
1/4 cup of butter or dairy-free margarine, at room temperature
2 tablespoons of maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
(Add a couple of cups of powdered sugar, if using)

Set the oven to 170°C. Coat a 20 cm spring-form cake tin with cake release spray on the inside.
Sift the flour and spices together and set aside.
Put the oil, xylitol or the sugar of your choice, the egg and egg yolk in a large bowl and beat with a whisk or with an electric mixer till paler in colour.
By hand, mix in the walnuts, carrot and coconut, followed by the flour and spices. With an electric whisk, beat the egg whites with the salt in a clean bowl until they form stiff peaks.
Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the cake batter, but do not over stir.
Tip into the cake tin and bake for approx 60 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean from the centre.
Let the cake cool completely before taking out of the tin.

Maple frosting
Put all the ingredients in a bowl and beat with an electric whisk till fluffy
Decorate your cake with the frosting and some finely chopped walnuts, lightly toasted or whatever you fancy.

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