Giant orange chocolate cats, searching for hidden baskets full of goodies, an afternoon spent dyeing eggs with complicated patterns before watching the colourful vinegar swirl down the sink, visits to a giant white bunny and a delicious family dinner were Easter traditions throughout my childhood.
And, there was always cake. While there are no real Easter traditions I’ve followed since moving to London (last year, we ate a Sunday Roast next to the fireplace in the Builder’s Arms), I’m always up for cake.
So I consulted my mom for some options and she shared this carrot cake recipe with lemon cream cheese frosting – perfect for the occasion no matter how you celebrate. It’s a recipe from a friend of hers – Peter Martin – who used to work at a bakery.
FOR THE CAKE
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 lb grated carrots (about 450g)
- 2 cups flour (plus more for dusting)
- 1 tbl baking powder
- 1 tsp soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- Decorations of your choice (I used walnuts, coconut and chocolate eggs)
Also, you’ll need either a tube pan like the one I used, or a 10″ springform.
Pre-heat the oven to 400F / 205C. Grease and flour your pan.
Blend eggs, oil and sugar until smooth and thick.
Stir in grated carrots until coated.
Add in flour, baking powder, soda, salt and cinnamon. Blend until just smooth.
Split the batter in half. Set one half aside. Pour the other half into your pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
Set aside until the baked cake until cool. Run a knife along the sides to be sure it will come loose without breaking. Put a plate on top and carefully invert.
Repeat these last steps with the second half of the batter.
Once you have your two cakes, make sure one has the flat side facing up and the other has the flat side facing down.
Prepare your frosting.
FOR THE FROSTING
- 3/4 cup low fat cream cheese, chilled
- 2 tbl butter, softened
- 2 tsp grated lemon rind
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- dash of salt
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (icing sugar), sifted (note that I only used about half this amount because I thought it was sweet enough, so do taste it as you add this in and decide for yourself!)
Combine cream cheese, butter, lemon rind, vanilla and salt in a large bowl. Mix at high speeed until fluffy.
Gradually add powdered sugar at a low speed until just blended.
Make sure the flat side of one of your cakes is facing up. Frost a thin layer (either letting some drip down the sides like I did, or neatly if you prefer).
Place the other cake on top so that the flat sides are touching in the middle. Frost the top.
Let the decorating begin…
Cut and serve.