Carrot Cake

I recently decided to bake my mum one of her favourite cakes – carrot cake. Now it’s not something that I have acquired a taste for, so when I was searching the internet for a recipe, it was important to me that I felt confident in my choice. I absolutely love Waitrose recipes, the raspberry meringue cake that mum made was exquisite, so when I saw the Martha carrot cake traybake recipe for Waitrose, I knew I was onto a winner.

Usually when I attempt a new recipe I do a trial run, but there wasn’t time for this and I was doing my best to keep it a secret, so I couldn’t really kick my mum out of her kitchen twice. Plus I wasn’t sure who I could have given the trial cake too. However, the cake came out quite well, despite two mishaps along the way. The first was using the wrong tin, what should have been a traybake ended up being just one big square cake (my usual traybake tin is actually smaller than most) and the second was that I burnt rather than caramelised the nut brittle topping. Despite these two things though, my mum said the actual cake and the cream cheese icing was very tasty, so I will definitely be making this again for her. And even though I made this just for my mum, it’s definitely not a one person portion, so make sure you know a few people that like carrot cake or freeze a few portions maybe.

So if you would like to give this cake a go then the recipe is below. Happy Baking!

Martha’s Carrot Cake Traybake for Waitrose


For the cake:

150g soft dark brown sugar

150g golden caster sugar

300ml sunflower oil

3 medium eggs

300g plain flour

1 teaspoon of bicarbonate soda

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon of ground ginger

½ teaspoon of salt

300g grated carrots

100g chopped walnuts

For the icing & topping:

100g full fat cream cheese

30g unsalted butter, softened

200g icing sugar

100g walnuts (I used pecans)

100g caster sugar

How to…

Preheat the oven to 170°C and line a large baking tray (23cm x 33cm) with greaseproof paper

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugars, oil and eggs until smooth

Add the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt and continue to beat until well mixed

Stir in the grated carrots and chopped walnuts

Pour the mixture into the lined tin and bake for 35-40 minutes (insert a skewer into the middle of the cake and if it comes out clean, remove the cake from the oven)

carrot cake - pre bakecarrot cake

Allow the cake to cool in the tin before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely

Note: the original recipe has the icing instructions first, but as the brittle has to cool down slightly, I’ve rearranged the order

For the brittle, line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and scatter your chosen nuts on it

Put the caster sugar and 2 tablespoons of water in a saucepan and simmer over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved

Then turn the heat up and boil until it turns a dark amber colour – keep an eye on this as it turns colour quite quickly and be careful not to spill any on the hob

Carefully pour the hot caramel over the nuts and leave to cool completely before breaking up and blitzing in a food processor to create chunks of brittle

Pecan nut brittle

To make the icing, whisk together the cream cheese and butter

Add the icing sugar in a few separate additions until it is all combined and then whisk on a high speed for 5 minutes until the mixture is thick, pale and light

Spread the icing over the cooled cake and sprinkle the brittle over the top before slicing and serving

Carrot cakeCarrot cake


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