Easy Carrot Cake (dairy free)

1 Oct

At medical school, one of the best things (or worst things, depending on which way you look at it) is SNACKS. Every week, twice a week, about eight of us meet up in a room to discuss medical cases and try to get out heads around the science behind them. Obviously one cannot be expected to learn dutifully without the provision of snacks…food for the brain? Energy to keep going? Or just a motivation to get through the morning? Any which way you look at it, food is good, and working hard is hungry work (or at least, that’s how I justify it!).

I quite like making home made cakes to take in, but sometimes time is of the essence and so I’m looking for simple ways to create quick tasty home made goodies. This term I also have a person allergic to nuts, and a person who is lactose and fructose intolerant, so it made finding a suitable cake recipe a bit more difficult. I find often that some of the recipes for allergy sufferers either taste awful or call for the most bizarre, expensive and difficult to find ingredients, so I was determined to find something that worked. I leafed through a load of recipes online but was very uninspired, until I remembered one of my favourite recipes and wondered whether it might be suitable. It was!

Now I don’t know too much about fructose intolerance, but one thing I read was that in general people who suffer from fructose intolerance are normally fine with fruits and vegetables that have a high glucose:fructose ratio. The glucose affects the digestion of the fructose somehow, thereby not causing problems in the majority of people. Carrots and raisins seemed to be okay, but if you do have someone with a severe fructose allergy, DO CHECK what fruits/vegetables they can eat before embarking on this baking sesh. Similarly, check that there are no traces of nuts in your ingredients if serving it to people with nut allergies.

If you want to make it for someone with a gluten allergy, try substituting the wheat flour for a general gluten-free flour (normally a mix of soya, potato and rice flour), or something similar. I’ve never tried this recipe gluten-free so if you do, let me know how it turns out.

This recipe is SO easy, and so delicious! I’ve made it as cupcakes (reduce cooking time to around 17-22 mins) and topped them with cream cheese frosting (obviously not a good choice for lactose-intolerants!), and this was the first time I tried it as a cake. It’s one of the things I bake which my mum absolutely loves, and when I made them for her birthday party last year they were gone within 10 minutes!

Recipe (courtesy of BBC Good Food)

  • 175g light muscovado sugar
  • 175ml sunflower oil (personally I use 150ml as I don’t feel it makes a huge difference and am constantly striving to try to make recipes that little bit healthier)
  • 3 large eggs , lightly beaten
  • 140g grated carrots (about 1 big one)
  • 100g raisins
  • grated zest of 1 large orange
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp grated nutmeg (freshly grated will give you the best flavour)

For the icing:

  • 175g icing sugar (this will be enough to cover the entire cake with a layer of icing, if you would prefer to drizzle a pattern you won’t need this much. If you want less, just add little bits of the juice until you get to the consistency you want! Simples.)
  • 1½-2 tbsp orange juice
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4/fan 160C. Oil and line the base and sides of an 18cm square cake tin with baking parchment. The easiest way to do this is to cut two long strips the width of the tin and put each strip crossways, covering the base and sides of the tin, with a double layer in the base.
  2. Tip the sugar into a large mixing bowl, pour in the oil and add the eggs. Lightly mix with a wooden spoon. Stir in the grated carrots, raisins and orange rind.
  3. Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices, then sift into the bowl. Lightly mix all the ingredients – when everything is evenly amalgamated stop mixing. The mixture will be fairly soft and almost runny.
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 40- 45 minutes, until it feels firm and springy when you press it in the centre. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn it out, peel off the paper and cool on a wire rack. (You can freeze the cake at this point.)
  5. Beat together the frosting ingredients in a small bowl until smooth – you want the icing about as runny as single cream. Set the cake on a serving plate and boldly drizzle the icing back and forth in diagonal lines over the top, letting it drip down the sides.
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One Response to “Easy Carrot Cake (dairy free)”

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