Sunday, 8 May 2016


Ah the carrot cake! Possibly the most loved of all the vegetable cakes. When you can try the courgette, beetroot and even the avocado cake, for me they don't hold a candle to this tea time classic. How can you make a carrot cake better? Alcohol of course! Thats right, this version contains sultanas which have been soaked in my favorite liquor, Amaretto so that in the midst of the grated carrots and the warm cinnamon and nutmeg spices, you'll get a hit of  booze that makes it's a lot more naughtier than your average carrot cake.

 Of course if you want to make this cake for the kids or you don't drink alcohol you don't have to soak the raisins at all. Well you can, but you can use something like orange juice to compliment the orange zest in the recipe or even some tea which gives the cake a sharp and slightly savory edge. If you don't like sultana's you can leave them out as well if you wish. Why not replace them with some dried cranberries or candied peel for a more fruity vibe or add in some chopped nuts to give your cake a bit of crunch.

On top of the cake I've added a lemon cream cheese frosting which really compliments the flavors of the cake. You don't need to frost the cake if you want to reduce the calories of each slice and you could maybe just finish the cake off with a dusting of icing sugar and cinnamon or why not use an icing of water and icing sugar if you don't want to use cream cheese. You can even sprinkle some extra lemon or orange zest on top to really ramp up the fruitiness of the cake.

Lets get to the recipe. You will notice that the first step involves soaking the sultana's in amaretto. You should do this for at least an hour but if you know in advance that you wish to try this cake, soak the sultana's overnight in an air tight container and they will become super plump and juicy. Once you've soaked the sultana's you can have this cake ready in roughly just under 2 hours.

Boozy Carrot And Sultana Cake

100g Sultanas
2 Tbsp Amaretto
3 Large Eggs
100ml Sunflower Oil
100g Light Brown Sugar
200g Grated Carrot
200g Self Raising Flour
Zest Of An Orange
1 Tsp Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp Nutmeg
1 Heaped Tsp Baking Powder
200g Cream Cheese
2 Tbsp Icing Sugar
Zest Of A Lemon

  1. Begin by putting the sultana's and amaretto in a bowl and give them a good mix together. Leave to rest for at least one hour but the longer you can leave them the better. When your ready to start making the cake, grease and line a 23cm cake tin and pop your oven on to 180 degrees (160 fan).
  2. Crack the eggs into a large bowl with the sunflower oil and brown sugar and give everything a good beat together until smooth and well combined. Add in the carrot, flour, orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg and baking powder and foldeverything though until everything is evenly distributed and well combined with no streaks of any flour or baking powder.
  3. Pour the batter into your cake tin, level out the mixture and then pop into the oven for 30-35 minutes until golden brown on top and an inserted skewer comes out nice and clean.
  4. Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rake to cool completely.
  5. Once the cake has cooled, make your frosting by placing thecream cheese, icing sugar and lemon zest into a bowl and slowly fold everything together until combined and smooth. Don't go mad and over beat or the frosting will become to runny. If you do, then add some more icing sugar to thicken it up. 
  6. Place the frosting in the fridge for 15 minutes to allow it to firm slightly before removing and spreading evenly over the top of the cake.
The smell of the cinnamon and nutmeg that should now be filling your kitchen will really be making your mouth water! If you have any left, you can sieve over some more ground cinnamon for a little finishing touch. With that, you are ready to serve up your boozy carrot  and sultana cake. Underneath the layer of the lemony cream cheese frosting you will find that classic carrot cake but with those little bullets of boozy sultana's dotted around the sponge that give you a little punch of amaretto and really make your taste buds sing. It's an old favorite given an adult twist and one that you're going to come back to time and and time again. That's how crackin' this cake is!

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