200g brown sugar
100g caster sugar
250ml veg oil (i used a mixture of olive and plain vegetable)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp dried ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cardamom
350g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
250g carrot, grated
125g parsnip, grated – or you could use zucchini or beetroot or more carrot
100g pecans + a few to garnish – you can use whatever nuts you have in the pantry
Cream Cheese Icing *
200g pure icing sugar
100g unsalted butter at room temp
250g cream cheese at room temp
Zest and juice of one lemon
1tsp vanilla extract
*If you’re making out this cake with vegan substitutes we recommend you try this vegan cream cheese frosting recipe!
Late last week, when the lockdown extended, we decided there was only one way to lift spirits — carrot cake. We combined various recipes to make what we think is the best treat to bake in lockdown: Carrot Parsnip and Pecan Cake. It’s moist but not too dense, sweet but not too sickly and it’ll distract you for an afternoon without being too tricky to pull off. Lots of these ingredients are adaptable, don’t have enough carrots? Use zucchini or beetroot! Not a fan of nutmeg or any nuts for that matter? Leave them out. The only thing we class as a non-negotiable is what goes on top. It has to be cream cheese icing*, and it has to be in a thick, luscious layer.
Carrot Parsnip and Pecan Cake
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease and line a 24cm cake tin. Peel and grate carrots and parsnip, set aside.
Using electric beaters or a stand mixer, beat together eggs and sugars until light and pale – this will take about 5-7 mins. Stream in olive oil, beating to combine. Add vanilla and all spices beat to combine.
Sift in flour, baking powder, salt and fold together until just combined, don’t overwork. Fold in carrots, parsnip and nuts and pour into the prepared cake tin.
Bake for about an hour and ten minutes, turning it halfway. It may take a bit longer to cook depending on your oven but keep an eye on it, and as soon as a skewer comes out clean, you’re good to go. Let the cake cool completely before assembling.
Cream Cheese Icing
With electric beaters, beat your room temperature butter until soft and smooth. Add in your room temperature cream cheese and beat until smooth; there should be no more clumps of butter or cream cheese, super smooth.
Sift icing sugar into a separate bowl, and add to the mixer one tablespoon at a time, beating well between each addition. After you first add a spoon of sugar, beat on the lowest speed until just combined, then amp up to medium/high for a couple of minutes before adding the next scoop of sugar. Continue beating until all sugar is incorporated and it feels completely smooth when rubbed between two fingers.
Add lemon zest, juice and vanilla beat to combine.
Spread liberally on top, scatter with leftover nuts and enjoy!
Hints and Tips