Although I am not really a fun of walnuts I absolutely adore them in this carrot cake! I made this three layer cake in order to say goodbye to all my good friends, since I am leaving next Saturday for 4 months for Erasmus studies in Belgium! Get ready for lots of treats and tours all around Europe in the next few months!
This carrot cake is moist and full of flavor... You can vary how finely you chop the nuts for the sponge, depending on your preference.I chopped them finely in this recipe. Just don't forget to make enough frosting to cover the sides of the cake and not only the layers,as I did!
original recipe, from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook
For the sponge:
250 gr soft light brown sugar
300 ml sunflower or 300 ml margarine melted
300 gr plain flour
zest of half orange
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon + extra to decorate the cake
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 vanilla extract
300 gr carrots, peeled and grated
100 gr shelled walnuts, chopped + extra to decorate
For the Cream Cheese:
500 gr mascarpone cream cheese
100 gr heavy cream
70 gr confectioners' sugar ( less or more, depending on your preference)
Getting to it:
Preheat oven at 170 C.
Beat sugar, oil, and eggs in a freestanding electric mixer, until all ingredients are incorporated.
Slowly add the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt, vanilla extract, and orange zest and continue to beat until well mixed. Best add the flour in different batches in order to not create a flour cloud (been there, done that)!
Stir in the grated carrots and walnuts by hand with a wooden spoon until mixed.
Divide the mixture in three prepared cake tins (20 cm each) and flatten with a palette knife.
Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and the sponge bounces back when touched.
Leave the cakes to cool slightly before turning them in a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Prepare the frosting: Mix all the ingredients together, but do not over mix because it will split up. Refrigerate for 1 hour, minimum before use.
When the cakes are cold, put one layer in a cake stand and spread one quarter of the cream cheese over it, with a palette knife. Place second layer and repeat. Top with the last cake and spread the remaining frosting over the top and the sides. Finish it up with some chopped walnuts, golden sprinkles and a light sprinkling of ground cinnamon.
Leave it in the fridge to let it set, best one hour before serving.