Saturday, 20 October 2012

Birthday Carrot Cake

It was my housemates birthday this week, so Naomi and I decided we obviously had to make her a cake. After suspiciously throwing quite a few cake related questions into casual conversation I found out that she loves carrot cake, so that was the sponge sorted. I then discovered her favourite colours are duck egg blue, peach and lilac (she had to have picky taste ha), but as it was her birthday we tried our hardest to create something along these lines. 

The carrot cake recipe is a simple hummingbird one, it was made up of three layers and then sandwiched and covered with a cream cheese frosting. A couple of days before making the cake, Naomi and I made some blossom flowers and roses from florist paste. The reason why you make them in advance is so that they can dry out effectively, making them easier to put on the cakes at a later point. Lastly, we piped '20' on top of the cake in a slightly pink colour, just in case she forgot she'd gained a year and was no longer a teenager. 

The cake went down really well with all the rest of the house and her friends, although i'm not sure if students eating free cake really shows how tasty it actually is. 

Recipe(The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook - Hummingbird Bakery)

Serves 10-12

For the sponge:
          300g Soft Light Brown Sugar
          3 Eggs
          300ml Sunflower Oil
          300g Plain Flour
          1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
          1 tsp Baking Powder
          1 tsp Ground Cinnamon, plus extra to decorate
          ½ tsp Ground Ginger
          ½ tsp Salt
          ¼ tsp Vanilla Extract
          300g Carrots, grated
          100g Shelled Walnuts, chopped, plus extra, chopped and whole, to decorate

For the frosting:
          600g icing sugar, sifted
          100g unsalted butter, softened
          250g cream cheese frosting

Three 20cm (8in) diameter loose-bottomed sandwich tins


  • Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) Gas 3.
  • Put the sugar, eggs and oil in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat until all the ingredients are well incorporated (don’t worry if the mixture looks slightly split). Slowly add the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt and vanilla extract and continue to beat until well mixed.
  • Stir in the grated carrots and walnuts by hand until they are all evenly dispersed. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tins and smooth over with a palette knife. Bake in the preheated oven for 20–25 minutes, or until golden brown and the sponge bounces back when touched. Leave the cakes to cool slightly in the tins before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.
  • Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed.
  • Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.
  • When the cakes are cold, put one on a cake stand and spread about one-quarter of the Cream Cheese Frosting over it with a palette knife. Place a second cake on top and spread another quarter of the frosting over it.
  • Top with the last cake and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides. Finish with walnuts and a light sprinkling of cinnamon.

Thanks for reading,

Olivia x x


  1. Looks great, I love that you made little sugarpaste flowers. You're a lovely housemate! The hummingbird carrot cake is still on my to-bake list.

    1. Thanks! It's deffinitely worth baking, carrot cake is always a popular one too.


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