Carrot cake

Adding grated carrots to a cake batter makes it moist and sweet. Walnuts add extra crunch, while the icing gives it a rich, creamy finish.
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Prep time: 40 mins
Cook time: 40-50 mins
Serves: 8-10
* 300ml sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing
* 300g self-raising (self-rising) flour, sifted
* 1 tsp ground cinnamon
* ½  tsp ground ginger
* ¼  tsp grated nutmeg
* 300g caster sugar
* 4 eggs
* 250g grated carrots, squeezed or remove excess moisture
* 75g walnuts, roughly chopped
For the icing:
* 100g unsalted butter, softened
* 100g cream cheese, at room temperature
* 400g icing sugar
* grated zest of 1 large orange, plus extra to decorate
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4). Grease and line the tins with baking parchment. Combine the flour, spices, and caster sugar in a bowl. Beat the eggs and oil in a jug and add to the dry ingredients. Then add the carrots and walnuts and stir well to form a stiff batter.

2. Divide the batter equally between the tins. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the cakes are golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the tins on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then turn them out and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

3. For the icing, whisk the butter and cream cheese in a bowl until smooth. Gradually whisk in the icing sugar, until combined. Then add the orage zest and whisk well.
4. Sandwich the cakes with one-third of the icing. Use the remaining icing to cover the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle over a little orange zest and serve. 

You can store the cake in a airtight container for up to 5 days.
More from Step-by-Step Desserts:  Extracted from Step-By-Step Desserts by Caroline Bretherton and Kristan Raines. Published by DK (£20.00)

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