There are so many things in life to be happy about. Today I am super chuffed as a friend asked me to make a carrot cake for them. I absolutely love it when people enjoy my cooking and baking. And I love making them something that tastes great and looks fabby too.

So here is my version of a good old favourite of most people – carrot and apple cake. I love decorating this cake as you can make it look really appealing with a few extra additions. You don’t have to use what I have suggested, let your imagination run wild, any kind of nuts, seeds or dried fruits would look lovely on the top.

Carrot and apple cake ingredients

Carrot and apple cake

1 cup oil, I use rice bran in this cake, but olive oil or similar would be fine.

¾ cup raw sugar

4 small eggs

1 cup wholemeal flour

1 cup plain flour

¼ tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp mixed spice

2 to 3 carrots, grated

2 medium apples grated

2 tsp baking soda

1 tbsp fruit juice

1 cup raisins

Cream Cheese Icing

50g dairy free olive oil spread, at room temperature

125g cream cheese

2 cups icing sugar

Topping

2  tbsp each of chopped walnuts, dried cranberries and candied orange peel

Instructions

Carrot and apple cake

Ok, first things first, this may seem like lots of ingredients, but actually it is quite simple to make.

So pop on your oven to 160 fan forced.

Place oil, sugar and eggs in a large bowl and mix well.

Add the flour, salt, cinnamon, mixed spice, grated carrot and apple and mix to combine, but don’t over mix. Then add the raisins.

Put the fruit juice in a small bowl and add the baking soda to it, give it a quick wee whiz with  a fork to dissolve and then mix into the cake batter.

Put it all into a greased round cake pan and bake for approx.. 60 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.

Remember every oven is different, you may need to adjust your cooking time if your oven is really hot.

Allow to cool before icing.

To make the cream cheese icing, place softened olive oil spread, cream cheese and icing sugar in a bowl and mix mix mix mix mix until smooth. If you have a food processor this is a great thing to use it for. Alas I have no such luxury. On the plus side however I get a good arm work out at this stage. Winning.

Cover the whole cake with icing and then top with your bits and bobs.

One quick extra point, if you want the cake to be lower in sugar or diary free, just don’t ice it.

How yum does it look?!?

Enjoy all. As always feel free to contact me on twitter with any questions / suggestions. @Gilly _nash

Ps I recommend keeping this in the fridge due to the icing… if it lasts long enough that is.

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Gilly Nash is a passionate foodie who calls her kitchen Gilly's Pantry. She loves to develop her own recipes and is always keen to find new ways of getting healthy veggies and good food into her boys. She also believes that we all deserve a treat! You can contact Gilly on Twitter to find out more about her recipes.

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