Melissa’s Life-Changing Carrot and Olive Oil Cake
The complex play of the spices really brings this cake to life. Cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon combine to heighten the flavors and aromas to an almost intoxicating level. With 3/4 cups of grated carrot in this cake there’s no getting away from its presence, though it’s surprising how the cake doesn’t really taste of it. Its purpose is to bind in the flour- in this case spelt, which is higher in protein and fiber than wheat. The fruity olive oil unifies all the other flavors.
This recipe is so forgiving. Even overcooked, it’s still moist and delicious!
- 215ml extra virgin olive oil
- 250g coconut sugar
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 250g spelt flour
- 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp salt
- 125g pecans, coarsely chopped
- 500g carrots, grated
- roughly chopped walnuts, for topping
For the vanilla cashew nut icing
- 150g unsalted cashew nuts, soaked for at least 4 hours but preferably overnight
- 300g full-fat coconut milk
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 75g maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 100g coconut oil, melted
- Firstly, to make the icing, drain and rinse the soaked cashew nuts. Put them in a blender with all the other ingredients and blend until completely smooth and creamy. Pour into a container and chill in the fridge until firm. We usually leave the icing in the fridge overnight, but around 4 hours should do the trick.
- Preheat the oven to 190c/ fan 170c/ gas mark 5 and line a 23cm round, deep, loose-bottom cake tin with baking parchment
- In a bowl, mix together the olive oil, sugar and eggs until well combined
- In a second bowl combine the flour and the other dry ingredients and make a well in the center.
- Add the egg and oil mixture and stir thoroughly until it is all blended. Finally, add the pecans and carrots and mix again.
- Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for about 1 hour 20 mins, until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10-15 minutes, then turn it out onto a cooling rack. Once it’s completely cool, top it with the vanilla cashew nut icing.
The olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats that are better for your heart than the saturated fats in butter.
This recipe is on page 123 of our book Modern Baker: A New Way to Bake, available to purchase now.