• Try grating some lemon or orange rind in with the carrots.
  • Experiment with a little grated pineapple.
  • Take out 2 tbspns of oil and replace with two tbspns of Amarula Cream.
  • Add some lemon zest to the cream cheese icing.
  • This cake keeps well and is always welcome.

South Africa is a very diverse and varied country, with mixed cultures and foods across the spectrum. But one thing all South Africans agree on is that they cannot live without cake. After dinner at teatime or even after a braai, it is one of those simple necessitiies, a must have. And there is nothing that delights them as much as opening up a lunch box at school or work and to discover a slice of cake.

So which cake do you say that they all eat? Well there are many but ranking right up at the top is a moist Carrot Cake with a cream  cheese icing. Having said that, I have to also say that there are just as many recipes for this beloved cake, some passed down from a grandmother, some  sworn to be the neighbourhood winner and others that have been amended to include pineapple or canned fruit salad, so I will try and give you one that is easy, delicious and always works. This recipe will make a loaf but can also make 12 cupcakes.

Moist Carrot Cake

  • Brown sugar – 1 cup
  • Vegetable oil – 1 cup
  • Eggs – 3 large
  • Carrots – 2 cups finely grated
  • Self raising flour – 2 cups
  • Pecan or Walnuts – 1/2 cup
  • Cinnamon – 1 teaspoon
  • Nutmeg – 1 teaspoon
  • Bicarbonate of soda – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt – a pinch

Cream Cheese Icing

  • Cream cheese – 125 gm at fridge temperature
  • Icing sugar – 300 gm
  • Butter – 50 gm, unsalted at room temperature

Carrot cake method – Beat oil and sugar together until thick then add eggs one at a time and keep beating for a few more minutes. Then add all the other ingredients, and mix together well until all combined. This will create a thick batter. Pour batter into your well greased load tin or cupcake tin and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for  35 minutes or until golden brown and cakes springs back to the touch in the middle.

Cream cheese icing method – Using an electric beater, beat the butter and icing sugar together until well mixed, add the cream cheese and continue beating until light and fluffy, do not over beat as it will quickly become runny.

Wait for your cake to be cold before putting the icing on, then call up your friends, make a cup of tea, or coffee, dish out the cake and enjoy.