Colorful and with a hint of orange flavor, this carrot cake is a delightful after school snack, or addition to your morning coffee or afternoon tea. The original recipe included pistachios, but my son is allergic to tree nuts, so I substituted the healthier and more affordable pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds, if you have not tried them are really good, as is this cake. My family enjoyed it and it was gone in no time.
This recipe is super easy, just be sure to beat the icing a bit longer to achieve a light and fluffy consistency. I hope that you will find this post helpful and will try this recipe. 🙂
Feel free to try it with pistachios and with pumpkin seeds and see which you prefer!
Ingredients for the Cake
1 cup of vegetable or sunflower oil
1 cup of sugar
Zest from ½ orange
3 large eggs
1 ¾ cup of self-rising flour
3 large carrots (about 8 ounces) grated
1 cup of pumpkin seeds, coarsely chopped (or pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped)
Ingredients for Cream Cheese Icing
10 ounces of cream cheese (1 and ¼ package), at room temperature
¾ cup of powdered sugar
Zest from ½ orange
1 to 2 tablespoons of fresh orange juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray an 8 by 12-inch baking pan with baking spray or grease with butter. Line it with parchment paper, extending the paper about 2 inches above the edge of the baking pan, and then spray with baking spray again.
Place oil, sugar and eggs in a stand mixer bowl, using the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until well beaten, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add eggs, beating after each addition.
Next, sift in the flour, and gently fold in using large spoon or spatula until mixture is smooth and all flour is incorporated.
Add grated carrots and ½ of the pumpkin seeds.
Spoon cake batter into prepared pan, smooth the surface, and bake for about 40 to 45 minutes or until wooden stick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
In the mean time, while the cake is baking, prepare the icing. Place cream cheese, powdered sugar and orange zest and orange juice in the stand mixer bowl, beat on medium high speed until soft and fluffy, for about 2 minutes.
Spread icing on cooled cake, and sprinkle remaining chopped pumpkin seeds on the top.
This recipe will make 12 servings.
Preparation time: about 25 minutes
Cooking time: about 40 to 45 minutes.
Inspired by a recipe found at the House & Garden website (www.houseandgarden.co.uk).
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