Cha Cha Carrot Cake with Orange Icing

This Cha Cha Carrot Cake is delicious and the zesty orange icing makes it the ultimate summery treat. Makes a 1lb loaf.

For the cake:

  • 160ml (5fl oz) sunflower oil
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 160ml (5fl oz) honey
  • 1 small ripe banana, peeled
  • 360g (12oz) GF self-raising flour
  • 60g (2oz) milled linseeds
  • a pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp GF baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • 60g (2oz) chopped walnuts
  • 100g (3½oz) grated carrot

For the icing

  • 600g (1lb 4oz) low-fat soft cream cheese or quark
  • 150g (5½oz) icing sugar
  • grated zest of 2 large oranges
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6.
  2. In a big mixing bowl, add the oil, eggs, honey and banana. Blend with a hand blender until smooth.
  3. In a smaller bowl, add the flour, milled linseeds, salt, baking powder and spices and mix well.
  4. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix. You’re looking for the consistency of a really thick batter.
  5. Add the carrot and chopped walnuts and give it a good stir.
  6. Line the loaf or cake tin with baking parchment and pour in the batter. Pop it in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 180°C/Gas Mark 4 and bake for a further 10 minutes. It’s done when it is golden brown on top and a skewer poked in comes out clean or with just a few crumbs, not batter.
  7. Take the cake out of the tin and let it cool on a wire rack.
  8. In the meantime, make the icing. In a big bowl, add the cream cheese or quark and sugar, then grate in the zest. Mix it all with a big spoon or whizz it with a hand blender for smoothness!
  9. To serve wait until the cake is fully cooled before you put on the icing. Spread the icing over the top using a palette knife, if you have one, or just a big dessert spoon. If you want to make it really pretty, you could sprinkle pomegranate jewels, goji berries or dried cranberries on top for a nice pop of colour.

Recipe from Finn's World by Finn Ní Fhaoláin, £19.99, published by Gill Books.


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