Carrot cake with vanilla bean icing

A deliciously nutty carrot cake that is sure to be a crowd pleaser at any occasion. The vanilla bean icing makes it even more special.

A deliciously nutty carrot cake that is sure to be a crowd pleaser at any occasion. The vanilla bean icing makes it even more special.

 

Nielsen-Massey Carrot Cake with Vanilla Bean Icing

Prep 35 mins –  Bake 40 mins – Serves 8

Ingredients for the cake

  • 250g Butter (unsalted)softened
  • 250g Unrefined golden caster sugar (we use Billington's)
  • 4 Egg(s) (free range)lightly whisked
  • 1tsp Nielsen-Massey vanilla extract
  • 250g Self-raising wholemeal flour (we use Allinson)
  • 150g Carrot(s) peeled and coarsely grated
  • 75g Pineapple tinned, roughly chopped
  • 1 Lemon (zest only)
  • 1tsp Mixed spice
  • 50g Sultanas
  • 100g Pistachio nuts roughly chopped
  • 50g Pecan nuts toasted and roughly chopped
For the lemon and vanilla syrup
  • 50g Unrefined light muscovado sugar(we use Billington's)
  • 1 Lemon (juice only)
  • 1tsp Nielsen-Massey vanilla extract
For the vanilla cream cheese icing
  • 75g Butter (unsalted)softened
  • 450gUnrefined golden icing sugar sifted (we use Billington's)
  • 180g Cream cheese
  • 1tsp Nielsen-Massey vanilla bean paste 
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan 160°C, gas mark 4). Grease and line 2 x 20cm sandwich tins.
  2. In a bowl with a mixer, cream the butter and sugar together for a few minutes, or until light and fluffy. Gradually pour in the eggs and the vanilla extract, then add the flour and continue to mix for a minute. Fold in the carrot, pineapple, zest, mixed spice, sultanas and nuts.
  3. Divide the cake mixture equally between the two tins and flatten with a spatula. Bake on the middle shelf and cook for 30-35 minutes, or until golden and a skewer comes away clean when inserted into the centre of the cakes.
  4. Meanwhile, make the lemon and vanilla syrup by heating the sugar and lemon juice together for a few minutes, or until the sugar has completely dissolved and then add the vanilla. Turn both cakes out on to a wire rack and brush the tops of the warm cakes with the syrup. Allow to cool whilst you make the icing.
  5. Cream the butter, cream cheese and vanilla bean paste together into the bowl of a mixer and beat until light and fluffy. Add the icing sugar and continue to mix until you achieve a spreading consistency.
  6. Sit one of the sponges on a plate or stand, and spread with half of the icing. Place the second sponge on top, and cover with the remaining icing. Decorate with more zest, chopped pistachios and edible flowers if you wish.

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