Thursday, 11 February 2010

Hugh's Carrot Cake

Well, my version of it anyway, which doesn't deviate too much from the original, just enough to reflect different tastes and what I keep in the larder on any given day.

This is the beautiful recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's lovely River Cottage Everyday ( GB 2009, p. 376). I was drawn to it by the idea of piercing the hot cake and trickling over warm honey by way of a glaze, much as you would with lemon drizzle. And it really does work, the cake is light and moist and could fool you into thinking it was a healthy snack for breakfast (don't let it seduce you, cake is not sufficient for breakfast time whatever it may be whispering to you in dulcet honeyed (sic.) tones)...

To make the original, use 4 medium eggs instead of 3 large, replace the flour and oats with 300g wholemeal self-raising flour, leave out the baking powder, and increase the honey to 150g.

  • 3 large organic free-range eggs
  • 150g golden caster sugar
  • 300ml sunflower oil
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 50g porridge oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon good sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon each bicarb and baking powder
  • 3-4 large carrots (350g total) scrubbed and grated
  • 100g runny honey
  • Grease a 23cm tin and line the bottom with paper.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.
  • Beat the eggs and sugar together really well (I used a processor) until thick and pale. Add the oil and beat for another minute or two.
  • Add the flour, oats, raising agents and salt and give another whirr to combine (or fold if making by hand).
  • Finely, gently fold through the grated carrot.
  • Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, smoothing the top, and bake for 45-50 minutes until the cake feels springy to the touch, and a skewer comes out of the centre of the cake clean.
  • Put the tin to one side whilst you gently warm the honey in a saucepan over a medium heat.
  • Stab the cake all over with the skewer and pour over the honey in a thin trickle, making sure to cover the whole surface of the cake.
  • Leave to cool slightly before diving in. Please note, this cake will not last long...


  1. My 3 year old daughter keeps asking to make carrot cake - I like the sound of the honey glaze

  2. I think this would be a lovely lunch-box treat for nursery, or a play-date tea :-)

  3. This looks delicious and wholesome too. Have lovely weekend. x

  4. Everyone needs a fail safe carrot cake recipe (a bit like brownies hehehe). Love the sound of the honey glaze.

  5. Chele, my failsafe (!) is Tessa Kiros' carrot cake from Falling Cloudberries, with the cream cheese icing off Nigella's Guinness cake. I even made it into 150 cupcakes for my wedding 2 years ago! But this one looked so tasty I had to try, and I think it is more of an everyday 'I almost feel virtuous eating this' cake!